A Hebrew-Jewish-Israeli, an English&Hebrew Jewish ex-Polish-etc+ex-Israeli Australian, & a non-Jewish erstwhile-Israeli-resident Englishman walk into…. no, create, a “thread”

I’m embedding here what I feel is a fascinating & illuminating conversation on the painful Israel/Palestine issue that has developed so far since I shared a post (on Facebook, two days ago) by Nissim Calderon , to which I added an introductory preamble & a translation of its main points. The three participants mentioned in the title above are Nissim Calderon, myself, and Brien Assiter. I’ve known Nissim, who’s a noted writer & a Professor of Hebrew Literature & other interesting subjects in Israel, since my years in the 1980s & early ’90 as a lecturer on English & American literature at Tel Aviv University, & I’ve known Brien, who’s a free-spirited free-ranging multi-media artist & writer,  since the time he was part of the now-so-called “first hippie commune in Israel” that was centered around our house & several other houses on or near the “Upper Street” in Rosh Pina in the Galilee in the early 1970s, & I’m glad to have both of them as friends, & even gladder that this conversation has developed as it has.
To read the entire conversation, you will need to click the little “conversation” icon with a “9” beside it underneath the embedded Facebook post – & each time to click “See more” wherever that appears in the post.

If anyone wishes to join the conversation they are most welcome. Since this post will also be publicized on Facebook, I hereby notify anyone who chooses to post their comments there rather than here, that at a certain point I may also embed those comments in another post here on this blogsite.







One thought on “A Hebrew-Jewish-Israeli, an English&Hebrew Jewish ex-Polish-etc+ex-Israeli Australian, & a non-Jewish erstwhile-Israeli-resident Englishman walk into…. no, create, a “thread”

  1. I was very glad that Nissim Calderon joined this conversation. He too was glad, as he wrote when he joined it. He wrote that first piece late at night, & there are quite a few typos in in it. In my eagerness to publish this post I ignored them. Here is an edited version of it:
    Let me join this interesting discussion by saying that I was raised in Israel, but in a communist home, and as a young person I was a member of the Communist Party (until the Russian tanks smashed Prague…). Very few elements of the communist beliefs stay with me today, but the dream about a world without nation is still a beautiful dream for me. More than that: my long-time participation in the peace movement in Israel, after my communist years, was – and still is – founded on the belief that all nations, including the Palestinian nation, have the same right for self-determination, and that the Israeli occupation is illegal and revolting.
    But until the world is ready for a democracy for all human beings without borders, we see all around us nations that need their nationhood: for security against violent enemies, for preservation of their dignity after generations of persecutions (like Anti-Semitism), for preserving the richness of their culture and their language. Jews in Israel are no different in this than Englishmen, or Frenchmen, or Poles, or Palestinians. All need nation-states.
    Yes, it was mere chance that my grandparents immigrated to Palestine (they simply hadn’t the money to travel from Bulgaria and Greece to the USA), but after two generations here, I, and my children, have too much to lose if we are not part of a nation-state. First of all it is a matter of physical survival for us. Then – take from me my language and my literature (my love and my profession), and I am very poor person.
    And this need is stronger in violent conflicts. As in Cyprus, as in the Balkans – one state means terrible bloodshed – worse than the bloodshed that we have under terrible occupation. Two states are depressing, but may stop the killing. Let me quote Amos Oz: “when two groups of people kill each other for a hundred years, let’s put a border between them and prevent them from attacking each other. Yes, nation-states are cages, I do dream about a world without cages, but when Israelis and Palestinians behave like beasts – let’s put them in two separate cages, calm then down for another 100 years, and then begin to think about a world without borders and nations.”


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