Thursday, July 31, 2014

Response to "An Israel Without Illusions"

(Grossman's op-ed is linked above)

     In his recent NYTimes op-ed "An Israel Without Illusions", David Grossman, an Israeli author of noted books like Falling Out of Time and To the End of the Land, argues that Operation Protective Edge is just another part of the seemingly endless "grindstone of this conflict" that Israelis and Palestinians have been circling for years, but that the death and emotional damage it brings may spark a change in the Israeli psyche. Grossman uses his personal experiences as an Israeli and an activist to make the claim that both sides of the conflict "[have] evolved sophisticated justifications for every act [they commit]...In this cruel and desperate bubble, both sides are right", and that now, Israelis are starting to question the futility of this violent cycle, and why their governments "have been incapable, for decades, of thinking outside the bubble". Grossman seeks to ask both the Israeli government and the Israeli people to open their minds to finding a solution other than war, and to see that both Israelis and Palestinians are "[trudging] around the grindstone... in tandem, in endless blind circles, in numbing despair". By pleading with Israelis on the left and right and with both Jews and Arabs to look past the cursory and try to understand each other, Grossman establishes a somber and realistic tone that warns the reader of becoming apathetic to the violence-- if that occurs, we will "continue to turn the grindstone of this conflict, which crushes and erodes our lives, our hopes and our humanity".

    This is an op-ed that no matter where you stand on Operation Protective Edge, you need to read. It is a chilling yet optimistic reminder of where we have come, and  what we need to do moving forward after the war. 

- Lily Greenberg Call, San Diego, '16

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