Written by Nadia Hakim
Last night, I went with a couple of colleagues to a small talk on the potential nuclear war between Israel and Iran. A new Israeli organization of undergraduates on campus coordinated the meeting and lured us in with the promise of free and fresh food. I must admit that the discussion was much more interesting and lively than I anticipated, and there were a couple of chords that continued to resonate with me throughout the evening.
First, as a half-Iranian with family still in the country, I was sure to put in my two cents about sanctions, the regime, and nuclear programs. I did not think much of what I said, until someone came up to me afterwards to thank me for talking. He said that it is so easy to hate and to want to nuke a country because the talking heads on television and everything you read in the paper make it easy to forget about the people. It has become so easy to forget about the citizens of a country who are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, students, etc.
Every day people, just like you and me.
How did we get to this point? This point where the world has mastered de-humanizing war, where destruction is acceptable in our eyes, and where it is that much easier to wipe out cities and people.
We see these figures on the television, which were voted to stand for our countries and make decisions on our behalf, and we do not agree with everything they are saying when it comes to this particular complex situation. Whether it is Ahmadinejad, Netanyahu, or Obama, their raised voices and fists beating down podiums are not accurate representations of all their people. It is much more effortless to vote in favor of aiming a bomb at Tehran, however, when Ahmadinejad claims that the Holocaust never happened and openly brags about his nuclear programs.
Aerial drones and unmanned ground vehicles bring death from thousands of miles away with a remote control. The news spews out statistics about the costs and casualties of conflict. There are no human characteristics linked to any of the robotics or numbers, so it goes on for extended periods of time.
People often fail to realize the devastation until photos of civilians and children are released, and by that time it is much too late.
Ronny Edry, an Israeli, agrees and started a peace campaign to promote goodwill between Iran and Israel.
Here’s a short video that was shown during the meeting: