Like Herding Cats: A Draft Manifesto for Panoptic Protest, particularly towards the Israel-Palestine Conflict.
by Madison Fischer
– An Introduction to this Blog, this Cause, and on accomplishing Strategic Conflict Resolution –
Hello, Bittersweet World-
My name is Madison. Like many bloggers, I am a twentysomething towards the end of my college career and seeking my true path in life…..not that I can ever know completely what that is, but the passion I have towards finding it has been pushing me through. When I’m not obsessing about the global implications of capitalism, consciousness, the world’s current economic order, and issues of global and social inequality, I spend my time as an active painter, singer, traveler, reader, student, hot-sauce connoisseur, INFP, and modern day radical.
Wait a minute…….
I know what you’re thinking- seriously, I do. Everything else sounds fine, but really? A self-proclaimed radical? That word is -quite literally- thrown in everyone’s face by modern media as a negative buzz word to either scare or to show someone’s unwavering fanatical allegiance to a one-sided cause. “So…what’s different?” You ask. “Why should I even bother reading this at all?”
Ugh……I know, I know, everyone seems to be a ‘radical’ these days. Just hear me out completely, though- I am aware of the length of this ‘draft manifesto’, I was the one who wrote it. But every point made is significant to you and your personal future. You can trust me on that one enough to power through it…..I have faith in you. I know that no matter where you are or what you do, you will never be able to run from what the general population knows as radical conservatives, radical liberals, or radical religious zealots……the list goes on and it really does seem like the whole world has turned radical and has gone out of its f@&#ing mind.
But………the world isn’t, and they aren’t radicals. Although these groups of people are fundamentally extreme in their behavior, they are not introducing any new way of thinking and acting that is controversial, different, and effective. The world, and human beings as a species, have been this way since the dawning of Man and Woman. The atrocities that are happening in the world right now are products of our history and we seem to continue down the same path that we always have, usually with a large number of people running amok and spreading hatred, dissidence, greed, and the denial that we as human beings need to work together for survival; leaving a train-wreck of dysfunctional societies, mindsets, and behaviors behind on their feverish paths to finding not-so-actualized self-actualization.
But if you DO survive the whirlwind of zeal, lack of higher thought, and cynicism that overwhelms and blinds so many- you can take a look back down these paths in history, and see small groups of the world’s only sane people coming together slowly (but surely) to pick up the wreck and try to bring back order to our world…..piece by little piece.
In my individual story, I am trying to be one of those people cleaning up.
However, to understand this cause, my confidence, and the validity of thought and reasoning that has been put into this ‘manifesto’, a little bit of my history has to be shared. Spending the past five years focusing my higher education in subjects pertaining to Applied Psychology, Political Science, Comparative Religious Ethics, Multi-cultural Management, Marketing of Social Causes, and on the International Political Economy- I have also had the amazing opportunity of spending time working in Kabul, Afghanistan, accomplishing what I had once deemed an impossible feat; facilitating the successful integration of the first Afghan female staff members into an all male Afghan R&D firm, in the midst of war at the age of 21. In this unique situation, I learned the valuable technique of mediating on highly sensitive topics by means of empathetic reason to successfully accomplish my goals in a culture much different than my own.
So with that knowledge, and harnessing every ounce of drive, passion, and confidence in humanity I contain, I seek to once again attempt the seemingly impossible- promote unity and an alteration of modern protest techniques regarding topics that cause tremendous amounts of blind hatred, extreme polarization, and personal bias between people in a time and place in the world where we need to stick together the most. Taking a step back from my personal feelings about the Israel-Palestine Conflict, the goal I am trying to accomplish is this:
Sparking a publicly unbiased and unpolarized social movement that focuses on facilitating peace, mutual respect, humanity, and most importantly,
sharing the goal of achieving FAIR and JUST Conflict Resolution between Israel and Palestine
Why? Because it is our only choice. No matter how long we hold extreme anger and resentment from events that can’t be undone, all we can actually do now is to keep a cool head and look to the future to see how we can prevent history from rapidly repeating itself tomorrow. Innocent lives are on the line, and the only way to keep them alive is through reasonable steps to resolving the conflict. But by only thinking of the welfare of one side, decision-making becomes completely biased and ineffective. In this highly charged international and political atmosphere that we have in the world at this moment in time, there is no other option but to be reasonable and unpolarized.
And that idea, I have come to find, is true radicalism in this modern age.
So, in an effort to accelerate a just and realistic end to these bloody attacks, and to prevent a larger conflict from forming, my initial goal for encouraging modern protests to focus on Just and Fair Conflict Negotiation is to find ways of reasoning with local communities to unite on the basis of wanting the violence to end. For the benefit of not just Israelis and Palestinians, but of the citizens of the world also, we as supporters must let go of this predominant ‘black-and-white’ mentality and work together to form a cohesive social group- a unified effort to peer pressure both sides of the conflict to not try and ‘win’. There is no ‘winning’ in this situation. This is a modern conflict birthed by thousand-year-old feuds, and although we may never be able to stop it, we as protesters can facilitate an international pressure for a physical truce. For the preservation of all people involved, everyone must accept that in no actual reality will either population leave their homes, or have the land only for themselves, or have a world where there is religious and cultural hegemony, unless it ends with global mass murder or a complete genocide of an entire people. This doesn’t mean that both groups of people are equally at fault, nor are they even in control of what is going on politically. This current conflict is between the Israeli Government and an organization led by Hamas. We need to be realistic about our expectations regardless of our want for ethical idealism. Justice through the established guidelines of International Law takes time and serious work, but it is the only way of executing any liable form of reparation and formation of truly equal rights for the Palestinian people as well as securing the safety of Israeli citizens. Starting with baby-steps to learn how to run, we need to first put our efforts towards encouraging a mutual ‘cease fire’. It is going to be difficult, but if we truly care about the lives of innocent people, that is the first step to work towards if any at all.
In addition, we must also make an initiative to stabilize Palestine from the inside out, by encouraging international medical aid and to enforce efforts towards non-aggressive protection of the Palestinian people stuck in the cross-fire. Recognizing that Hamas is leading an individual militant organization that is not thinking of the welfare of his own people, the average Palestinian cannot be blamed for causing this conflict. In an attempt to break down this organization’s power to instill the safety of both Palestinians and Israelis, we need to provide reliable and secure support for Palestinians ‘on the ground’, discouraging any continued civilian support for Hamas. I wish to also harness alternative forms of protest (petitions, online media, letters to politicians, etc) used by an international force of protesters to put extreme international pressure on the U.S. to END the funding of this proxy, as well as put extreme pressure on the UN to not just hold Israel accountable for its war crimes, multiple breaches of International Law, and its legal and moral need to partake in reparation, but to also aid Palestine in adhering to global standards by making full efforts to actively stop any rogue attack from happening towards Israel.
However ‘unreasonable’ that may seem to some, it is technically, rationally, legally, and logically the only way to begin true efforts towards an end to this mass violence, and to try and prevent any future violence at hand. Israel has already agreed to a mutual cease fire: Many don’t trust their word due to the past, but now being internationally investigated by the UN and other groups on acts of ethnic cleansing, genocide, and brute colonialism- the whole world will be watching, and they will have everything to lose if they don’t (whether you agree with these charges or not). But if Hamas’ militant group cannot be subdued in their efforts to accomplish attacks, Israel will not stop their aggressive defensive/offensive strategies and the U.S. will continue to make excuses to be involved, while real reparation for the Palestinian citizens, the insured safety of the Israeli citizens, and the prosecution of the Israeli Government’s violations of International Law will never be actualized. This would mean a shit-storm of enough global-political outrage across the board to put humanity back into a situation that, frankly, no sane person wants to be in again.
Let’s think about this situation for a moment. With many people world-wide protesting their fury over the asymmetric playing field of this conflict, if peace efforts are not actualized or end up failing it will leave a vulnerability for any group or nation to be the ‘knight in shining armor’ to step in to potentially provide military support with the conviction of helping the Palestinians. But war strategy is war strategy- if full military support is provided, all that means is another player in a proxy. Add that to a cruel reality that if the U.S. still refuses to cut support to Israel (let’s be real for a second, if another nation’s military does actually step in on the other side, our support would turn from tax dollars into troops), and if Iran is still sending indirect support to Hamas, the situation would lead to multiple opposing world powers fueling these two fires- meaning that if this conflict were to internationally and politically escalate, it will open the door to a sanctioned start of a world war.
This is the very real possibility of extreme war developing if we continue to support either side of this conflict without any efforts towards peace and negotiation to leave room for reparation. To support any side of an international conflict, it is crucial to have full situational awareness of the scope of the current global-political atmosphere.
So in our efforts, we need to support reason, not blind emotion.
We need to support non-militant aid and peace efforts, not the perpetuation of hostilities.
For, to do the latter will only encourage death and destruction for many more people than just the Israelis and Palestinians, and will leave EVERYONE in the world with nothing but regret that we hadn’t dealt with it differently.
To be driven by the beliefs, motivations, and successes of every social leader to ever accomplish true change and progress in a world where almost everyone told them that they would fail, we must realize that to be truly progressive is to look forward and recognize that the future doesn’t always have to repeat itself, as long as we all make efforts to challenge our existing behaviors, mindsets, and attitudes.
This blog will document my struggle to accomplish an expression of true peace in a time where no one wants to let go of their fixed mindsets that a resolution to this conflict is not possible, thus unintentionally perpetuating the international support of the hostility and refusal to ‘cease fire’ between Hamas and the Israeli government. This failure can and will inevitably lead to a full blown proxy-to-war between multiple world powers if we don’t all sober up and think rationally about this conflict.
But I can’t do this alone. I am in desperate need of like-minded individuals who stand for these values and will form a team with me to help spread this mindset and support the end of mass bloodshed due to this conflict. If you believe in:
- being unbiased and unpolarized when publicly supporting innocent people stuck in a controversial conflict, regardless of your own personal views on which side you sympathize with
- being a revolutionary, a progressive, a creative and a lover of all human beings
- having allegiance to humanity, justice, and the sanctity of life in the face of war
- joining me to create a true humanitarian effort (no aid money, not even a cent, should go into our personal pockets)
If you are interested in joining this movement and would like to discuss ways of becoming involved, please reblog or share this draft manifesto to help spread the word and contribute to the growth of this movement, and feel free to message me here or email me at email@example.com. I will reply enthusiastically and without hesitation.