Oh Rhetoric, What Have You Done to Me?! by Ranya Fadel, Israel

“Hello citizens, my name is “Politician”, I’m from the “Region” and I have a wonderful vision to present you, and lots of plans to achieve.

imageI promise that I will do this and that; meanwhile, you citizens, promise your leaders that you will follow and obey, because WE, yes, WE are the best nation ever all the other nations want to destroy us! Thus, we should be ready for any attack and stop them. Why?  Because we are the best, we are the strong and the right side, and because they just hate us!! “

And as the Hebrew phrase says: (דיבורים כמו חול ואין מה לאכול =Lots of talk and nothing to eat)

How many times a Politician just came and said something on the media, without checking the facts?! Then we immediately divide into two camps, the ones who worship this great Hero for his charisma and courage, and the other camp that immediately criticizes this stupid politician for being so irresponsible and coward. BUT WAIT… Worshiping him for what and criticizing him for what?

The man DID NOTHING YET! Or… maybe his actions are even contradicting his talk? Did anyone check?

Netanyahu for example, keeps saying that there is no partner on the Palestinian side; but he did sit around the negotiation table with Hamas on Shalit’s issue and with the Egyptian brotherhood party as a mediator between him and Hamas… Erdogan attacked Israel (Rhetorically) very hard (oops it hurts indeed!! 😉 and became a HERO, while he kept the security cooperation with Israel going. Leader X in that Arab country  prevents his citizens from having any kind of contact with Israeli citizens and to avoid “normalization” (God forbids!), and meanwhile he does  cooperate, and goes to secret meetings and develops personal economical partnerships with Israeli leaders. Should I give more examples? Why should it bother us? It’s just about Talk, and as the Arabic phrase says (الحكي مفش عليه جمرك=You never pay customs for talk)

I agree! Politicians never pay the price, but prices should be paid at the end;n who does?? WE DO, the simple people who has faith, and acts according to what we hear because we are surrounded by a veil of emotional Rhetoric. In addition, who are we to criticize the Leader or say something different?  We know nothing, we just receive what our politicians say and sometimes even play the role of punishers of the ones criticizing. Emotions are always true no matter if they rely on real facts.

Our leaders, countries and the world are moved from peace to war status sometimes only through Rhetoric, and lets all remember the Iraqi war. The reason given was that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction;  Americans believed that story because their leaders kept repeating it!

How come we, the people don’t realize the danger of taking  rhetoric seriously? Didn’t the leaders learn how to drive our emotions, using sometimes media to turn us into slaves? And how come we, the people, are so blind and don’t really see how much this rhetoric doesn’t fit their actions and almost contradicts them? Are we that stupid?

I think that rhetoric is sometimes even worse than actions. Even leaders might agree with me, but for different reasons. They apparently think that their enemies rhetoric might reflect the reality in their camp, and so that they should be careful and develop an opposite rhetoric.For me, rhetoric could be more dangerous than actions because I think that all politicians use it to make us keep being busy with that outside monster that will come one day and eat us.

Before we invest ourselves so completely and emotionally in this rhetoric, I suggest we take a step back, breathe deeply for a second, and try to look at things from a different perspective. In the sea of political and economic interests, of nation alliances and animosities, these rhetorics are like foam on the water; sometimes they are in line with the leaders interests and then used as propaganda, sometimes they oppose their interests and then are only empty shells, while their actions speak otherwise; and always they feed into the ugly concoction of a detached discourse that claims to be the be-all end-all.

Yes, rhetoric is what moves us, and yes there can be a connection between rhetoric and action, but if we don’t start thinking more critically about the sea of rhetoric and the way it works, manipulates, and spreads, we might as well drown in it.

Rania Fadel, Israel

YaLa Young Leaders

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