Thursday, July 17, 2014


Is it possible to stay silent about the current déja-vu events in Israel and Palestine? A wave of emotion rises up in my throat when I see the news. Some of this emotion is raging indignation but mostly it is despair at this apparently unending cyle of revenge/retaliation. All I can imagine as a solution is a totally unrealistic, impossible scenario in which both sides, en masse, fall to their knees and beg forgiveness of each other, embrace and weep together, then work out their differences and find a peaceful solution, person-to-person. And then the wall would fall.

Like I said, totally unrealistic.

Meanwhile in today's  I (the Independent's daily briefing newspaper) there is a note by Mira Bar-Hillel, an outspoken Israeli-born British journalist (reviled by those who see anti-semitism in anyone who doesn't agree with Israeli policy and actions) which I'm copying below in its entirety since she knows the Situation much better than I do and can express herself better.

Beth in cassandra also addressed this subject on 11th July in a moving and articulate post. If you haven't already read it, go there now.

UPDATE: And check out these 3 excellent links which Lucy posted at Box Elder:

9 questions about the Israel-Palestine conflict you were too embarrassed to ask

11 crucial facts to understand the Israel-Gaza crisis

Israel's Gaza invasion is all about tunnels


Rain Trueax said...

I wrote about this today in my rant blog for the same reason. I just don't know how we fix it especially we who are not there and have no say in it and yet feel the pain of these losses and the tragic, seemingly senseless deaths.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Rain, I read your post on this topic and, while I completely disagree with the person you quoted, I share your sense that whatever opinions or discussions we may have, safe in our comfort zones, they have no effect whatsoever on the tragic events and policies taking place on that stage.
All we can do is try to cultivate compassion and jutice in our own hearts.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

I meant justice not "jutice", of course.

Rain Trueax said...

I think so many of us wish there was an answer. This last killing of those four little boys hits home in a way that it should with everyone-- Jew or Muslim. It's just shocking what can be done in the name of religion or possession of land. We are facing the same kind of moral question in this country with the immigration issue. Life is sure not simple these days

I should add I always read your blog even when I don't comment. What you say here is always worth considering as you lead the creative life and you share what that's about. :)

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Much appreciated, Rain.

Tom said...

I also read what was said by Rain Trueax's correspondent and found that she had made some valid points. Agreement or disagreement wasn't the issue. What bothers me is that with such an emotive issue, there is a tendency to take the line - at least with some people - that "because I feel so strongly about this issue, you must not disagree with me."

Much as I like Beth, and I really do, I was a little disconcerted to discover that if one took a particular line of argument, the comments would be closed. In effect, we risk falling into the same kind of mire that dogs both sides of the Israeli/Gaza problem.

History plays a very big part in all these altercations, including how we have treated the Jews for centuries. Not being a member of a persecuted people, I have no idea how that could affect the way I deal with the world.

Whilst I would claim that we are responsible for our actions, but not their outcomes, a little wisdom might indicate the kinds of likely outcome that could arise from our actions. So why continue to lob rockets into Israel? The logic - if logic there be - fails to register with me.

In the end, regardless of how we may feel about what is going on, we need to keep our sticky fingers out of other people's business. To do otherwise is a singular lack of respect for the parties involved. And is that not a charge that has already been laid at the doors of the parties in the Israeli/Gaza conflict? The best that we can do is to stand ready to give respectful assistance and comfort for them all, when eventually the whole sorry mess is solved. And it will be, one way or another.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Tom, thanks for your view on this thorny subject. To engage in a comment-box discussion about all the convoluted political and moral issues involved would be not only beyond my ability but also useless. Thankfully there are quiet, unsung, non-violent groups of people working behind the scenes to try and find peaceful solutions to this tragic ongoing conflict. To them, whoever and wherever they may be, I send my prayers.

Adam said...

Natalie, I see no other future except escalating, heavy assault by the Israelis, ending in a flattened Palastine. I can't see any world powers or group of powers working to stop this. I think USA strongly supports the Israeli people (the USA Jewish lobby), Russia would not want to get involved I don't think, China - no.

So - domination by Israel, that's what I see happening. After god knows what slaughter and wreckage.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Adam, I fervently hope your prediction is wrong. Israel's government policies are not necessarily reflecting all the Israeli people's views and wishes. And many Jewish people in the U.S. and other countries are appalled by the current (and previous) slaughter and ongoing injustice of the Occupation. May those quieter voices prevail!

Adam said...

Natalie, I was overly glum I think - there may be a strong enough move from the UN in due course to halt this. Let us hope so.

Dominic Rivron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Conflicts like this desperately need the voices of dissenting insiders like Mira Bar-Hillel. They offer one of the few chances a voice of reason has to be heard.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Dominic, I fear that the voice of reason, wherever it comes from, is drowned out by the sounds of war, anger and hatred.