Babbler # 3192
posted 12 February 2003 09:04 PM
I found this interesting, partly in relation to the story on Lerner (Tikkun being his organization, I presume that he agrees with its basic message), but also as an analysis from within rather than outside Zionism.
Long before I went to Israel, my mother would bring out a rolled up poster of a Palestinian youth. Without saying a word, she would unroll it and hold it up. It showed a very young man lying in the road in a pool of his own blood. This image had caused a major family breakdown when she showed it to her brother, who stormed out without saying goodbye and didn't speak to her again for years. On another occasion, there was an even more violent scene with the father of an old high school friend of mine. My mother unrolled the poster, he jumped up from the couch, raised his fist at her, and stormed from the room. Before slamming the door behind him, he shouted back: "This time, Rose, you've gone too far. Next thing, you'll be calling Israeli soldiers…." Here he caught himself, but couldn't hold back. "You'll be calling Jewish people who defend their lives…." Another break, and then, finally, the unthinkable word: "You'll be calling us fascists."
Slam. My friend and I looked at my mother in shock, amazed to find her silent and unperturbed. Between us, between my mother and myself, I was the one still practicing blindness. Where my mother saw martyrdom, victimization, tragedy in the image of the fallen youth, I saw a dangerous enemy stopped short in his effort to destroy our people. My friend's father, who lived in constant dread of Jewish annihilation, may have seen a necessary vengeance, an image of justice. I don't know what my friend saw. I drove her home in silence and we never met up with one another again. My mother, for her part, never said a word. When I stared at her she merely narrowed her eyes and looked back with an expression that implied: "Am I afraid of a word? Am I going to let a word keep me from seeing?"
This paragraph, in context, brought me to tears:
We will not let it happen again. But this claim, which seems to point exclusively into the future, is also yoked to our inability to accept the past. By keeping the past alive, by living it all over again, we attempt to alter it. Hidden within the militant "never again," is the anguished, impossible cry: "It will never have happened."
[ 12 February 2003: Message edited by: Smith ]
From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002
| IP: Logged