Sometimes I fantasize about what would happen if I were to be declared a traitor by the authorities. How would those women with whom I’ve worked for so long react. Now I’m beginning to understand.
By Ruti Lavie (translated from Hebrew by Michal Wertheimer Shimoni)
This week I unfriended another friend who reacted to my posts on Facebook with so much anger and rage I just couldn’t take it anymore. How can one compare unfriending friends to losing lives, which has become so ubiquitous here? But life isn’t a balanced affair. Technically it was very simple – a click on the mouse and I was done. In reality, she is a friend whose life had been intertwined with mine for half of my life. A friend with whom I shared so much happiness, pain and love. Someone who became a part of me has disappeared, along with all the suffering, pain and happiness that were a part of my own life.
And as so often happens, her anger did not stem from me calling for an end to this damned war. As always, what enraged her was seeing those horrible photos, the pain expressed over the suffering of the people of Gaza and their children. Every war I lose friends. In 2002 I cut ties with a woman who was like a mother to me, after she said that it was a good thing that a Palestinian girl died from lack of access to medication, because “had she grown up she would have turned into a suicide terrorist.” And so it goes, war after war. It happens not because I call for an end to end the war, but because I feel the pain of those who have become the Other in this land – those who have lost their humanity in the eyes of the state.
I am trying to understand what is so scary about feeling someone else’s pain? You don’t have to agree with me in order to be able to admit that “yes, this is painful.” Why...Read More