Guila Holder

No Political Gain in Paris’s Pain

It is deeply troubling to me, almost to the point of distaste, how this unbelievable massacre on such an alarming scale is being turned into a political platform via social media for people to voice their churlish comparisons to the horrors we live through here in Israel.

Facebook anthropology fascinates me at the best of times but even more so at the worst. I am watching people feeling reprimanded for attaching the Tricolor to their profile pictures and taking it down for fear of feeling that  supporting Paris in their hour of shock and destruction, not to mention need, lessens their support and allegiance to our beloved homeland Israel.

Is this really an appropriate time to be telling France to divide its country and split Paris as its Capital? Is this really an appropriate time to be telling France that their coverage of our atrocities haven’t been covered adequately so therefore we wont be feeling their pain? Is this really the platform to launch a tirade about BDS, which incidentally is illegitimate as the High Court of Cassation, France’s highest legal instance ruled that anyone boycotting Israeli goods is guilty of inciting hate or discrimination. Is this really an appropriate time to be telling them anything other than ‘we understand and we feel with you and are here for you’. Period.

As the lights of the Eiffel Tower were extinguished last night to mark the tragedy unfolding in Paris, our lights should have been illuminating a tower of understanding, compassion and empathy. Because we know how they feel. Because we know what it feels like to watch our youth dancing in a disco and have a homicidal murderer detonate himself resulting in the senseless loss of the lives of our young and innocent. Because we know how they feel to see a black and white crossing covered in red bloody footprints.

Because we know that France as a whole is now changed forever.

And because through bitter heartbreak and experience of our own, we so acutely know how they feel and what each and every Frenchman now faces in accepting their raw deal with this life changing tragedy  we must rise to the occasion and show empathy, and resist the uncivilized temptation to use this massacre to meet our own political gains.

Whenever there is tragedy in our homeland we respond by showing posts primarily from the IDF to prove to the world that we are humane. We are desperate for the world to see us in a kind light, that we share our water with the Arabs, or we help them with their shopping. Are all those photos simply photo opportunities? Are we not genuinely a humane people? Are we not the ‘destined light unto the nations’? And if so where is the humanity on social media right now?

Let us share with our fellow sufferers words of love and kindness.

Because even though in mathematics a minus plus a minus equals a plus we all know that in matters of real life there is no such equalization.

About the Author
Born and bred in Manchester, to the parents of Moroccan immigrants. Educated in Manchester with a two year stint in Aix Les Bains. Trained as a 'sheitel macher' in Antwerp for six months Worked in sheitels for 27 years. Am a mother of six children, 23, 19, 17, 15, 9 and the youngest 4 who was born here. I made Aliya in October 2009. It has taken time, but I am now definitely Home.
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