Many celebrities and famous figures in the West do not hesitate to talk about their suffering in the past because it carries free sympathy and absolute bias. The Western media has given the victim model an extraordinary appeal, especially if he or she is of "marginalized" origins; the marginalization here is endless as long as you are from a third-world country. This talk, of course, is not limited to the stars alone but also includes survivors of war. Within the system of "production" of victims, through the narration of personal experiences, who present their plight as a living present rather than a folded past, the West—which pretends to care about human rights—presents itself as the savior of victims and survivors, aloof from the political and social complexities.
The same goes for cinema, specifically festival films. The artist's presentation of the ugliness and crises of his environment cannot be separated from this perspective, because the latter feels that he contributed to solving this suffering, both individual and social, once he witnessed it. But these magic solutions are offered not only because the "other"—the West—feels guilty but also as a savior, because talking about the circumstances that create the victims means that the journey of misery is most likely over and at the hands of this other (the western one).
“This double standard in position goes hand in hand with the voices of non-religious academics, such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, who have been telling us that religious discourse is the main driver of all wars, while at the same time none of them feel embarrassed or hesitate to support the State of Israel, which is based on a religious basis, and cover up its crimes that have been going on for days in Gaza.”
Since at least the 1960s, American cinema has presented heroes who are victims of their Western societies. The negative symbols of the American dream have become widespread in cinema and literature. With the increasing popularity of American independent cinema as well as literary and social countercultures, the promises associated with the American dream—of unlimited economic potential, social justice, and individual freedom—were increasingly portrayed as false and deceptive. However, the new millennium, with its political disasters, has provided rich material for the extension of these artistic genres, but with victims from outside this geography. It is true that there are many films about the experiences of American soldiers as victims of their government's policies that have engaged in reckless wars, but there is always a higher purpose that prevents the language of absolute condemnation.
Western Academies Controversy
Nowadays, the division between East and West is associated with this humanistic discourse, where the West is portrayed as the last stop, in which the victim stops to talk about his suffering, which ended with his arrival on the other side of that unjust and desolate world, which is the East. This narrative does not say that this survivor may have been a victim of an American occupation in Iraq or Afghanistan or an Israeli settlement in Palestine.
The controversy raging in the corridors of Western academies in the late eighteenth century about the division of the East as the "soul" and the West as the "mind" was in much Western literature, but today this division has become a foregone conclusion. The East is no longer, as it seems, fit or qualified for the mind (due to civil wars and constant conflicts), nor for the soul (due to persecution of minorities and other religious violations). Accordingly, there has been talk about the West’ humane and the East’ savage," without concern for the regional and international players in making and perpetuating wars. In Yemen, for example, the United Nations humanitarian bargaining and the politicization of humanitarian issues enabled the Houthi coup group (Ansar Allah) to take power, as it continued to deal with the political dossier from an economic aspect only, even if the case required complicating the Yemeni crisis by dealing with it according to a humanitarian logic, considering that it is a humanitarian famine and not a political crisis caused by what was, and still is, a backward religious group that the United Nations contributed to enabling it in power. Despite the West's humanitarian bargaining and the deepening of political crises, it is clear that the West's "humane" image cannot be touched, but this remains part of an integrated system that works catastrophically.
Moreover, the current events in Gaza today reveal the falsity of this image of the West, which supports freedoms and enables victims to talk about their tragedies. The Western media has been ignoring for days—as has been the case for decades—the crimes of the Israeli occupation, which did not exclude neither children nor women in its bombing of Gaza City. These massacres expose the West's involvement, not only by muzzling and suppressing the voices of the victims but also by being a major participant in creating their tragedy and by silencing them from talking, only because the tragedy is not an Arab-Arab conflict.
Duplicity in the Discourse about Experiences
This double standard in position goes hand in hand with the voices of non-religious academics, such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, who have been telling us that religious discourse is the main driver of all wars, while at the same time none of them feel embarrassed or hesitate to support the State of Israel, which is based on a religious foundation, and cover up its crimes that have been going on for days in Gaza. In this regard, Harris justifies these crimes on the grounds that all human wars are morally indistinguishable, thus echoing the Western narrative that Hamas uses civilians as human shields and ignoring that the genocide is against the Palestinians themselves, not Hamas, while Hopkins stated in a tweet that Hamas's attack on Israelis is a barbaric act. The same is true of the famous psychologist Jordan Peterson, the author of the book "Maps of Meaning: the Architecture of Faith," about religious beliefs and their role in inciting genocidal motives. However, upon the first Israeli bomb in Gaza, he wrote: "Throw them into hell, Netanyahu; enough is enough." As the falsity of the Western image is revealed daily, whether in support of victims or freedoms, the incitement rhetoric against the Palestinians, who are experiencing the worst humanitarian catastrophe under the eyes of the world, is escalating.
This brutal war in Gaza makes us able to understand how mass massacres and historical genocides took place in the past without anyone moving a finger, because there are always justifications for all these practices. Despite the insistence of the Western discourse on speaking in a legal and human rights form, it is committed to supporting and empowering the victims, provided that the perpetrator is from third-world countries. Once the identity of the perpetrator changes, the West turns from a station for victims to talk about their experiences and suffering to a witness, observer, and key participant in their suffering.