Monday, July 10, 2006

What the hell?!

Back in Israel for just two weeks and it already feels like I never left. I’ve more or less returned to my former self, but with greater resolve towards making some positive changes to my life. Living in this country is stressful enough, and it’s about time that I made the effort to improve it wherever I can. I’m thinking about professional changes. I’m thinking about “extracurricular” changes. I’m even thinking about geographical changes. If anything develops, I’ll keep you posted, but for now, on to more serious and controversial matters.

What the hell is happening here? I left a country that was relatively calm – grumbling about our next door neighbors, but not really doing anything to harm the status quo. Just one month later, and I find I’m living in a country gripped with drama and a fresh round of tragedies, whether it be the violent destruction of a family on a beach in Gaza under questionable circumstances, the loss of a young Israeli settler at the hands of terrorists, or the continuing saga of a kidnapped soldier. Life has suddenly become very intense, and it feels as though we are standing on the edge of an abyss with at least one foot on a banana peel.

I followed the story of the Gaza beach incident along with its predictable round of accusations and denials with distant interest. I’m not sure that we’ll ever know who the perpetrators were, and to be honest, I’m not sure whose version to believe. Unsurprisingly, this episode was widely discussed in the English-language Israeli blogosphere, and also unsurprisingly, I found myself utterly disgusted by the words and actions of a number of bloggers and commenters. I was shocked by the blinding hatred that does not even allow some people to show sympathy and sadness for a little girl who lost her family, and indeed, harshly and often rudely chastises those who do. What the hell is wrong with you people? For heaven’s sake, you’re not being asked to race across the border and jump into a big love orgy with the neighbors! By either refusing to even acknowledge this little girl’s loss or by making pathetic attempts to justify or minimize her loss in the face of losses on the Israeli side, you are simply showing an incredible lack of humanity, and frankly, it’s not a terribly attractive character trait.

As for attacking those bloggers who chose not to accept the official Israeli version of events, well, y’all just need to go take a chill pill. Step back and take a deep breath. The beauty of our little democracy is that you don’t always have to support the government or believe what they say, and to be honest, it wouldn’t exactly rock my world to find out that a serious Israeli cover-up was put into play here in order to avoid taking responsibility for this tragedy. It’s way out of line to demand that bloggers provide more balanced coverage of local actions, or that they write up retractions. Though some of us may be journalists in “real” life, when we blog, we have a responsibility to no one. We are chronicling life as we see it, as we experience it. We owe you nothing. If you like what we write, great. Come back often and feel free to comment. If you don’t like it, well, no one is forcing you to read it, and clearly, our writing is going to reflect our personal beliefs, so if you’ve got a problem with our beliefs, then you’re probably better off reading someone else’s blog instead of going all apoplectic on us.

Gaza. My thoughts are kind of hazy on the subject. On the one hand, the Palestinians have a government that sanctions – no, embraces – terror in all of its forms, whether it be kidnapping murder, or the firing of rockets into Israel. On the other hand, the humanitarian crisis continues to grow, and innocent Palestinian civilians are being injured and killed, pawns in a most dangerous game. Clearly, something must be done, but what? At what point do actions cross the line from legitimate to excessive? I’m not sure where the line is, but I do believe it’s been crossed. I don’t presume to know how to handle the current situation (and it appears to be that I’m in the majority on that one), but bombing and scaring the hell out of a civilian population that already has enough problems of its own even without our involvement doesn’t seem like the right way to go.


Beth said...

Glad you're back writing. Hopefully life will calm down a bit for you. Can not agree more that when we blog, we owe no one!! Read the newspapers if you want balance coverage... some of the newspapers, anyway...

Yael K said...

Glad you are back!!! Coffee??!! :) You so summed my feelings up with that one statement "what the hell is wrong with you people?"

There was one post by one blogger I read that nearly made me go all ballistic and apoplectic (on my own blog) but for my own sanity I hit the delete button before posting. Bah!

Did I say I was glad you are back?!

Lisa said...

So glad you're back. I missed you a lot.

And the Israeli blogosphere was hurtin' without you.;)

Liza said...

Beth: Thanks! It's good to be back. I suppose it just took me while to get my feet back on the ground, and with so much going on, I was feeling overwhelmed.

I don't know what the Irish blogosphere is like (can you suggest some good Irish blogs?), but the Israeli blogosphere gets really dicey at times. It almost caused me to quit blogging at one point.

Lisa: Given the responses, looks like I should go away more often! ;-) I can totally feel the love!

Hurting, eh? So I've noticed. I can't leave you guys alone for a minute without all sorts of crap hitting the fan...

So, you gonna join Yael, me, Spanky and the gang when we go for coffee?

Yael k: I'm glad I'm back too, I think...

Everytime I think that people can't get any nastier, they surprise me with a new low. Sad, isn't it?

Who pissed you off? Do you want me to take care of 'em?

Coffee? Oh yes. Definitely. Let's organize Spanky and the gang and meet up ASAP!

Yes, you did say it, but I never tire of hearing it! :-)

nrg said...

OK, does everyone know who Spanky and the Gang is/was?

christine said...

It is for balanced posts like this that I read your blog. Thank you

Haider Droubi said...

nice artcle

Beth said...

Hi She! The American Kim and Alan Being Irish links from my blog are about the only other Irish blogs I read. The Irish aren't all Internet lovers, and to be honest most of them would rather debate over a pint where they can get some singing and shouting in rather than just typing! That being said, the marching season is now upon us so I, like you wondering what the hell is going on, I'm perfecting my duck and cover as well! What is wrong with everyone?!

Levant said...

Sorry ,I meant to put my comment here .Levant

Cant but admit my admiration for your out look stemming from your feelings that, I on the other side almost feel the same disgust towards” those” who steer things the wrong way with abstinence for all that (no more may hurt their own people they are hurting )but the disaster to day, on my side and yours , they are totally ignorant in the rules of the game, except for force and violence .Among the maddening crowed I stand hurt ,pessimist and alone .
While the one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind is a king, he dose not see far, around or straight. I am dismayed for the false claims and the hollow promises, and the absence of reason and rational and most of all the nation of sheep on both side .Some believes God is a realestateagent, others think God await Jehadsi in “Jennah ”paradise.
irrespective where you are ,I would have liked to welcome you home with better news,yet for some one like you with reason ,I greet you and wish you to attain safe feelings for you and your family .

RR said...

See what happens when you leave town? All hell breaks loose!

Welcome back!

laila said...

great post she. echoes some of my thoughts as well. we're stuck in the vicious cycle and i see no end in sight. it's so frustrating. and now with what's happening in south lebanon, thinga are rapidly escalating. i hope this is not the beginning of something ugly.

btw i changed my user name but still the same website.

Janice said...

I saw what you wrote re my blog on the Aliyah blog (shouldn't Yael be in Kiev then?)

Mine is a personal diary more than anything :)

No comments on mine because its not a democracy :D