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While all this merriment of birthdays, weddings and visits has been going on, the world has continued to explode. It’s very hard for me as a half-Jew to write about Israel. I know how many of my American family feel, and even my beloved Jon has not dealt with the situation much.

Yet when my dear friend Bruce looked at the newspaper report of the Israeli bombing of a U.N. school and said, “That’s it. I have to say it – I hate Israel,” I knew just how great and perhaps permanent the damage has been. Bruce is a supremely tolerant person, and yet he is filled with rage and disgust at Israel’s behaviour. And I have to say, I am too. As Rick Salutin says in today’s Star, “It’s not about whether Israel must respond to rockets and tunnels. Personally, I think it must. It’s been the wanton savagery of that response, relentlessly revealed by cameras…”

Wanton savagery. Israel. Can there be a more tragic juxtaposition? And our loathsome government, with its blindly black and white position, makes everything so much worse.



2 Responses to “Israel”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Beth, thanks so much for mentioning this awful tragedy. I feel exactly the same way.

    I've just had a huge fight with my best (Jewish) friend in Toronto over this and now we're not speaking to one another. Because I DARED to criticize, her knee-jerk response was to call me anti-Semitic and pro-Hamas. (Like you, I'm half-Jewish).

    The good news is that not ALL Jews feel this way. There are many who are heartsick over what's happening in Gaza. As you probably know, there are protest groups in Israel brandishing posters that say NOT IN MY NAME.

    Henry Siegman, leading voice of U.S. Jewry, is one of these people. Below is a link of him talking about Gaza and the "slaughter of innocents".

    Happy Birthday, Leo! My mother’s birthday was also on August 1st (as was Yves Saint Laurent).


    Oh, and by the way, love the message you posted (My empathy for the suffering in Gaza…)

    Let’s call on ALL BLOGGERS TO UNITE and post this message on their blogs! I’m going to do it right now.

  2. beth says:

    Juliet, thank you for this heartfelt response. The most terrible thing about the horror there is that a solution seems impossible – that the participants keep digging themselves in deeper and the hatred and killing will simply continue, generation after generation. My book about my great-grandfather describes a time when Jews were the most leftwing, progressive, generous people in the world – it is inscribed in their faith to be thoughtful and to care, even at great personal cost, for the needy. One of the greatest tragedies of our time is that that time, which gave so much to the world, is long gone. But not, as you say, for all Jews. Just for the ones making the political decisions.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

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Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


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