Monday, October 06, 2003
everything is relative
Yesterday I sat and had tea with friends of mine, new immigrants to Canada from Israel who arrived in July.
We were talking about this and that, and of course the conversation turned to the events in Israel, including the recent bombing in Haifa. Both had been to the restaurant that had been destroyed, and were sorry to see it go. As we talked about that, the t.v. was on in the background, and the news was on; in the lull of the conversation we all watched a bit of the news, with the headline being about the two Canadian soldiers who were recently killed in Afghanistan. Did you hear about it? Not likely, if you weren't Canadian. Go ahead, look on No? Skynews? No? Of course not. Now, I could go on and on about how it doesn't matter when a Canadian gets killed, but that's not why I brought this up.

As I sat with my friends I turned to them and remarked about how this was big big news to us here in Canada...we get *very* worked up when our soldiers come back in body bags. First of all, we just aren't a fighting nation, so we are not used to the loss (especially if it's "not our war"). Secondly, it highlighted how badly equipped our army really is. The soldiers had been driving a woefully outdated jeep, not a shiny new Hummer. Still, this is not my point.... (get on with it, I know..I am, I swear)
I said to my friends "it must be amusing to see a nation get so worked up about 2 soldiers killed, when Israel often loses that number or more a day". Now before anyone gets their shorts in a bunch, I am not minimizing the loss. I just remember the reaction of Israel after 9/11...... it was often remarked "now you know how it feels". So when we cry about losing 2 soldiers, I think to god people, open your eyes....that is NOTHING compared to the losses of countries in their struggle for security! Some countries deal with greater losses each and everyday..... it's all part of the bigger picture. (note that I have made no mention of the number of American soldiers that are getting killed nearly everyday in Iraq)

I also asked my friends how it felt to now watch the news about Israel from here, instead of there. Doesn't it feel weird to watch footage from a country you just called home? Even I feel changed since I visited Israel in June....I look at the footage much differently. They kinda shrugged and said they much prefer the news here..... you know, where you hear about the local elections (never any kind of incident there) and maybe a stabbing in a bad part of town (it's sometimes tough to get a gun here, so you use what you can).
Yeah...I can see their point. Our news looks pretty damn tame. And that suits them just fine.

In closing, I hope everyone had an easy fast this year, and I truly do send my sympathies to the families of those fallen soldiers. Your loss is shared.