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Just because

January 8, 2013

Just because
you have a nightmare,
doesn’t mean you stop dreaming.
Jill Scott

Dreaming is a risky business. We’ve no control over the sleeping dreams, and the monsters are scary. However, in the waking dreams, we are able also to dream that this fervent winter, plunging forth in new life on hillsides across the land, will bring a national awakening. The weeds lusting up out of the nourishing mud for sunshine, the bulbs thrusting forth their greenery in anticipation of March’s wildflowers. Where will Israel be, come March?

Today, we in Israel have our nightmare. What does “Israel’s current swing to the right” mean? It means that we are adopting norms of hard-heartedness, celebrating the victory of fear over hope. Bibi knows not how to be-be. If he could only for a moment be with the experience of a dispossessed person, a crack in his armor might open. But no, his cumulative message seems to be saying, “Strategize and lie for success, be nobody’s sucker, look good. And fuck’em.” This anthem is conquering my land.

Hate is ossified anger. Anger enlivens, hate kills. Hate justifies behaviors, while anger can lead to closeness. Beneath anger is hurt. Always. We must become the space for each other’s hurt to be given expression. This is peace, the space of giving forth, of gratitude. I recently watched a Palestinian hug an Israeli and urge him to be careful in the army. Anything is possible.

With lies and the devastation of empathy as his shield, my prime minister is destroying the possibility of seeing my grandchildren into the new age of Israel. I am really angry about this. I don’t hate settlers because I don’t like myself hating. But I’m angry at them too. When they built their homes in the West Bank, they knew they had moved to disputed land. Yet now they dispute that it’s disputed. Sorry folks.

There are people across this land who know that settling for less can ultimately yield more. That true strength lies in the ability to give some things up. People for whom getting on with life is more important than being right. We on the left know that harm and dark deeds have been done by both sides. We want to move on. It’s going to demand that we take and give, that we talk to our enemies and humanize them, which will move them toward humanizing us.

We must give up victimhood. We must give up waiting for the next bombing, the next war. It is time to negotiate through to the end, to reach an imperfect solution that will enable living, so that we can finally give ourselves the freedom to turn inward to our schools and lovers and families and factories and relationships and municipalities and get this country up and moving! So that we can get up in the morning looking forward to being part of the revitalizing reality of an Israel realizing itself, finally.


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  1. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

  2. I’m afraid that the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind…….and why is it that the left can’t unify in the face of the impending four more years of fence building rather than peace building?

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