Sunday, August 1, 2010

One Video, Two Vastly Different Pespectives

I received the attached video from a student in Orot with the comment: קצין תותח!!! מגן על העם שלו, סוף סוף יש במי להתגאות, תראו מהמם!!! Loosely translated, this means, "Amazing officer!! Protecting his nation. We finally have what to be proud of. Look at this incredible [thing]." (Israelis write with a lot of slang.)
Clicking on the link led me to the video that you see here - an IDF officer insisting that both Israelis and Palestinians stop planting trees to close to a settlement. What I find so fascinating is that both sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict are now sending links to the very same video. One side tries to show how terrible the IDF is in preventing Arabs from planting trees, and this turns into a pro-IDF pro-settler propaganda video. Just read some of the most recent comments:
גאווה,ככה צריכים להיות כל הקצינים והחיילים.
[What] Pride! This is how all officers and soldiers should be.
איזה חייל מדהיםם...שירבו כמותו בצבא.. אדם שחושב נכון תחת לחץ ולא מפחד להגיד את האמת שלו ושל מדינתו.
What an amazing soldier - that there should be many like him in the army...A man who thinks properly under pressure, and is unafraid to tell his and his country's truth.
When different people look at the same video and see very different things, that to me represents a fundamental split that seems difficult to reconcile. Obviously, I'm with the soldier on this one. The question is, where is most of Israel? With B'tzelem, which posted the video, or the commenters, who like it for the exact opposite reason?