There are many (myself included), who strongly believe in one side of the narrative when it comes to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. However, there are others may have a more nuanced and complicated view of the conflict.
Moriel Rothman-Zecher is one of these individuals. His new novel, Sadness is a White Bird, is the story of a young man who is torn between two ideologies. Jonathan was born in Israel, raised in America and returned to Israel two years before the novel begins. He is ready to do his duty and protect Israel via his service with the IDF. However, his best friends are Palestinian twins and Jonathan begins to see that his world view is not so black and white.
In this semi-biographical novel, Rothman-Zecher explores the grey areas of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and how the human experience is often ignored in favor of bold faced headlines and cold facts. What I liked about this book is that it presents both the Israelis and Palestinians as fully human, reminding the reader that there are human beings behind the headlines.
I may not agree with the author, but if there is one lesson to be learned from this book, it is that if we are to live with our neighbors, we must get to know them on an individual level and not just as a member of their specific cultural or religious group.
Democracy is not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. But it is the only form of government that gives the average man or woman a voice in the leadership and direction of their country.
After a tense election season, Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected for a fifth term as Israeli Prime Minister. His opponent, former Chief of General Staff for the IDF Benny Gantz put up a good fight. But in the end, the Israeli voters chose to continue the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
I have to be honest, I have mixed feelings about the results of the election. As the face of Israelis and Jews all over the world, Prime Minister Netanyahu has from my perspective has done an excellent job. But he has also been accused of corruption and many are wary that he is turning to the political right. Neither of those sit well with me.
One of the things that I have been reminded of over the past two years is that just because the election is over, that does not mean that the voice of the average citizen is now silent and will remain so until the next election. We still have the right to protest if we do not agree with our leaders. I’m sure that the Israeli voters will have a thing or two to say to their elected officials in the coming years.
I’ve noticed a rather interesting double standard in the world today, which makes me very angry.
Robert James O’Neill, the Navy Seal who claimed to have killed Osama Bin Ladin, is considered a hero. It was his bullet that took down the man who killed nearly 3000 innocent people 12 years ago.
While terrorist attacks are becoming a more frequent event in the world, it is not new to Israel. The IDF’s goal is to protect innocent civilians from terrorist attacks. But instead of being recognized for their selfless, heroic acts, they are vilified.
Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS. They all go by different names, but the goal is the same.
So if their goal is the same and the goal of the rest of the world is to preserve democracy and multiculturalism, then why is Mr. O’Neill put on a pedestal and the IDF is accused of having blood on their hands?
Imagine if you will, that you are walking by a lake. For the hec of it, you throw a nearby stone in the lake and watch the ripples become larger and larger.
Hate and prejudice are the same way. The ripples become larger and larger and the hateful lies become truth, even when they aren’t.
Several years ago, Time Magazine reported that the IDF was using the organs of slain Palestinians. They have since retracted the story.
The problem is that some many consider it to be the truth, even when it is not the truth. The other problem is that whomever is responsible for fact checking stories before they are published did not their job properly, which adds to the lies and fuels the fire of hatred and murder.
It is too late for a retraction. The story is out there. It will only cause more bloodshed and destruction. I can only hope that the press will check the facts before deciding that piece ready to be published.