Friday, March 18, 2011
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.
Posted by Bert at 10:39 AM