It’s Hard to Care When You’re Basically Fine

My friend Windy Borman, director/producer of The Eyes of Thailand, directed me to this Time Magazine article entitled “Why Israeli’s Don’t Care About Peace with Palestinians.”

The title speaks for the content, but the basic gist is that when you’re doing well, there’s no need to change the status quo. And from my experiences in Israel, I totally understand. For me, being in Israel is very much like being in Europe. The people look familiar, there’s prosperity and commerce and Hebrew even sounds a little like French to the casual listener.

Many Israelis have never been in the West Bank or Gaza. And even though the Occupied Territories are considered — by Israel, the United States, and most of the International community — to be “Israel,” (Palestine has never been recognized as a country), it seems to be in name only. In the Palestinian Territories there is limited and unpredictable access to water, electricity and other basic utilities. Palestinians are not free to enter or exit the territories without obtaining a permit from the Israeli Government.

Given these discrepancies and the lack of a loud, outraged Israeli-led desire to change, it’s really hard not to draw the direct parallel to white people during the civil rights movement in this country. When you’re doing fine and have what you need to get by there’s not a lot of incentive to change, even though it’s “the right thing to do.”

It can get depressing to think about the road ahead of us. When you weigh the balances of money, power and international perceptions, all the advantages seem to be stacked on the Israeli side of the “separation barrier.”

But there is good news. And it is two-fold. First, not all Israelis are represented by the Time article… not by a long shot. There are a lot of Israelis working tirelessly for justice. Just a few of the many phenomenal organizations that prove it are: Just Vision, Interfaith Encounter Association, Rabbis for Human Rights, One Voice, The Peres Center for Peace, and the list goes on and on. And the second piece of good news is that history is on the side of equality.

We’ll make it.

-Cary


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