We don’t want to know what’s happening behind closed doors, on the other side of the wall, the crimes being committed as we turn away and ignore them. A post marking our golden wedding anniversary with the occupation.
Trigger warning: Crimes exposed
Trigger warning: Crimes not yet revealed.
Were Israeli society a human being, it would be Rosemarie Fritzl, an Austrian woman who for decades managed to ignore the nightmares taking place in her basement and would have continued to ignore them had she been not forced to reckon with them.
When Josef Fritzl, her husband and the father of her grandchildren, was caught in 2008 and his crimes revealed (there are not enough trigger warnings in the world to be able cite them all here), she claimed she knew nothing. The court believed her and excused her from testifying. Her daughter Elisabeth believed her too, but was furious with her. Jozef Fritzl had been convicted of rape once before, when the couple was quite young; had Rosemarie thrown him out of the house when he was first caught in the ‘60s, she would have saved Elisabeth the endless and unbelievable nightmare that awaited her.
I also believe Rosemarie, but in a limited way. Because I know that if she had had the slightest inclination to know, she would have known. It is much more comfortable to believe that Josef goes down to the cellar to quietly read a book and not … again, let’s not get into it. Even I prefer not to know. In reality the question isn’t whether Rosemarie knew but how much she knew, and how she coped with her doubts.
Every secret has an expiration date. In 24 years, Rosemarie must have noticed that there was a locked door or some other strange feature in the basement. Josef may have placed a sign at the entrance to the cellar: “Palestinian Authority Territory Area A ahead, No Entry to Israelis, Entry is illegal by Israeli law.” If that was indeed the case, it is easy to understand Rosemarie. It is important to obey authoritative instructions.
Perhaps Rosemarie still opened the door and found another door behind it, and so on and so forth to the eighth door, and of all places, there, at the last door, Alice got tired of Horrorland and retreated. Perhaps she quizzed her husband about all those doors....Read More