My friend Dana, a Jewish American who had spent several years in Israel, wrote this after the short, yet eye opening journey:
As much as I complain about this place, I think now is the time to recognize what Israel has done for me over the past three years. Some thanks are in order…
Thank you Israel; for without you, I would not have understood how gosh darn convenient racism can be as an apparatus for control. You have given me hope for all struggling fascist regimes; you’ve taught me that any state can maintain hundreds of discriminatory laws and an elaborate system of apartheid as long as the majority is meticulously molded into agreement. If you will it, it is no dream. Duly noted.
Thank you Israel; for without you, I would not have received a crash course in how to re-write history for my own liking; how to twist and edit it to the point of no recognition and then package it in a bright, pink bow for mass consumption. I’m even considering “Marketing” as my next career move since I’m an expert now in public relations!
Thank you Israel; for without you, I would not have seen with my own eyes how national identities, created and nurtured by any superficial basis you can think of, can destroy century old communities in mere decades. Truly, it’s impressive.
Really, I can’t thank you enough. You are the fog light upon the nations; your pureness blinds all who enter your path.
But in all seriousness…
Thank you Israel; for only through you was I able to see my own country clearly.
Your racist laws and small-minded world view helped my thick skull to grasp what happens in my own country every day, but under different labels.
(Now that I think of it, I’ve also become quite the wordsmith. For example, I learned that seemingly positive words like “Peace Process” and “Coexistence” can mean some awful things.)
Sure, the system of oppression in the United States is not as proud as yours; living in a “post-racial society” really makes dominating poor people difficult…
Yo, Israel, let me use terms you will understand; our oppression is not written into law or in our national anthem, but lives on in our indifference and naivete.
Our racism is silent but deadly.
But really…I’m being serious now…
Thank you activists and coworkers; for you have shown me courage beyond words. Your lessons and wisdom will stay with me forever. Take care.
Thank you friends; for opening your homes to me, for being patient with my ignorance and lack of language skills, for being my “second family.”
And finally, thank you to those that are truly suffering from an unforgiving occupation; for helping me smile when I wanted to cry, for always being kind in the cruelest of situations, and for ultimately, helping me find the humanity of every person.