Warning: This post goes from fun to serious without much transition. Don't say I didn't warn you.
On Sunday, I went on a walk through the park with my former roommate B. We wandered toward the Israel Parade as I yammered on about the need for Israel education taught with a critical eye. On our way through the park we wandered into Japan Field Day, which meant we got some free tea:
When we got to 5th Avenue, we settled into a spot with my friend Mel, where we could watch the parade and not be too crowded. And there was quite the crowd of a wide variety of Jews, all celebrating Tel Aviv's 100th anniversary, and I LOVE Tel Aviv. It was peaceful and fun, happy and cheery. Then I got to hang out with my OLDER roommates, and life was good. I was all love, hearts and stars for Israel.
I was dancing to Yeshiva U's blasting music (Yehey, a camp favorite), and enjoying the Israel that I learned about growing up - Israel of dancing and snacks, of fun and chocolate.
Somewhere else, at some point in the parade, "Am Yisrael Chai" blasted as onlookers sang their own interpretation, in Hebrew, "The nation of Israel lives" alternating with the phrase "All Arabs must die." Read the take on this episode from one Rabbi for Human Rights here. (H/T Jewschool)
I have said before that the answer to the conflict in Israel is not to kill all of the Arabs. That idea makes me uncomfortable, and I can't imagine how killing so many people. I was disheartened by the onlooker who said that the chant about killing Arabs is a chant from Zionism. I don't know the answer to this problem, but I hope that someone soon figures it out and that people won't die in the process. This is where the critical eye becomes important. How can we make this better? Who's going to tease out the solution?
In other news, an abortion doctor was killed in the states a few days ago, when he was ushering in his church in Kansas. If you want commentary on the murder, you can find it all over the web. I happened to like this post in Jezebel about how Tiller was a good doctor and person. Late-term abortions are contraversial. So are early-term abortions. But reproductive choice is a right in the states, and there are difficult decisions that people had to make (see the Jezebel post in particular for heart-wrenching examples) that sometimes end in abortion. Wanting to stop abortion is one thing, murder as a means to an end are another, and it's NOT ok.
Nobody wants a life to have to end. But certainly killing a doctor who does abortions is not the answer. And killing a group of people just for being Arab? Well, that's not the right answer to war, conflict, terror or tension. But debating about these conflicts will help smarter people than I to come up with answers.
To quote my fabulous Bubbie: May we live see peace in our day. Amen, Bubbie.