Friday, August 21, 2009

Israel, First Thoughts

I just got back from a trip to Israel and the West Bank and I am finding myself afraid to write anything on my blog. When it comes to Israel all rational debate seems to evaporate and emotion takes over. I'm afraid to write about anything, knowing the issues that govern all of society there are based on a complicated history that I only know a little bit about. I am afraid to make sweeping generalizations and be wrong about some aspect of what I say and have someone jump on me for it.

I HATE this feeling. Its why I have avoided this area for so long. I generally try to be a rational observer of places I visit. I go on trips where I meet many different voices and sides of an issue and then I try to share what I hear with all of you. Of course I come at issues from a certain point of view, but I enjoy reasoned debate and frank conversations. I don't like feeling bullied to be quiet. I have observed many people before me make a comment or two and been verbally beaten into submission by voices that don't necessarily make sense but definitely are louder and block others out.

I know many of you enjoy my observations so it would not be fair to not write them down and for those who don't like what I have to say, please go easy on me. Some of my best friends are Jewish (wink wink). Really. Gosh, even my dad and step dad and just about all my neighbors... I don't want to be written off as anti-semetic. Perhaps its because I see the wonderful liberal Jews on the Upper West Side who have spent their lives working for justice and I know Israel could be a different place if those were the ideals that formed the basis of the Israeli government's philosophy.

So now I will speak...

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