I woke up to the news about the attack on the Gaza aid flotilla. I’ve been in Israel for about 3 months. I thought I could do it. Now I’m not so sure. I am so sick, disgusted and horrified by the news this morning, that I can find nothing to say. One thing though – I don’t think that I can afford to keep quiet any more about the decades-long abuse of power, the daily oppression and the militant right-wing psychotic policies of Israel any longer.
It’s scary to voice an opinion. One fears violent responses, night-time visits, or simply online attacks for saying what Israelis don’t want to hear: that they are wrong, so terribly, terribly wrong, that they have learned nothing from the past and in the interests of becoming a state have forgotten what it means to be human.
This is stuff I try to engage with in my fiction, not on my blog. I am under no illusions that anything I write can change anything. There is no one to talk to over here. Opinions are parroted endlessly, the news is pure propaganda: Iran is Evil, the Palestinians are homicidal maniacs and everything is done for the protection of the state.
I’ve had enough keeping quiet.
Nothing will change in this country unless people begin to see what they are doing. To themselves, to others. Israel has been losing its humanity for decades in pursuit of a fiction created and nurtured, a fictional history in which Palestinians “escaped” or “left” their homes, in which wars are always someone else’s fault and in which the fanatics of Masada are worshipped 2000 years after they committed mass suicide. Masada is a metaphor for Israel, and the irony is that it is celebrated here.
I should be writing today. I should be completing an interview for SF Signal, going over a just-completed novel, polishing off some short stories, finishing another section on that comics project. Working on the new novel, too. Instead I’m sitting here staring at the screen wondering how I can be here, and what sort of person I’d be if I kept quiet.
What happened this morning is criminal. And if this country had any law, the people responsible for the attacks on the ships would go to trial. But no: the politicians will shout and posture and blame everyone else for starting it, or they’ll blame Iran, because that’s the default response. It’s only a matter of time. A country ruled by generals and corrupt incompetents (former president a convicted sex offender, former prime minister on charges of massive corruption) will not examine itself, will not purge itself of the evil it does.
It will simply blame Iran, or Hamas, or little green aliens.
I’m sick, horrified, disgusted – but not surprised.
I wish I had been.