I continue to read articles and surf the web for lectures to help me understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I don't want to have a kneejerk reaction, or to live in extremes like some friends. To quote an Israeli I talked with on Friday, "Just remember, we're right and they're wrong. That's all you need to know." Granted, when he told me how he was told not to shoot at someone ready to kill him because there were kids in a nearby window, it did give me pause. Of course, Israel must remain strong and defend itself. But it never occurred to me to think of Jews as colonizers. We built a miracle, an incredible homeland on top of the homes of others. What were we thinking? Did anyone even notice? Are we the bad guys as some other friends claim? And what of the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions)? Is that too extreme? Could I even consider aligning myself with some who are basically anti-Semites?
I'm reading Ari Shavit's lyrical, highly readable memoir/history, 'My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel.' A senior correspondent for Haaretz, here is a talk he gave at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC.
The best camera is the one you actually have with you. And better a blurry picture than none at all. In the Carmel Hills the first night in Haifa, my husband's cousins took us up over the bay. I pulled out the cell phone and snapped. Our relatives are still unharmed but visiting a place, you run the movie in your head when you hear the news reports. You remember the feel of the warm Tel Aviv sand on your bare feet during brunch on the beach. You remember walking the coast to Jaffa and the cafe/political book store that hosts talks with both Israelis and Palestinians. And the liberal in you wonders how you would feel if you heard sirens while caught in an LA traffic jam on the 405.
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