Yesterday I had a chat with my sister about identity. What does being Israeli mean to us? What does being Jewish?
She said (more or less) that she feels her image of herself as a Zionist has been robbed by the meaning the word has taken.
I said (more or less) that for me, actively opposing what Zionism has become is my Zionism. Paradoxical? well, that's life.
I woke up today, and after an hour or so I noticed that I'm constantly humming mellow, somber, old-fashioned Israeli songs. Natan Yonathan, Shalom Hanoch, Arik Einstein, Coffee with Berta.
I was a 19 year old infantry soldier, on a watch tower in Gibalia, in the first intifada.
It was a bright summer day. I was standing clad in my protective vest, armour and helmet. Gun in hand, looking at the refugee camp around me. The Gaza skyline stretched to the sea, and above it hexagon white kites. I thought of Albert Camus. I thought of a Saturday walk with my father, I'm 7 or 8, and he takes a pen knife out of his pocket to cut some reads. Later, at home, he will split them and dry them and show my how to tie three sections together to construct a kite frame.
I want to take my armour off. Take off my jacket. My uniform. I want to run barefoot in the sands, and fly a kite.
You can beat a stone, you can beat a gun. You can't beat a kite.
Dedicated with admiration to the brave non-violent protestors in Bidu, Beit Surik, and elsewhere.
I just spoke to Molly Malekar on her way to Sha'arei Tzedek Hospital in
Jerusalem, and here is what she reported:
"We were about 60 women, only women: roughly 1/3 Israeli, 1/3
Palestinian, and 1/3 internationals. We gathered at Bidu to protest the
construction of the wall in this village. It was a quiet march, with
women carrying signs and walking toward the area where soldiers were
guarding the construction of the fence. At a distance of about 10
(30 feet) from them, we stopped walking because the soldiers turned to
point their rifles directly at us. I called out to them in Hebrew, "Don't
shoot, we're not armed, this is a nonviolent demonstration." Suddenly
there was an onslaught of teargas and stun grenades, falling all around
us, completely out of proportion to the quiet, nonprovocative nature of
our action. The grenades fell right there at our feet and we were
choking, unable to breathe. Most dispersed and ran back. Soldiers
charged toward us and fell upon the women, grabbing some whom they
arrested. By then, there was no demonstration at all, nothing to
disperse. Most of the women had run back, trying to recover from the
gas, but I remained as I wanted to talk to the soldiers to prevent the
arrest of the four women. Suddenly out of nowhere four horses
with border police mounted on them. I started to run away, but one of
them ridden by a girl soldier caught up with me and she struck me on
head with a baton. I fell, and then a second horse charged toward me
I felt more blows on my head and back. There was no provocation
whatsoever at any point while this was happening."