I never know what to think about Israel. Partly it’s ignorance. Partly it’s my mixed heritage and the angst I feel about what I *should* be thinking as a half- (technically entirely-) Jewish, thoroughly liberal American. I have friends and family with deeply-held, passionately-expressed, 180-degree opposite views on the subject. Over the past week, one friend posted to Facebook at picture of a person wrapped in a red and green flag with the caption “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty,” while my dear cousin posted a link to “Friends of the IDF.”
Leave it to Dahlia Lithwick — the only person who could make reading about Antonin Scalia enjoyable — to say it perfectly. Writing from her sabbatical in Jerusalem (emphasis added, as we say in the law biz):
I don’t know how to talk about what is happening here but it’s probably less about writers’ block than readers’ block. It says so much about the state of our discourse that the surest way to enrage everyone is to tweet about peace in the Middle East. We should be doing better because, much as I hate to say it, the harrowing accounts of burnt-out basements and baby shoes on each side of this conflict don’t constitute a conversation. Counting and photographing and tweeting injured children on each side isn’t dialogue. Scoring your own side’s suffering is a powerful way to avoid fixing the real problems, and trust me when I tell you that everyone—absolutely everyone—is suffering and sad and yet being sad is not fixing the problems either.
You want to hear about what it’s like here? It’s fucking sad. Everyone I know is sad. My kids don’t care who started it and the little boys in Issawiya, the Arab village I see out my window, don’t care much either. I haven’t met a single Israeli who is happy about this. They know this fixes nothing.
Thank you, Dahlia.