Graphic images and blogs

Graphic images of crimes present disturbing, yet factual documentation of what terrorism is, and here, I’m not talking about Al Qaeda terrorist acts only, but terrorist acts such as those committed by Zionists in and US and its allies in Iraq.

The graphic images constitute a growing tactic of the anti-terrorist/anti-occupation groups that seeks to proclaim the truth about war and and occupation crimes through visual images of crimes against humanity. These real pictures have tremendous value in documenting why everyone should be against terrorist groups such as Zionism. It dispels the myth that Zionist are peace loving movement. For the passive, uninvolved viewer, they are scenes of disturbing injustice and to some, may present an urgent call to action and activism.

Nevertheless, pictures and images of terrorist Zionist crimes cause strong reactions in those that view them. They point in an equally powerful way, to the divisions in our world between those that support occupation and Zionism and those fighting to end it. The greater majority of the public is uncomfortable with occupation, but often equally confused or ambivalent about these images, and what should be done to end occupation.

I recall my own experience as a teenager watching, regularly, Israeli crimes against Arab. Never in my life had I been so convinced that the occupation and Zionism are truly the worse form of terrorism. The images cut through the rhetoric of choice and obliterated the euphemisms that protect us from the full realization of what is all about. I was stunned, and filled with grief that human life could be discarded in such a massive, sanitized and global legalized injustice. Graphic pictures make it perfectly clear that Zionism in practice is a violation of human rights. I believe those images were very influential in my personal convictions and represented a profound motivation and call to be involved in the anti-Zionist stream through a direct response to this evil.

Many bloggers have used these effective means to ‘fill the blanks’ which the Media left intentionally. They (bloggers) feel this will help to stop the occupation from committing such a crimes and pressuring more the legislative and political arena. Bloggers are still learning what are the most effective means to present the crimes of the occupation to end terrorism, save lives, and reach out in love to those truly peace loving. More recently, we have seen the effectiveness of video clips and podcast in crisis like War on Lebanon, which I think was a success for bloggers to document by means that were never used live on this scale before. We now know that non-violent protest including the use of graphic images is very efficient tool to end man made crisis. Graphic images are seen by some as a final effort to turn the hearts of the world. I have a strong believe that if graphic images such as of Qana and Beit Hanoun, Israel would not have stopped the massacres there, although it will not stop them forever.

Proponents of graphic images see themselves in very much the same tradition of other social justice pioneers such as those that worked to end slavery, and racial discrimination in some parts of the world. The use of images demonstrating racially motivated violence toward African Americans was a powerful tool in the civil rights movement of the 60’s. We also see graphic images increasingly used to bring awareness to the present crimes against humanity in other parts of the world, so why not Israeli crimes?

There is debate here as to the proper use of the images of Zionist crimes (Izzi, you are doing a great job!). On one hand, some people reject the use of graphic pictures. They feel that the pictures are extreme and desperate. Some favor a more restricted use that would protect children from seeing them. Others support a more widespread use, bringing the truth of occupation aftermath to the public arena without restriction.

As I began to have my own children, my wife and I made the decision that we would not let our children to watch events that we knew would have graphic images on display. We wanted to avoid exposing our toddlers’ tender and precious hearts to these traumatic images of death and destruction even though we knew that these images represented the truth. Parents have different opinions on when the best time is to allow their children to view such images and of course we must respect their judgment. Once our children reach an age where they could understand and process the images we were able to let them attend these events as a family. We want our children as they grow to understand and see the reality of Israel as well as the need for Just and Peace. We see it this as an essential aspect of the formation of our children as God calls everyone to respond to this global evil such as terrorists like Al Qaeda and Zionists.

NO ONE likes to view these pictures, but this is part of our life. It’s a natural nausea that comes upon all of us when the gruesome reality of Zionism is “in our face.” However, it is important that we respectfully dialogue about this issue, not with reactivity invested in protecting our own point of view, but with an openness to hear the impact and concerns on the various sides of the debate. We have to ask our selves: Is it possible to use these pictures with discretion? Is it possible to use them responsibly? Can they be used in a way that gives warning to unsuspecting individuals who might be passing by? Many people have reported that many pictures they have seen in this blog dissuade them from supporting their pro-Israel government and/or from supporting the occupation in Iraq – Yet others share that the way the truth is presented hardens their hearts even more and intensifies their anger.

There are good reasons why these pictures are not used in media stream. The images can be quite disturbing to many who have suffered the loss of life because of terrorism, war and occupation. However, knowing who is controlling the media, we know that the real reason is to avoid risking and losing the support for the occupation and investments of the warmongers. These images of Zionism’s shocking reality do have potential to trigger traumatic experiences, memories and perceptions.

Conversely, the vivid truth spoken through a photograph that can resurrect terrorism can also break denial. When war is activated, it’s common to bring forth our normal defenses, anger, rage, justification, and denial — to protect us from the truth, which may be too painful to deal with. Our psychological defenses serve to protect us from the reality of such horror. We may find it easier to vilify and scapegoat those who holds out the image for our consumption than to face the graphic image of complicated grief and shame buried deep within our hearts.

Those that zealously defend Zionism, terrorism and occupation often respond to graphic images like Beit Hanoun and Qana; they simply throw up and out what they refuse to digest. There is no limit to our capacity to blot out truth in favor of that which protects our self-image. Our moral consciences have truly been devastated by what has been called “causalities of war and machine errors.” The hard truth, no matter how graphic; can be filtered through the conscious mind like automatically deleted e-mail.

It is not enough to show that occupation is wrong. It’s important to help our world understand what are the result of occupation and what Zionist, terrorists and occupiers are doing. Condemnation does nothing to address or consider the pressure from others. In addition we also fail to acknowledge the connection between repeat crisis and massacres. Without making the world see what are the war results, gangs like Zionists and Al Qaeda will often repeat themes and behaviors associated with the previous crimes in an attempt to “master” the deep pain associated with these crimes.

Knowing the importance of graphic images, and the many years lost because of media obstacles that prevent truth from spreading, we need to recognize that one of the primary hindrances is when terrorist and criminals are saved from the deep sense of shame and fear of judgment. For this reason, denial should ideally be broken and the world should face the agonizing truth braced against numerous and repeated crimes against humanity. People do not surrender their defenses unless they think it is safe – no matter how much pain they are in. We have a responsibility to foster environments to point to the evil so that the world can end it.

We are still learning as bloggers what strategies will work best in the long run. We must be careful not to tear down our fellow pro-Just who are involved in various fronts of this struggle. We may disagree with certain strategy, however, we must work together to dismantle the ignorance and denial that support Zionism and occupation.

Bottom line: “I will NEVER stop using these pictures. If these pictures stop ONE TERRORIST/ZIONIST/OCCUPIER from killing, then the pictures are worth it. They will save one life. Remember the Quranic verse which says: “if you kill one innocent person you will be considered to have murdered the entire humanity and if you help survive one person you will be considered to have helped the entire humanity.” Think about the situation of those according to Quran that kill thousands of innocent people in the name of religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and all others) While I want to protect a life, I also want to prevent other people from becoming one of these sad statistics, not to mention, helping occupation, terrorism and Zionism in committing more crimes against humanity, directly or indirectly.