(I’m still working on drafting that post, & it’s changing a lot.) Meanwhile, I warmly recommend this article by Yitzhak Laor, published on Haaretz (.co.il at 02.00 & .com at 09.20) on 14.04.
The English title is not a translation of the Israeli-Hebrew title
חירות חרותה בגוף הערבי
so I’m translating it here:
A Freedom Engraved in the Arab Body
Here are the links:
Hebrew – http://www.haaretz.co.il/opinions/.premium-1.2295996
English – http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.583766
I think Laor describes the situation so sharply & so truly & with such directness of feeling, & I’m so glad to see these things expressed so by a gifted Hebrew-Israeli writer & published in (& on) such a major Israeli daily.
I see & feel these things also, even though I’m no longer (but I was, for several decades, as were my wife, two of our three sons & our two daughtersinlaw, while our middle son still is) a member or a part of the “we” he speaks about (& for), the “abnormal nation” that has turned into “a nation of prison guards”.
& while I still feel bound in many ways to that nation, & to the Israeli-Hebrew culture & its language (which I still speak every day at least half as much as I speak English), & also profoundly feel myself a part of what is generally meant by the term “the Jewish people” in whose name the State of Israel continues to enact its policies, my freedom (such as it is), is no longer “engraved in the Arab body” – it is made possible for me by the way of life of the nation that governs the country where I live, the only country I vote in (which by the way doesn’t have a national “holiday of freedom” like Passover), & my & our freedom too, if (if that matters) to a lesser extent, is also engraved in the bodies of others (perhaps some Arabs among them).
& I also think that “being a nation of prison guards” is not so abnormal today. How many modern nations today “protect” their inhabitants with detention camps or prisons for asylum seekers or illegal immigrants? Although among such nations Israel is also abnormal, with its prisons both of Palestinians & of ‘illegal’ Africans.
But I think Israel – & Falastin too – whose voters are the ones who will decide if there will be a solution, are indeed abnormal nations & that (although in entirely antithetical situations: one of them basically rules in Palestine where/while the other is divided & oppressed) they are especially & uniquely abnormal among nations, & are abnormal in exactly the same (“noble”) way: both of them are nations that place their feeling of responsibility for the majorities of the “people” they feel part of who now live outside Palestine before considerations of a possible peaceful solution for their own inhabitants & their offspring. More on this in the post I’m drafting…