All politics and root causes aside, what does it say about a culture when the video below can be shown proudly on TV? When the actions filmed are celebrated and held up for emulation?
It says, at the very least, that we live in very different worlds. But we knew that.
I have to wonder, though: Did anyone watching this back in the Middle East see the same insane disconnect that I did, between the words of the introduction and the actions of the video clip? Did anyone say, "If this is what we celebrate, as a people, then we are doomed"?
And you can argue with me that "all politics and root causes aside" is precisely my problem. You can argue that only an understanding of the politics and the root causes can make this video seem sane and rational. But I would argue back that no politics or root causes make it sane. I do not forgive this, or make accomodation for this, or say, "You have to understand the context."
Whether you blame the Palestinians or the Israelis--or a combination of the two--for the predicament of the people living in Gaza and the West Bank, the fact is that many people--far too many people--in far too many times and places of the world--have lived lives of desperation, lives of limitation, lives where they did not have sufficient personal or political freedom. Few of have them responded by training their toddlers to become murderers.