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Looking closely at Israeli eyes, to see if they know


Lately I’ve been looking at Israelis closely.

I’ve been looking them straight in the eye, to see if they know.

If they have a clue.

Any clue.

About what’s in their future.

The not too distant future.

Most probably in the lifetimes of many of them.

I look at them closely.

And in particular places.

Places that are theirs, and theirs alone.

At least, what they think are theirs.

What they believe are theirs.

And I wonder to myself: do they know that soon they will have to share all this?

All this wealth, this land, these resources?

These rights?

Do they have any clue, that sooner or later, millions of people – who have been denied basic civil rights by them for almost 50 years – will be just like them?

Walking right next to them?

I look at the people I work with in the shiny, glossy buildings in the hi-tech hubs of our start-up nation and wonder: do they know that one day this will all belong to the “enemy,” too?

I look at them when I walk on the sunny boardwalks in Bat Yam and Tel Aviv. They look so happy. Do they know their kids will soon be running on the hot sands with young children from Tulkarem?

Are they ready for it?

Can they even grasp it?

Shouldn’t they start to?

Because that’s where this is going. Either a bi-national state, or a two-entity confederacy of some sorts.

But either way, the land will eventually be shared.

And rights will be granted.

So, I look at them, and I try to find some clue that they know where they’re headed.

Do they know that the water bill be shared?

That Yitzhak Tshuva will be stealing gas from a few more million people?

He already is, actually.

I look at them in the cafes. But most of them have Ray Bans or Gucci, so I can’t see their eyes.

I look at them in the posh shopping centers, sprouting like mushrooms in every town.

I look closely in their eyes at the airport.

I look at the security guards who won’t racially profile forever.

At the El Al pilots.

At the Aroma barista who sells overpriced coffee after serving three years in the occupied territories.

I look at the middle class and the many classes beneath them, and see if their eyes know what economic burden awaits them when they will have to spread the little wealth they have with millions more.

And, to be honest – it looks like none of them know.

They haven’t a clue.

Their eyes are blank.

Their ignorance is bliss.

For now, at least.

Because soon those eyes will change.

They’ll open wide.

In shock.

Like a deer’s in the headlights.

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    1. Joel

      Self indulgent bullshit.

      Reply to Comment
      • george smiley

        But what a lovely photo! Where did you find that eye? Not an Israeli eye, certainly. Too open, too clear.

        Reply to Comment
        • Eminem

          The entity who posts as George Smiley is a smug pseudo-intellectual with a repugnant personality; someone whose omission would be celebrated, before being immediately forgotten, like an unpleasant smell which momentarily wafted by, in the street.

          Reply to Comment
        • Average American

          Not an eye native to the Middle East, more like a European eye, or Russian eye, a foreigner’s eye who comes and claims local land as his own.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Kolumn9

      There is no reason to expect people to grasp something that is a lie you have convinced yourself of.

      Reply to Comment
      • george smiley

        Your comment is either too rhunic in intention or mangled in execution, to be understood easily. I can draw at least three interpretations from your comment, none of which make sense, in the accepted use of that term.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Danny

      Of course, most Israelis know that they are living on borrowed time. That’s why they are always so nervous and aggressive. Because in their subconscious, they know what’s coming.

      I was one of them. I lived in Israel with the feeling that I was living on someone else’s land, and this feeling never left me. I couldn’t bring myself to continue living a lie, so I left Israel for good.

      But most Israelis are comfortable with the lie that is their state. It is a state built on lies. They know it, but they put it in the back of their minds. They try to defend the lie, but it’s becoming harder and harder.

      Soon, it will be as impossible to defend the Israeli lie as it was the South African one, even for professional liars like our prime minister and his ragtag government of scoundrels.

      Reply to Comment
      • Arieh O'Sullivan

        Ami, Dude, you’ve got to get out of your Tel Aviv bubble. Come out to the Elah Valley and look me and the other folks in the eye. We’ll tell you all about the land and the sharing and the roots and the piles of rubble that were once Palestinian villages, and barley and figs and Musa the guy who sneaks in from Surif (yes bloody Surif) who shouts out in Yiddish “Alte Zaken” in search of bargins in our junk. And we’ll look back into YOUR eyes, tinted like a ghetto cadillac’s and ask you to lend a hand. touch the earth. think you’ll be able to put down your Ray Bans for a second and give me a hand with this harrow? open up the ground a bit so i can plant another olive tree – a postcard to the future, because, dude, when we’re gone the land will still be here. One state, two state. it doesn’t really matter.

        Reply to Comment
        • sh

          Alte Zaken? And none of you corrected him? Maybe you didn’t know how to. Or perhaps you misheard. Or possibly it was his pet tautology for aging settlers who imagine themselves to be farmer pioneers. The Palestinian who comes here to pick up second hand stuff has been calling “Alte Zakhen” for the past thirty years. He doesn’t have to sneak in, he’s welcome. He’ll teach you settlers a bissl Yiddish if you ask nicely.

          Reply to Comment
        • Arieh, or course the land will be here. The question is though, how much human blood will be soaked into it? Do you really believe that our actions have no effect? That if our beloved right wing government continues on its Greater Israel fantasy that it won’t lead to more violence in the West Bank and probably seeping into Israel? Which of course might even inspire violence with Lebanon, or a King Bibi last minute distraction of bombing Iran, etc etc? It’s too easy to play the Celtic wise man. In this part of the world, tribal warfare often trumps Mother Earth. And it’s up to us – to choose ways that inspire moderation, or leave it to the aforementioned extremists…You sing of a valley that had a famous battle, what about that other famous battle a bit further north, that Bibi’s evangelical Christian fans literally long for?? That one could happen too…..

          Reply to Comment
        • george smiley

          “One state, two state. it doesn’t really matter.”
          Just as long as it’s under your control, I guess.

          Reply to Comment
        • george smiley

          Are we to take it, Arieh, that you guys have got your groove on up there in the disputed territories? Good to hear from people in touch with the sacred soil. I think it was Melville (Moby Dick) who predicted in one of his essays that Zionism would never work because “(a) it’s a desert and (b) because Jews hate farming.”
          Of course, that mistaken prophecy was made back in the day, before the Jews showed the World what superb farmers they could make of themselves. How many acres do you farm, Arieh? What are your crops? What kind of living is there from your land? Do you farm sheep, cattle? What was the deal with those ruined houses you mentioned?

          Reply to Comment
        • Dara


          Your prose sent shivers, Ami’s poem is cliched chintz. Ami, you should stick to writing articles; poetry doesn’t become you.

          Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        So, Danny, where is *your* land?

        Reply to Comment
      • Terri Knoll

        beautiful response. sad but beautiful. sad that so many fell for the lie.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Philos

      Ha! Leh’gamrey

      Reply to Comment
    5. This writing is an experiment which works. Sort of a cross between poetry, facts, and a camera lens, finding a commonality among these.

      The style is new to me at any rate. A bit of rap focus in it, but quite independent. It could be read at a poetry cafe (which, for some commenters of this site, just provides another “jab me here–see I expose an entry point for you.”)

      In any case, refreshing. Makes me wonder where it could go.

      Reply to Comment
    6. drectrob

      Ami, this is nice. One of your best.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Bar

      I look in the eyes

      Of the self-deluded

      And I wonder

      Do they know that for

      More than a century now

      People have been predicting

      The demise of the Zionists

      At first they didn’t want to share

      And with a murderous look

      in those eyes they killed

      The Jews

      Then as the Jews bought and built

      They tried to kill some more

      Then when they could share

      In 1937, 1947

      Those greedy eyes told them

      They could do without compromise

      They opted to try to kill again

      And lost, but

      Not before making sure that they

      Wouldn’t share a single inch

      Of Judea and Samaria with


      And so it goes,

      Their eyes keep seeing the

      Growth, technology, democracy

      Free media, free courts, free market

      And they think they can just take

      What they didn’t build

      And what they’ve tried to destroy

      And, foolish, blind people

      Are trying to help them.

      So what if half of Israel

      Consists of refugees from Arab

      And Muslim lands?

      Reply to Comment
      • Bar

        Hey, Directrob, am I not going to get a compliment that this is one of my best?

        Reply to Comment
        • directrob

          It is not one of your best it is your best.

          I still think you should seriously re-evaluate your view of the world.

          If Amy’s text or Larry’s text did not help you I once more advice you to read “The Conquest of Happiness” by Bertrand Russell.

          Reply to Comment
      • Y-Man

        “free courts” LOL

        Reply to Comment
      • Noevil

        And they continue to live the lie
        Live the lie is what they have learnt to do
        So, why they change now
        And feel blue?
        When it comes
        It might be too late
        But it does not matter
        Because ,we can wait!

        Reply to Comment
    8. Guy L.

      I don’t usually respond to articles, but this is ridiculous. Honestly, most Israelis really couldn’t care less whether the guy sitting next to them is from Han Yunes, Umm al Fahm or Rishon LeZion.
      Some of the articles in 972 really do have a point, even if I hate to admit it sometimes, but come on… I think it was one of the writers for 972 who told me once that when you lump an entire ethnic group into a nameless, faceless mass you take away their individuality and strip them of their humanity, thus turning them into some subhuman inferior race. He explained this to me, and said that Israelis categorize Palestinians as nameless non-human serial Jew haters, and this is the type psychological brainwashing all Israelis go through, which makes us insensitive to Palestinians, and makes us view them as some sort of subhuman lumps.

      At a later point in time, after a really interesting conversation with a Canadian activist, I asked him whether my life as an Israeli, is worth less then a Palestinian’s. His answer was that since us Israelis are a part of a system which practices apartheid, any actions which may be taken against us are justified. I mentioned this to another activist friend, and her answer was that the only way to win this fight is by taking actions against Israelis as a group.

      See my point here?

      Reply to Comment
      • ish yehudi

        i vote for the author to address Guys point.
        and mr george- emek haEla is not in the dispute territories– welcome to the ground we live on.

        Reply to Comment
      • Bar

        Does this mean you didn’t like my poem?

        I find it laughable that you’re lecturing me for my satirical poem and not Ami for his serious use of generalizations.

        But you know what? I’m a very open-minded person. I’m happy to learn about a different paradigm. Please, provide encouraging news. I’m all ears.

        Reply to Comment
        • Guy L.

          I actually was lecturing Ami about his blatant generalizations, that’s the point I’m trying to make here.
          I didn’t even read your poem until now.

          Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Thank heavens. I am relieved. 🙂

            Reply to Comment
    9. Bar

      Dude, the condescension is silly.

      As I’ve already told you, you’re on the side of the despots and corrupt. Ami, in his naive poem, is on the same side as you. His view of “rights” is to take away Israeli rights (Jewish and non-Jewish). He apparently wants Israel to become another Jordan/Egypt/Syria/Iraq/Lebanon and he thinks Israelis who have lost so many to wars and terror attacks will sit by and let this happen. It would have been much more serious to write a poem to the Palestinians encouraging them to compromise. He doesn’t have the balls to write that poem because he’ll lost a good many of his friends.

      Reply to Comment
      • directrob

        Bar, the way you are reasoning is very hard to follow.

        How can support for a secular democratic shared Israel be siding with the despots and the corrupt?

        A right that does not exist cannot be taken. For all the individual unalienatable rights Israeli have they just do not have the right to suppress Palestinian rights.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          “How can support for a secular democratic shared Israel be siding with the despots and the corrupt?”

          Um, Israel is secular and democratic.

          And Israel has already made peace with Jordan and Egypt. It has tried to make peace with the Palestinians. Their rights are taken away by their own leaders and other Arab states that fomented this conflict and continue to use the Palestinians as pawns. It is their lies and their politics that you and Ami seek to encourage.

          Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            Your definition of secular is novel (look at the marriage laws, burial places, immigration, divorce) . It makes discussion difficult. Too difficult for me.

            I also do not understand what you mean with rights. It must come from the NSA dictionary.

            Have fun, and read the book.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Like so many other things, you clearly have a fundamental misunderstanding of Israeli society.

            As for rights, you are welcome to continue to turn a blind eye to what happens to the Palestinians in all of the countries and territories which Israel doesn’t control. You will join a long list of such unethical people and organizations.

            Perhaps you should stop reading material which has nothing to do with anything and start focusing on the facts. Let me help you get going:

            Reply to Comment
          • Average American

            What a joke! The Jewish State of Israel is secular?? Different laws for Jews than anyone else is democratic?? Israel exists because Zionist Rothschilds built it and Zionist Rothschilds will punish monetarily anyone who resists it. Including my country. Just look at my government licking the boots of AIPAC and Federal Reserve Bank. You’re ridiculous.

            Reply to Comment
        • Guy L.

          “For all the individual unalienatable rights Israeli have they just do not have the right to suppress Palestinian rights.”

          You’re right- we don’t. And frankly- most of us don’t want to. You seem to think that it will be just dandy to take two ethnic groups who have about a century of bitterness and hate between them and shove them into a single place, and that the only reason us vicious Israelis are opposed is because we’re racist bigots.

          I’ve had a lot of talks (not arguments, but talks. Where I sit down and listen and sometimes ask questions.) with both Israeli and non-Israeli pro Palestinian activists, and at some point I asked someone what will happen if they’re wrong? If you bring back a wave of Palestinian refugees, and violence erupts, and they do try to drive us out. They just looked at me and said “I don’t care. It doesn’t matter, these people have to be free!”

          And it’s true, they do have to be free and Israel is one of the reasons they’re not.
          And the second bit is true as well, Israelis don’t matter. The more I’ve sat down and listened, the more I’ve heard, asked and probed, the more I realized that these guys really don’t care whether I die or not. And it’s an astonishing feeling- to sit down, and have an intelligent conversation with someone who eventually tells you “I really couldn’t care less if you die. To make a freedom omelette, you gotta crack some occupation eggs. And you’re it. You’re just an object that’s standing between me, and my version of justice.”

          And to me, that’s the point of Ami’s poem.

          Reply to Comment
    10. Vadim

      My name is Ami and I’ll be your guide in this short trip to LaLa Land. On your left are some unicorns grazing on the plains of delusion. On your right are the mountains of self righteousness, do you see how arrogantly they look down on all those that don’t share their view? How their opinions are set in stone? Unchanged by the winds of reality.

      Reply to Comment
    11. shachalnur

      Brown spots in light eyes.

      Genetically Welsh or Irish(or it could be an indication of liver/galbladder problems.)

      Israeli eyes?

      Reply to Comment
      • george smiley

        Judging by the mascara, I’d say it’s a woman’s eye, unless it’s Tzutzik in drag.

        Reply to Comment
    12. Yes, it’s coming, and it’s coming soon. And when it comes, there will be a worldwide celebration.

      Will the fall of the Jewish State bring down the Western (so-called) democracies or will it be the basis for their rebirth, as they emerge from the stranglehold of tribal Jewish power?

      The wheel spins and where the little ball will drop is anybody’s guess. One thing is for sure though – you can’t defy the laws of man and nature forever.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Yehiel

      I think the comments on this post expose this magazine for what it really is; mentally ill Israelis who use their decent English to get clicks from non-Israelis.

      There is no chance that Israel absorb more Arabs any time soon. This is a fantasy store that people have let develop for over 60 years.

      Reply to Comment
    14. yonah f.

      Interesting. But I wonder about the length of time that it will take and what will be the precipitating events that will lead to the alternative of one state or two confederated states. If you have columns dedicated to your conception of how the future will unfold direct me to them.

      Reply to Comment
    15. I just want to see justice for every human being to this world equal treated from poor to riach very simple I wish every body every human shows their love and kindness to each others for the peace of the world spread love and kindness to the new generations,to put in their heart to be nice and love people even they are in different religions take out hatetread from their heart;and let them forget the cruelties of the fast generation,put in their mind that even people has different religion we are all believe that their is only one god.Peace to the world peace freedom and justice to the mankind,spread love and kindness this are all i wish for every body young and old for the future of our upspring generation.

      Reply to Comment
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