Ok, so I didn’t link to last week’s piece for Haaretz and now it’s nearly not even this week anymore! And in the meantime there’s been another Forward piece. I’m not a very serious wonk, am I.
Ok – to the words!
Why we must raise the alarm about settler violence
It’s easy to know nothing about events that disturb us. We talk a lot about how technology allows the siloing of information, but it’s always been easy to skip bad news. How hard is it to turn off the radio?
I would even argue that to a certain degree, our capacity for ignorance is a gift, because immersing ourselves in the news is often to immerse oneself in despair – and despair can be debilitating.
But much as ignorance can be a gift, we must also be honest about its costs. Ignorance that has calcified, that serves as a wall rather than an occasional reprieve, is treacherous, particularly if we value democracy. When the disturbing events touch what we hold dear, ignorance takes from our hands the ability to respond usefully and play an active role in protecting democracy’s future.
In Israel and among those who care deeply about the Jewish state, one of the most endemic forms of political ignorance concerns the settlements and their residents.
to read more, please click through to Haaretz.
Why Are We Ignoring Palestinian Nonviolence?
The Jewish and Israeli press is quick to report any and all Palestinian violence against any Jew, anywhere. Which makes sense, of course. Israelis and Palestinians are at war, Jews everywhere have a dog in the fight, violence is deplorable, et cetera and so on.
But, by contrast, there’s a marked reticence to report on events that show Palestinians actively engaged in nonviolent forms of protest, like last week’s little-noted “protest village,” Ein Hijleh, established by hundreds of activists to protest Israeli annexation plans in the Jordan Valley. This reticence speaks volumes. Really inconvenient and uncomfortable volumes.
The Jewish and Israeli narratives — the way we talk about who we are and why we’re here (and though they run parallel, these narratives are not the same) — are, like any other cultural narrative, heavy on self-promotion. Jews share a deep and disturbing history of anti-Jewish violence and hate, and we often tell ourselves that this is the only part of our story that matters when we’re looking out into the world. This is the part that tells us everything we need to know.
In this light, our enemies can only be unjustified in their hate; the use of violence defines them and reveals their truest selves; anything else is aberration and cannot be trusted.
to read more, please click through to The Forward.