Dani, I dream of the day your heritage does not blind you to the facts. As a Jew, four grandparents and a Holocaust survivor by descent, I decided to check the situation out for myself to ensure that I would always be true to the anti-racist views I grew up with as a result of the racist trauma my parents had experienced in Austria in the ‘30s.
I visited Israel and occupied Palestine to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the rhetoric from both sides. What I saw shocked me to the core. I spoke to a wonderful gentle Palestinian in Hebron whose home, the home his family had lived in for generations, was under constant attack from Jewish settlers. This lovely man is now deceased – killed by Israeli tear gas.
I saw the black tanks on top of Palestinian houses conserving the weekly water allocation and then stood in Maale Adumim (Jewish settlement) with its elaborate water spurting fountains and huge swimming pools. I drove on the roads reserved for Israeli cars and witnessed the tiring long detours the Palestinians must take to skirt around the concrete wall to reach their destination. I traversed a checkpoint near Bethlehem and witnessed the queues and harassment that the Palestinians must suffer daily in order to get to work, and of course I wasn’t even allowed to visit Gaza, an open air prison for millions.
I also spent time in Tel Aviv, socialising with locals, enjoying the beach and the cafes and witnessing a complete ignorance of what is happening on the other side of the wall. Another world. Dani, as Jews we have a proud history of racial tolerance, of social justice. What has happened to us?