Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Is the peace movement in Israel dysfunctional?

Part of it? Just like, Yikes! Wow. My God.
'Never mind.' Karim leans into me. 'Let's burn some Jews.'

I'm like, what? I don't know what to say. I need some time. Let's burn some Jews. He has a merry twinkle, the kind of goatee you'd find in Shoreditch, and American hip-hop clothes.

The conversation has moved on slightly. The Jewish woman's spooning up kubbe and smiling again. And I still don't know what to say. OK, now I do. 'I think you meant that as a joke,' I tell Karim, 'but I found it offensive.'

'Why? Are you Jewish?' he says.

'I am, but even if I wasn't, you know, I'd still say it's wrong.'

'But I think it's funny!' the Jewish woman says. 'Don't you see? The power imbalance. Between our two groups. It's funny because of that!'
Via Mira Vogel at GreensEngage. Mira selects several more entries at The Other Side that focus more on the need for and the positive side of the Israeli peace movement. Rather than repeat them, I'm just going to recommend a long look at the blog.

1 comment:

Mira said...

Thanks Ig. The Israeli peace movement, along with the Palestinian peace movement, is the best hope for peace, and they need support. I think Leila is pretty amazing. If you read the blog, you get a sense of the oppressive atmosphere in the occupied territories, the military presence, the ways those who want peace are grappling with their identities as Israelis, Jews, Palestinian-Israelis - and the different ways in which Palestinians and Jews flex against this power imbalance - some futile and corrosive, like Karim there, and others warm and expansive, like Leila herself.