Friday, March 18, 2011

Genuine sorrow

It has been quite a sad and violent week. Libya, Japan, and the despicable terror attack in Itamar, it's impossible to 'absorb' so much sorrow and destruction. As a father and a Jew my first and main sympathy obviously has been for the Fogel family of Itamar. More than anything else I have felt a profound sadness for the loss of the lives of two young parents and their three children, and for the fact that their surviving children have become orphans. No matter how much love and help they receive from the friends and members of the family, their parents won't be there at any of the oh so many important moments in those children's lives. When I heard some of the reactions of politicians and others who care more about their personal, ideological and political interests than about anything else, it seemed to me that insanity and blindness have taken control here like they have ruled some other countries in the region for decades. One of the things that I think often, whenever there is a major terror attack, is that if something terrible like that happens to you or to your loved ones, it must be awful when politicians and other interested parties turn your personal grief into a national(ist) issue and try to use that grief to further their political and ideological agendas. Thank G'd that some sanity can still be found in Israel as well. I heard the moving words of the brother of the murdered father of the family, and read several well written articles that echoed the spirit of those words (most of them, not surprisingly, in Haaretz; read these pieces by Ari Shavit, Nehemia Strassler, Akiva Eldar, Yossi Sarid, Carlo Strenger 1 + 2, Bradley Burston, Alon Idan, and Yitzhak Laor ). For some reason I believe that after contemptible acts of terror such as the one in Itamar, people like me and like the writers of those articles are much more stricken with true and honest grief than opportunists and warmongers like Eli Yishai (whose vow "1000 housing units for every one of the five victims" was just one more example of the cheap and disgusting populism that is leading us from disaster to disaster) and Bibi Nethanyahu, who live and prosper by the grace of terror and of the tyrannies that surround us. I even tend to believe that Abu Mazen's condemnation of the attack was more sincere and heartfelt than the words of a man like rabbi Yishai.

4 comments:

Shoshana van Tijn said...

To say that Eli Yishai and Bibi "live and prosper by the grace of terror" and that Abu Mazen's condemnation of the attack is "sincere and hearthfelt" is in my opinion putting things upside down. How "sincere" is Abu Mazen when townsquares and summercamps in the PA are named after murderers of Jews and Jewish childern?

Bert said...

Unlike Eli Yishai, Abu Mazen did not try to score political points after the vicious attack, by making cheap and populist remarks that are devoid of any actual or substantial content. I do believe him when he condems such attacks, mainly because they hurt him much more than they hurt Bibi or Mr Yishai, who - I do believe that - gain politically every time it is 'proven' that there is no partner for peace. And by hurting I do not mean that he personally cares about the victims, but that those attacks weaken him. Which is good news for the current Israeli government, because they prefer - and believe they are much more able - to deal with Hamas than they are with more pragmatic Palestinians. And no, I am not saying that Mahmoud Abbas is a saint, or a friend of the Jews, or whatever, but as long as Israel keeps on looking for a Palestinian leader who will qualify for an honorary membership of the Word Zionist Organization, and refuses to acknowledge that it has to (make a) deal with either Fatah or Hamas (or worse), things will only continue to get worse. And once again, I keep on saying it, time is not working in our favor, it hardly ever has.

Shoshana van Tijn said...

As long as Fatach and Hamas don't recognize us as a Jewish state and keep raising their children with hate towards us I'm not looking as far as looking for a Palestinian leader who qualifies for a honourly membership of the WZO, but for one who has the courage to make a real change in their policy and do something useful for their own people instead of blaming us for their poor economy and their misery. Yesterday they shot 10 projectiles from the Gazastrip to the Western Negev, today 49! Of course no paper abroad mention these items.

Bert said...

'They' means Hamas and other extremist/nihilist Palestinians, Abu Mazen has not launched (or ordered to launch) anything in our direction for ages. Again, mainly because he knows that such acts hurt him more than it hurts our own so-called leaders. That does not turn him into a friend of us, but it is important to realize and stress the difference between him and his much more extremist fellow-Palestinians. When it comes to leaders' courage and wisdom, I think that Abbas and Nethanyahu are more or less on the same level, Bibi certainly does not beat him in that field of expertise.