Thursday, October 28, 2010
A Murderous State--Perhaps It Was a Dream
Here on the Pacific rim, I sometimes drift between sleep and awakening, sometimes images from the square box at the foot of my bed slip into my dreams. Was this a dream? I see a man overlooking the main street of an Israeli-Arab town, speaking of what is happening, I see two bus loads of shouting settlers pouring into the street, proclaiming their ownership of the town, proclaiming that it is their god given right to displace the Arab citizens. I see, along with the man on the stone balcony, looking down on all of this, a few Arab Israeli young men shout back, pick up stones, and then as if it had all been planned before hand, the provocation, the slogans of ethnic cleansing, come, from out of the picture frame, endless barrages of tear gas canisters, falling like thick snow, and as the youth fall, rushing into my dream come Israeli soldiers, in their black uniforms, faces covered, and in fives and ten, they bend over the fallen youths and start to beat them--tell me this is a dream. Hundreds of soldiers attacking the Arab citizens of this town--chosen I think for practice, for the civic uprisings that will come when the loyalty oath comes into law. Tell me this is a dream. This calculated plan to taunt and then punish unto death a whole population within the state of Israel, the state that in other dreams I have been told is democratic and akin to all the United States and the West holds dear. Tell me I am a haunted Jew, a self-hating Jew, that I am dreaming of an impossible meanness of the Israeli national spirit--that such a thing never happened, that god does not travel on such a bus, that masked soldiers beating helpless youths who can't get air into their lungs, just for practice, is not something Jews would do. Tell me I am dreaming.