This Land is your land, This Land is my land…

What’s happening right now in Israel is awful. But I’m not sure what is to be done about it. Both sides are behaving very badly, and have been (off and on) since the nation of Israel was founded.

The situation in Israel right now is like infidelity. You can explain it. But it doesn’t excuse it.

I wrote something a few years ago that I like. Here’s the quote that resonates:

Last week North Korea tested long range ballistic missiles. The United States and others protested. But when the United States models for the world that one can only rely on ones own country, it is folly not to expect other countries to follow our example. We have created a world in which the ability to rely on only ourselves has become not a security strength, but a weakness. We set a bad example.

We’re talking about a plot of land that’s actually slightly smaller than New Jersey. And within that, we’re dealing with a first world nation living in Hoboken, and a 3rd world nation trying to emerge in Hacensack. Peace ain’t gonna happen that way. And that is just one of many, many, issues with a two state solution.

I don’t blame either side for their behaviour (in a certain way.) But it doesn’t excuse it. What is and has been happening on both sides is in-excusable.

At some point you hope that a stronger partner will lead the couple toward a solution. And it is not unreasonable to expect a country explicitly based on a faith to conduct its affairs on a higher moral plane. Not that that has helped Tibet (I mean the western province of China) much. In the end we’re gonna need some partners to help both sides before a long-term solution will emerge.

Blaming others for violence

I have been thinking about my choreographic project… how to choreograph something about non-violence….

I was chatting with a colleague at work and she told me about her trip to Israel with her mother. Her mom had gotten ill, and they had taken a pilgrimage. When I was a young teenager my grandparents took my family with them to Israel for a week.

We went to a place called Yad Vashem (which Fani is reminding me means ‘hand of god’.) Yad Vashem is Israel’s Holocaust Museum/Memorial. The last room I was in was a large dim room, with a candle burning in the ground. When I left the room, it was back into the bright middle-east sunlight. My grandfather was on the far side of a small open plaza. It was the only time I saw him cry.

image of Yad Vashem

He fled Germany in the late thirties, and met my grandmother – who had fled Austria – in New York city. He lost many friends, and some family. 

He felt so bad for surviving.

I told my colleague this, and we also talked about the woman who cut my hair last week – who was Palestinian. I felt this flare of  embarrassment when I identified myself as jewish to the hairdresser.

We need to stop blaming other people for violence. It’s important that we accept the challenge of opposing violence. I’m still not sure how to go about it, but I think a way for me to address non-violence would be to create some dance that asks us (the dancers) to stop blaming others for violence.