Not everyone is apathetic
In response to Chemi Shalev's ‘The occupation: Unavoidable obstacle to a liberal Israel (July 22, 2018)
I often wonder why you don’t print more letters from your readers as I assume that they, like me, feel obligated to respond and express themselves about what is going on in our country.
I don’t believe they are apathetic as Chemi Shalev indicates in his article on the “nation-state law” in today’s paper. Most of the people I speak with are incensed by the implications and the danger this law inflicts on, what we hoped and believed in, our democracy, our respect for the rights of all, the dignity of the individual, and, yes, the future of this country.
Like many, we chose to come to Israel as we believed there should be a safe homeland for the Jewish people. But we also believed that Israel would retain and follow what is written in the Declaration of Independence regarding the status of all of its residents.
Now, we have the nation-state law - The demand that schools not allow representatives of Breaking the Silence and other groups presenting their experiences to the students so that they become aware of the challenges that face them as they mature and reach the age of military service.
In addition, our prime minister has learned from his ‘hero’ how to say one thing one day, and totally do the opposite the next - and this is in regard to surrogate parenting for both men and women. How much longer are we going to have to tolerate this type of racist, undemocratic, uncaring government?
Yes, people hesitate to speak out, because it doesn’t help. Last week there was a huge rally sponsored by “Women Wage Peace.” Did it make a difference? I voice my protest - and will not go about my day to day activities without indicating that I care and others should, too.
Where’s the preschool teacher?
In a preschool, when a quarrel erupts and punches are thrown, the preschool teacher will quickly emerge (we hope), separate the adversaries, and persuade the two sides with logic and pleasantness that it’s a shame for both parties to suffer blows. And that you’d be surprised, kids: Differences can be worked out with agreements and understandings, without fights and fisticuffs. So where’s the teacher on the Gaza border that will put out the flames of the violent dispute that is about to spin out of control? A confrontation that all parties claim they don’t want, while they fan the flames and threaten to deliver the “decisive, aggressive blow,” from which all will emerge again, as in the past, wounded and hurting.
We’ve been through this before, more than once, with the pain and the bereavement and the destruction it brings to both the winners and the losers. The frenzied declarations, curses and threats of the leaders and ministers on both sides truly sound like a preschool class that’s out of control. The only beneficiaries of the escalating conflict are, it seems, the weapons manufacturers, who rub their hands with pleasure whenever declarations and threats turn into fire and smoke.
Where’s the teacher who’ll calm this infantile, stupid and vengeful aggression, which gets ignited again and again by both sides along this suffering border?
Kibbutz Beit Hashita
We didn’t listen to you
In response to ‘Conservative rabbi held for "illegal" wedding,' (July 19, 2018)
Honorable MKs Ayman Odeh and Esawi Frej,
Last week the police arrested Rabbi Dov Haiyun, the rabbi of the conservative congregation in which I grew up, for marrying a couple in contravention of Orthodox rabbinic law. Since I can remember rabbis of the congregation conducted alternative weddings for those who did not want to be subject to institutional fundamentalism, and this is the first time this discriminatory law is being enforced. I did not expect this. No one expected it. We thought, in our innocence, that racism and discrimination would maintain the status quo and focus on you, the Arabs. I regret not having listened to your warnings over the years. What a mistake! We’re smarter now; we need your help. Join the equality protest.
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