Thursday, June 30, 2005

Professor Bill Freedman of Haifa University wrote a letter that has a similar message as the letter that I sent regarding the same article. I agree with every word that he wrote: Regarding "The outcome of contempt" by Yair Sheleg, Haaretz, June 27 Yair Sheleg asks that we join Sheila Shorshan, the bereaved settler, in her request that "the left-wing people come and feel our pain." To some very small extent I feel their pain. Partly because they are being uprooted from their homes, partly because they are being compelled to abandon their ideological fantasy, however ill-conceived. But people are uprooted from their homes in Israel every day, people who are evicted because they cannot pay the rent and who are given no compensation whatever when they are set adrift. I feel their pain far more sharply, though no one, I notice, is asked to. And as for the abandonment of a dream, when the settlers moved in, all who dreamed of a decent, peace-seeking, democratic Israel watched helplessly as the settlers replaced it with a dream of conquest backed by an expansionist nightmare of cruelty, messianic fanaticism and lawlessness. No one ever asked the settlers to "feel our pain," and had we asked, they'd have scorned us with the contempt Sheleg fancifully blames for the settlers' arrogant indifference to all that made Israel a far better place than they have left it. Bill Freedman Haifa

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