Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Very Upsetting Experience

This will be short because I just blogged recently, but I had a very upsetting experience today that I feel the need to post about. I got off the Metro on my way home from a tour of the Sagrada Familia (a Church designed by Gaudí) and saw a huge protest in the street near my apartment. It took me about 10 seconds to realize it was a Palestinian protest against Israel and the street was filled with hundreds, yes hundreds in the plural, of Palestinian supporters shouting, "Down with Israel, Israel is massacring the Palestinians, down with the murderers!" There were lots of signs equating Jews with Nazis (an inherent contradiction I feel, and something only an ignorant person would argue). There were signs damning Israel for having blood on her hands and sirens. What hurt me most was the deep hatred I felt oozing from the streets.

I began to cry, tears streaming down my face for my homeland, for as much as I can consider the U.S. to be a home, Israel will always be in my head and in my heart. I wanted to argue with this people, make them see our side. I wanted them to understand that we are under attack too, our schools and homes are being bombed and torn apart, our name is being slandered and our country criticized more than they can ever appreciate.

But I also wanted to cry for them. Each person who has died, no matter his relation to Hezbolah, had parents, and some had wives and children. Losing my mother has taught me so much about pain, and seeing the pain these people felt broke my heart a thousand times over. Sometimes I look at this world we live in, the pain and sadness and hatred and anger, and I wonder if all aren't just a little crazy for continuing on with our lives this way.

On the bright side, the news here in Barcelona seems fairly unbiased. Watching the coverage of the event I noticed they interviews Palestinians and Israelis with differing perspectives as well as presenting the different leaders' arguments. More than any news station in the states, the programs here seem to recognize the enormity and depth of the fighting.

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