– “So how are you doing these days? Is your family OK? Are they safe”? I am being asked frequently in the past week here in New York City.
– “Yes, they are safe. You see – the missiles are only in the south of Israel, or in the north, and Jerusalem is in the middle”.
Yes, they are safe. But very near them people are starving, dying, being buried under the ruins of their houses. People have lost their mothers, their brothers, their sisters, their fathers. They have lost all hope, all freedom. They have lost all faith that anyone in the world would care.
For generations we Israelis said to ourselves: “we have no choice. This is our only country. We have nowhere else to go. If we do not kill, we will get killed. If we are not strong, we will be stepped over”. This paranoia mixed with aggression is a normal behavior in Israel. The way of war is the mainstream. Every politician who was not a general is mistrusted. But actually – everyone is mistrusted, since anyone might turn out to be your enemy. Some Americans are impressed with that tendency, they call it ‘maturity’. But this is the opposite. This is fear and blindness to others. This state of mind that seems so natural in Israel, from my studio in New York City seems completely sick. Israel is not going to disappear. Why does it act like it is fighting for survival while in fact it is killing innocent people for pure political reasons? How can millions be blind to that? I am ashamed to be part of a nation that carries such a heavy psychological defect with it for 60 years. The defect of destroying others, while truly believing this is ethical and right. The defect of depriving normal life from Palestinians, as well as any sense of humanity, and fighting against them as if they were all terrorists – all of them. This is unbearable to me.
I can already hear voices in my head saying – but they do the same. Suicide bombers are killing innocent people. Hammas is throwing missiles on Israeli homes. The fear is real. But I still cannot accept it. I still believe we, as human beings, can do better than that.