THE WORLD IS SO SMALL these days that you never know who might be reading you — including the families of those aboard the Gaza flotilla.
If that’s the case, then please let me apologize in advance. I am very sorry, sincerely and sadly and non-ironically, that your friends and relatives were injured and/or killed trying to support a tragic cause. I have a fondness for tragic causes; one might say that defines a Jew. But this cause is tragic because it is wrong.
Granted, “wrong” is a subjective term, often misapplied. (For example, it’s sometimes been said of me.) But from my little knot of spacetime consciousness:
It is wrong to aid those who have sworn to murder me and mine (or anyone else for that matter).
It is wrong to seduce non-violent people to a violent cause by feigning non-violent resistance.
It is wrong for feigners of non-violent resistance to complain when their lie is uncovered. (I’m talking about the organizers here — I have no doubt that many in the flotilla have a Ghandi-like non-violence, which is weird to me given their sympathies).
It is wrong to force people to kill you in self defense.
And it is wrong, very wrong, to kill civilians. Sometimes it’s evil, like when you shoot rockets and mortars at their schools, homes and shopping centers on a daily basis, or blow yourself up in their pizzerias and discos. Sometimes it’s tragic, like when well-intentioned people are cynically exploited by those more interested in racking up sympathy deaths than in peace. Sometimes it begs the question of “civilian.”
But it is always wrong — and wrong in a watching-a-slow-motion-auto-accident way that can twist your heart around trying to make it right. May the G?d who sees past our hatreds, prejudices and self-created madness, to the possibility of what we might become once we quit micturating on each other’s footwear … well, now would be a good time. Can’t think of a better one, in fact.
(PS: I have nothing else to say about this, and nothing to defend, but feel free to excoriate or cheer this piece as desired. I forgive both in advance.)
Thank you, Neal. I can’t begin to understand all the emotions because of my ignorance, but reading this helped.
Reminds me of the pre-Internet days when I wrote postcards of apology for the Gulf War to all my non-US postal art friends.
“Not good for anyone” is exactly right…everybody loses.