the price we pay; tight balls of anger and sadness; tiny broken pieces

14 03 2009

Some days, my heart feels like it is being torn into many tiny broken pieces.

Every week, it seems like more people I love and care about are making aliyah. Many of them are joining the IDF.

In those same weeks, other people I love and care about are mourning, or filled with concern, for their loved ones and friends injured and killed by teenage boys and girls wearing tzahal uniforms.

Because even when those friends making aliyah are liberal and thoughtful, even when their words aren’t filled with racist bile and their hearts are just full of love, even when they do not wish harm on others – they may still be standing on the other side of the uzis, and the tear gas canisters, and the tanks.

And even from thousands of miles away, I feel caught between, and my heart is breaking.

I can’t even quite put words to why I am so uncomfortable with this statement:

“I don’t support everything the Israeli government does, but I feel like I need to join Tzahal, I need to make aliyah now, when I’m young enough to join, so that I’ll be a real Israeli. I want to have an authentic experience in Israel, so I need to be in the army.”

It’s not just that I’m uncomfortable with that level of militarization in society (although I am). And it’s not just that nationalism like that makes me squirm (which it does). It’s really the tight ball of sadness and anger in the pit of my stomach that there are people I love who will hold and shoot guns at innocent people (because unless you think all Palestinians and their allies are inherently evil, you must concede that some, if not most, are innocent of anything but doing their best to survive perpetual devastation), who will – either by their own hand, or by aiding another – facillitate death, and injury, and destruction – for the sake of a greater sense of belonging, for the sake of *authenticity* or acceptance, or so that their words will carry greater weight.

How is another’s destruction NOT too great a price to pay?




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