The dog and I

I have a dog. I’ve almost always had a dog. Big dog, small dog – no matter – I’m rather good at training dogs. Dogs, you see, are basically quite like humans. You tell a dog to “sit”, and the dog will sit. You tell the dog not to sniff the neighbour’s shoes – “the neighbour kicks”, you say – and it will not sniff the neighbour’s shoes. You tell the dog to bite the neighbour, and it’ll bite the neighbour.

The News tells us humans that Putin wants to conquer all of Europe, and we docilely repeat to each other that Putin wants to conquer all of Europe. “Egad!” we say, “have you heard? Putin wants to….” The News tells us that Hamas is fighting a holy Jihad against Jews and Christians, and we, of course, docile as we are, treat Hamas accordingly: as monsters.

In much of our Western world, being “good”, “upright”, “just” means considering everybody else morally inferior. Our norms, our values, our holy cows are of course the norms, the values and the holy cows that all of humankind must adhere to and venerate. Their norms, values and holy cows are inferior and must be annihilated, by force if necessary. Rule of law, you know. Just like dogs. (“My rules, you fool!”) Headline: “Big husky kills toy poodle”. From the big dog’s point of view, the toy poodle was superfluous. The world can do without. (The philosophical range of a big dog is no greater than that of a small dog.)

You also find vociferous small dogs baring their teeth, yapping their heads off at big dogs. Why do they do it, I wonder? As a warning, I guess: “I may be small, but believe me, I can bite!” And because they have a big human at their side: “You touch a hair on my head, and my human will report you to the police and have you killed, so there!” Indeed, if I pick up that little nuisance of a toy-sized dog next door that barks hysterically every five minutes – pick it up by the scruff of its neck and shake it till its teeth rattle, I’ll be reported to the police.

And some dogs bite, just as some humans. Big dogs, small dogs. Their philosophical range isn’t much greater than that of your average human: They believe what they’re told to believe. Each dog is convinced that its master is the best of all masters. So do most humans. If the master tells the dog that the neighbour kicks, the dog will believe the neighbour kicks. The statement “my master’s enemies, are my enemies.” applies to dogs and humans alike, though most humans don’t seem to realise that they have masters. “We just listen to the News,” humans say, “we just consider the facts“.

Morally, however, most dogs are far superior to the people at the top of the human food chain. Being at the top of the human food chain essentially means being willing to employ every underhanded trick in the book, crossing every red line – you know, those famous red lines that humans, as opposed to dogs, seem unable to remember – to stay there. Humans at the top of the food chain are geared only to stay at the top of the food chain, whereas the rest of us normally want to go about our business in peace. We don’t want to kick our neighbours, but we try to defend ourselves if our neighbours kick us.

Humans at the top of the food chain unleash considerable resources to distort narratives that expose the venality of their actions. The News has repeatedly told us that Hamas are monsters. Yes, Hamas committed horrendous crimes against humanity on October 8, but if you beat a creature long enough, hard enough, viciously enough, that creature – be it lion, kitten, dog, human or mother nature itself – will rise like a tsunami to kill you.

The News did not alert us to how the Palestinians have been treated worse than dogs for decades and decades and decades. The News did not tell us that Hamas wanted peace for the Palestinian people, peace and dignity.

This was Hamas in 2017:

28. Hamas believes in, and adheres to, managing its Palestinian relations on the basis of pluralism, democracy, national partnership, acceptance of the other and the adoption of dialogue. The aim is to bolster the unity of ranks and joint action for the purpose of accomplishing national goals and fulfilling the aspirations of the Palestinian people.

29. The PLO is a national framework for the Palestinian people inside and outside of Palestine. It should therefore be preserved, developed and rebuilt on democratic foundations so as to secure the participation of all the constituents and forces of the Palestinian people, in a manner that safeguards Palestinian rights.

30. Hamas stresses the necessity of building Palestinian national institutions on sound democratic principles, foremost among them are free and fair elections. Such process should be on the basis of national partnership and in accordance with a clear programme and a clear strategy that adhere to the rights, including the right of resistance, and which fulfil the aspirations of the Palestinian people.

31. Hamas affirms that the role of the Palestinian Authority should be to serve the Palestinian people and safeguard their security, their rights and their national project.

My emphasis,

Say what you will, but this is not the Hamas “the News” told us about. This is not the “facts” we have been repeating with deference ever since we graduated from nursery school. “The News” obeyed its masters and failed the rest of us. The damage done by “the News” that obeyed its masters can never be undone.


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