Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tragedy tweets: The Har Nof Massacre

Horrifying news this morning, of course, and kol hakovod to those who responded quickly and prevented the carnage from being much worse. Thoughts and prayers are with the victims, and their families.

Some unrelated thoughts, connected to posts I put on Twitter earlier:
Of course, the news out of Har Nof was immediately met by complaints about moderate Arabs, and their alleged unwillingness to confront and condemn the extremists in their midst. I happen to know that plenty of moderate Arabs did denounce the crimes committed today in Har Nof, but that 's really not the point. Yelling about the other side is useless. If you want to do something that matters focus on your own circles of influence. Instead of yelling into the void about what Arabs should be doing, speak to your own friends and neighbors about what we can do together to break the cycle of violence. Jerusalem is on the brink. The situation has to be defused - and fast.
Along with yelling about Arabs, lots of people rhetorically demanded to know what the world, or the media, would say and do had Jews marched into a mosque and murdered people at prayer. Of course, these all the same people who seem programmed to ignore all the negative things leaders and journalists say about Arabs. If you want to have some fun on Facebook tonight (sigh) keep your eye out for people complaining that the president "still hasn't" said anything about Har Nof. You'll find scores of them, despite the fact that the president issued a powerful condemnation almost immediately.
So there were two noteworthy things about this article (which has already been retitled " Four Rabbis Killed..." First, the Times broke the universal journalistic convention of putting the most recent event (ie the Israeli response)  in the headline. Second, some of the comments were written by people who are dead certain that the Times is a pro-Zionist and Israeli-controlled - or at least Israeli-sympathetic. Now of course, I think that's as funny as the idea that the Times hates Israel, but its important for our extremists friends to be aware that their ideological opponents are reading the exact same articles in the exact same paper and coming to the exact opposite conclusions.

Also, a common refrain in the Twitter activity among the Arabs I follow was the certainty that "the Times and CNN" were going to ignore what they, at the time, believed was the lynching of a Palestinian bus driver, Then, barely a day later, I saw Jews expressing the exact same fear following their own tragedy. By the way, whenever I saw an Arab announcing the bus driver had been "lynched by settlers" I tweeted this back:
Tweets such as that one, and the followups I sent after the coroner ruling are what I consider real Hasbrah.

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