Dark Hope

Why Are We Israelis So Cruel to So Many? We are doing the opposite of ‘what is ‘what is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.’The cruelty is not innate, it is a form of practicing until you become accustomed. To know and be horrified: From where has this Jewish cruelty sprung? It contradicts so much of what we thought about ourselves for generations.

What is reported in Hebrew in Haaretz passes as if it was never written, and it too is just a thousandth of a percent of the acts that the direct descendants of the Jewish refugees from Europe and Arab countries are always carrying out. We have confiscated land from the Palestinians who are citizens of Israel, and are not allocating them other land to build towns? With special joy did we did so and continue to do so.

In a previous  post the great Israeli journalist Amira Hass wrote the above. Since then she did a podcast for Haaretz where she stated  every Palestinian  has a right to remind us that our reality is not normal, 4 million Palestinians  are living under occupation.

“ In between Palestinian rockets and knifings you have hundreds of Israeli  soldiers attack, shoot at fishermen in Gaza, There are israeli  officials who are demollishing homes, who demolish water networks…in between we have 1000s of incidents that comprise the daily lives of Palestinians and are never reported.

As i have constantly stated there are manyIsraelis and Jews of conscience are reisting such cruelty which is omnipresent, deep in Israel, well hidden from tribalists who have not been nor seen this obscene  daily cruelty that hass adverts to and is hardly reported here in our dailies.

One Israeli witness, a favourite of mine is David shulman whose book Dark Hope is a powerful wtiness to this cruelty.

Shulman left  high school in Waterloo, iowa in 1967 decamped to Israel became a medic, learned arabic and is now a foremost authority onthe languages of India. More important he is a righteous Jew.

“I am an Israeli. I live in Jerusalem. I have a story, not yet finished, to tell.” And what a story. in diary form Shulman writes iabout his deeo committment with a volunteer organization composed of Israeli Palestinians and Israeli Jews, called Ta’ayush, an Arabic term for “living together” or “life in common.” 

Ta’yush goes where fe israelis go and where diaspora Jews will not go. If they did it would shake their tribalist worlds. Shulman goes to an area I have visited and heard the horor stories from the natives.some Al-Tawani in the south Hebron Hills where palestinians live in caves and keep goats and sheep  which crazed settlers poisoin and throw down wells.

He writes:

What we are fighting in the South Hebron Hills is pure, rarefied, unadulterated, unreasoning, uncontainable human evil. Nothing but malice drives this campaign to uproot the few thousand cave dwellers with their babies and lambs. They have hurt nobody. They were never a security threat. They led peaceful, if somewhat impoverished lives until the settlers came. Since then, there has been no peace. They are tormented, terrified, incredulous. As am I.

What shocks Shulman is that these people consider themselves religious with theit embroidereed skullcaps and tzizit fringes.

You should be ashamed,” they scream at us. “What kind of Jews are you?” Helpless, angry, I yell back: “I am a Jew. That’s why I am here.”

The author quotes as a motto for his book  a phrase by the Australian-British human rights activist James Mawdsley: “Hell is realizing that one did not help when one could have.”

This book indeed is Dark Hope. Shulman is incredulous about the settlers’ attacks on him and his friends

Why are they hurting us? They should stop and think…here an entire country is doing it, over and over with its soldiers and bureaucrats and politicians and police, causing stupendous pain to so many simple people

By mid-afternoon i am home in Katamon.The contrast shocks me.I am back in the first world of elegant stone houses..My neighbors,many,perhaps most-stand with the settlers and the right. They don’t believe in peace, and what is worst, they are completely and utterly indifferent to the fate of of,for example, Arafat Musa and his house. Arafat Musa is, after all, a Palestinian Arab…-if he is a person of little or no consequence.so why bother about his house.suddenly as often, a terrible loneliness courses through me(p 101)

Shulman’s mother expresses the dark hope of the many Jews of conscience. he quotes her:

  As for the Jews we will get past this period and we shall revert to tzedek,tzedek,tirdof (justice, justice, you shall pursue (Deut 16:20)