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In praise of unawareness

Sometimes I wish I could be like those whose world is clear and unequivocal. Who can see only black and white. Who know what should be done now. I wish I could say as they do: Wipe out Gaza and bring the kidnapped back. Just like that, in one breath, without noticing the contradiction…

Sometimes I wish I could find strength in seeing an Israeli flag on top of a mosque in Gaza. Celebrate with the soldiers who dance on the rubble of a destroyed city. Be a Jewish woman by the book, kiss a mezuza on the threshold of a house whose Palestinian inhabitants were either killed or expelled.

Life seems easier, definitely bearable, for those who proudly wave Israeli flags in a demonstration against the Israeli government. No, not now. Earlier. Before the war. Because now one mustn’t resist, for our soldiers are exterminating and being killed on our behalf.

What is allowed now? Saying both “Impeachment now!” and “Continue fighting until Hamas is beaten”, without noticing the contradiction.

I want to be someone who does not notice contradictions. Who shouts “Democracy!” but accepts the Nationhood Law.

I want to ache with that lone, justified pain. I want to ignore - indifferently - the death of Gazan children. I want to be very clear and certain of my own world. The complexity of life on this piece of earth has, after all, become unbearable. I want to be indifferent to the suffering of Palestinians in the West Bank, free of the anger and disgust I feel towards settler-colonists. I want all this ugliness to happen far from my eyes, as it did once, three generations ago.

I wish I could be one of the many who wish to get back to the good old Israel. I want to be united with all of that togetherness, for we have no other country. I want to hold on to all that bullshit, to sing old songs and sway to those beautiful patriotic lyrics.

I really want to believe that there is someone up there who knows what to do and is doing it, who will erase the Hamas and bring our kidnapped back, and Netanyahu will go wherever he needs to go, and then we could all sing together again.

But I don’t believe anyone up there. And I can’t stop aching for our own and for the Palestinians’ victims of murder. And I cringe at the waving flag of a state that is occupying, despotic and cruel, the flag which incidentally is the flag of the state in which I was born and where I bore my daughter. The soldiers dancing on the rubble of Gaza disgust me and arouse my helpless rage.

The clearest and most definite thing here is death. Death is the ruler here, not life. Sometimes I want to think, like the many in Israel do, that this is what life is – death. And accept it. Sanctify death, proudly wave the flag and sing those patriotic songs.


In the photos, we see two who always insist on seeing complexity: On the top, the late Vivian Silver, fighting for peace and equality, who was killed by Hamas in her kibbutz Be’eri.

On the bottom: Dr. Meir Baruchin, arrested by the Israel Police for documenting and posting the details on the killing of Palestinians in the West Bank and in Gaza by Israelis, both in army uniform and in civilian clothes.

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