Chris Hamel
Climb a tree. Change your view for a few

Overcoming Uncertainty/Seeking Truth in Dark Days

When the Times of Israel graciously approved my blog last January, I thought to myself, “this will be easy; let’s make a difference.” In fact, after years of political/historical, and religious research and after endless debates with friends, classmates, colleagues, media/Facebook/Twitter commentators etc, I thought that compiling my observations, beliefs, and scholarly analyses would prove a fluid process.

It could not have been farther from the truth.

Despite my years of political and historical dredging, I still cannot help but feel like a small fish in a very large pool filled with the likes of Edwin Black, Noam Chomsky, Alan Dershowitz, Robert S. Wistrich (RIP), Jeffrey Herf, Tom Segev, even Norman Finkelstein, (in his stance against BDS), and a myriad of other highly qualified academics, journalists, and commentators who have both influenced and challenged my own paths of thought and reasoning.

Hence, almost one year later, I am finally sitting at my keyboard here in Spain with thoughts circling my mind that feel far more urgent than one year ago (should they considering 2017’s list of insanity).

As I ponder our world in the aftermath of events such as the gruesome Paris murder of 85 year old Holocaust survivor, Mireille Knoll, the Toronto van attack by Alek Minassian, alarming numbers of religious hate crimes in the UK, the heart-wrenching Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht (in the midst of political polarization, BDS coerciveness, rising nationalism and spiking anti-semitism), and now, yet another explosive exchange between Israel and Gaza, in the chaos of it all, with so many differing views on these gripping issues, I still cannot help but question how my words can contribute towards truth, clarity, or a more indepth understanding of the world in which these, and many other related events are occurring.

It is with this honest expression of uncertainty that I will wade through these dark waters in search of light while seeking to illuminate for “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” — Desmond Tutu

About the Author
Chris Hamel is a professional tour guide from Western Canada who also moonlights as a research assistant for a well-known American author. Chris studied sociology/criminology/political science at the University of Victoria with a focus on topics such as corporate crime, anti-semitism, religion, human rights, and the long history of Palestine. He also believes in viewing life from different vantages.