Sunday, July 13, 2014

Stuck in the grey -The final day

     Sitting here with the impossible task of summing up not only my physical trip, but also my relationship with Israel, I am forced to be blunt: This is simply unattainable. Not because I am limited on time, or because I'm sweating like crazy (I NEED MORE AIR CONDITIONING), but because I myself have not yet come to a sound conclusion about my thoughts on the topic. In fact, over the course of the trip my political view has swung from both sides of the spectrum, and my historical knowledge of Israel has been revolutionized. 

     Despite these clashing thoughts and opinions, I did manage to come out with a single, concrete view: The world is seriously complicated.

     In the most candid scenario, a phone conversation with my worried Jewish mother, I learned the truth. Humans; whether Palestinian or Israeli, women or man, Muslim or Jewish are all hypnotized by the false reality that every problem in the world has a black or white answer. 

        In a spark of absolute genius, my mom gave me a treasure of a quote, "As a child you had the luxury of believing that every issue, regardless of size, could be fixed with a simple black and white answer. As you grow older however you will begin to realize that those answers don't exist, and that an answer, if one exists, will always be in the dreadful gray zone".

     As an Israeli advocate and journalist, I guess it is possible to call my mission a failure. I don't, and possibly never will have the answer to any aspect of the Israeli-palestinian conflict. However, this trip has not been a failure to me by any means. Using my new found knowledge, I can now not only speak for Israel on a whole new level, but also understand it in a deeper sense.

    At the end of the day however, this trip gave me an opportunity like no other. It forced me, sometimes in the most brutal way, to critically think about Israel. The trip refused to allow me to become ignorant; which today is the biggest issue facing the small but mighty state of Israel. 

     Opportunities like this cannot be bypassed. I fully intend to continue supporting and simultaneously criticizing Israel, in order to advocate for it in the strongest way possible. In addition, I want to take this space to truly appreciate everything and everyone who allowed me to get to this point. No present is more meaningful than a gift of experience, and goddamn, this has been one hell of a ride.

Signing off, but definitely not for the last time
-Roee Landesman
Israel advocate and Journalist

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