Thursday, December 21, 2017

One year ago (facebook reminded me)

Copied from what I wrote on facebook:
One year ago I saw a video from Syria of a man telling the camera he may not live through the attacks on his city, and it didn't feel ethical to sit idly while these things were happening. I messaged my friend Shir and asked, "do you want to arrange a protest of solidarity with me in the center of Jerusalem?"
That's how it started. We found another female friend - Roni - to organize it with us. Within two days, I got the police permit for it, we started publicizing it on facebook and making signs, and it ended up being the first and largest protest in Jerusalem last year in support of Aleppo which was under attack.
I went into it not knowing many facts about the politics behind the occurences; my brain doesn't process politics in a sustainable way. My only asset was and always is empathy and compassion toward those who suffer. I know that many people (including myself) often see this as a setback, and acting without knowing the backstory may in theory cause more damage. But it was so important to me that I did it anyway.
After we did it, though, I thought: What next? What do we do from here?
I wasn't supported in some of my immediate circles, and in addition, I really didn't know what further to do for the suffering people in Aleppo, and just as I had risen quickly into it, I also disappeared swiftly from the public arena on this issue. I wondered what the importance of a sporadic one-time action was. I wondered what the importance of my own place in that action was - if I so quickly left it because of outer convictions. I never felt like I finished my job there, I kind of just left it all open. I could've gone up to the border with Syria to continue protesting, I could have done other things, but I stopped.
And until today I'm not sure what to think about it. But this photo does make me feel that it was right to stand there with that sign, even if I didn't know what to say to all the people who came to the protest we organized, or didn't know what to say to myself, or didn't really know how a small human being, who doesn't have much capacity for dry knowledge, can help end violence in the world.

Photo by 
Tamar Herzberg-Shoseyov

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