Silence can be a powerful tool of protest through disengagement, but it can also be a sign of apathy, or of having been subjugated, your voice lost.
Despite having a PhD in the subject, I rarely speak about politics unless it’s in an article I write, or at a conference. I find it to be a subject that tends to polarize rather than unify. That being said, politics is woven into the world, and our personal lives in ways and levels that make it impossible to avoid.
Right now feels like one of those times where remaining silent would be apathetic.
On my page The Goddess, The Serpent and The Sea: Building Pathways of Light, I posted a meme that essentially condemned the situation in Gaza – asserting that standing in solidarity with the lives lost was not the same as hating either side. I liked it as it was a statement of empathy and solidarity without judgment. (We have enough of the latter in this world, and too little of the former).
I got two interesting responses to it: One, was a lady whom I’d never heard being aggressive, telling me that the extremists on the Palestinian side would kill me (us, the collective ‘you’) after they’d killed all the Jews. The second, was someone who’d posted a video of an son of a general in the Israeli army speaking out against the killings.
I was grateful for the second comment as it was a sign that not all Jews supported the conflict – many others are making similar efforts to put the word out there. This knowledge helps one de-link the actions of a particular military and/or government from the faith and ethnicity they are associated with. It also slows the growth and prevalence of insidious generalizations that equate people of a certain faith with aggression and war. (And it’s not just about the Judaism, I take that stance when any faith, religion and spiritual path is involved).
Equally, I was grateful for the first comment, as it was a reminder for me to get out of my silence and speak. This was my reply:
Hate manifests hate. Basic spiritual principle. By hating them, you do not change or help the situation.
I should add – By refusing to hate, you do not condone or support unjust actions. Too many people believe they must hate one side or another to support the opposite party.
If we are truly honest in our spiritual paths – we have to ask ourselves – can the Path of Peace be forged by Hatred?
I say this as a priestess, political scholar and as a Tamil woman – I am the daughter of a race that was raped and slaughtered in Sri Lanka in an act of genocide in its own right that has yet to be fully acknowledged.
Blessings to all,
Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
Image: Artist Unknown. Originally on: http://mepeace(dot)org/profiles/blogs/palestine-post
Update: It has come to my attention that the video of the son of the general may be a hoax. The idea that not all Israelis and Jews support military action on Gaza is, however, a valid one. 5,000 attended this rally in Tel Aviv, protesting for peace between Israel and Paleston: http://972mag.com/no-more-deaths-israelis-protest-the-gaza-war/94380/