New on the Jewschool ‘board of posties’, this one is beamed from Cambodia. And no, there isn’t a synagogue yet; actually even Hebrew menus are yet to be etched on the tourist trail… I wish to thank Mobius for the invitation to this circle. It is quite possible that my views are off-beat for some of the regular attendees (though by no means I hold them in solitude – thanks God for that), so I hope any argument or discussion born herewith will stream in good spirit and generous celebration of differences, and want to profess I only mean to get to the bottom of things to the best of my ability and that I come in peace and for peace of mind. To err is human, and to argue is Jewish no doubt.
“Things that you see from there, you cannot see from here” was a song I grew up with, never thought it would be my daily reality. I spent my later teens and army service as part of the great Zionist expansion of the late 70th and 80th. During my army service, my Nachal Gar-in was destined to one of the two kibbutzim later uprooted from Sinai; and we were one of the first groups to set up the settlement of Bdolach near Rafah (of course, we called it by the Hebrew name – Raffi-ach and saw no irony in that). We used to go down, quite casually armed and dressed (part of the unit’s pride those days) and stroll like the Paritz downtown on our way to buy a falafel, or a baklava. 18 year old royalty in full and shabby regalia: what I find most baffling, in light of the years and the distance travelled since, is not that it did not occur to me I should question my right to stroll thus, but that it did not occur to me I had the right to question at all.
This picture has landed in my cyber door step few days ago. These are young monk-novices, most likely in Thailand, and the Hebrew poster says – “We are against the eviction as well”. (better translation anyone? – I can’t find a good word for âéøåù). It is probably a little too late to comment. Water under the bridge, or maybe sand under the bulldozer’s tracks is more appropriate a phraze. But to me it is a symbol of one of the tenets of this later fundamentalism setting into our collective spirit. We could, should and would use anything to justify our position. We don’t ponder to deeply, and never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
The Buddhists monks in the picture are unsuspecting partners in this autosuggestion of persecution and strife. I doubt that any of their Buddhist values would have prompt them to take the Israeli side in justice, though their training would have emphasized compassion to all those who are troubled, be their angst real or construed. From here, the one that really stood out as incongruent and abusively false, were the teenage girls, orange patches pinned to chest, walking with raise hands and shrieking hysterically.