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martin buber

  • 'Our' murderers - what would Arendt and Buber say?

    There is soul-searching and there is the self-gratifying appearance of soul-searching. The deception of the latter lies within the words: 'Tear out these wild weeds from among us.' Confession: I held out hope, to the last minute, that the murderers of Mohammed Abu Khdeir would not be “mine” – Israeli, Jewish. The hope that they would belong to some other group, even, god help me, Mohammed’s own people, is primitive. I must acknowledge, helplessly, that at this moment, I felt a greater sense of identification with the presumed killers due to tribal and arbitrary designation of birth: Jewish (assuming none…

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  • In an Israeli school, the bullies win

    If school children learn that dismissal of human dignity, aggression and force are legitimate means of interaction, no wonder there's so much rage in daily life in Israel. Have we forgotten about the beauty and wonder of our fellow human beings? A short piece in Haaretz this week called “Democracy in Sixth Grade” gripped my heart unexpectedly. During my fourteen years in Israel, one of the most troubling experiences has been the rage ignited by routine interpersonal relations. I’m not talking about the famously charming Israeli directness, but about the deep dismissal of human dignity that occurs when everyday experiences…

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