Even if I don’t read all the articles appearing on Electronic Intifada, the plain summaries I’m getting by Email are hard enough to bear.
I’m finding it increasingly difficult to talk with friends about the issues surrounding Israel. I am the only one reading a left newspaper, I am the only one reading about these issues at all outside of the Swiss mainstream media. This means that I am often confronted with different issues presented on equal footing: The Israelis are bastards for invading Lebanon, but really, Hamas should finally recognise Israel. Or Israelis are pigs but Hamas are terrorists, so what can you do? I don’t know all the issues by heart, and even if I did, I’d feel weird launching a monologue explaining the occupation, the way Israel has avoided all talks with Palestine, while at the same time accusing Palestine of being an unfit partner for talks. I myself have only muddled recollections of the things I have read, since I am not a specialist. So I faintly remember having read about the elections and how they were fair, and praiseworthy by all our standards, and yet people sabotage the government, withholding money and thus causing civil unrest in Palestine, and then accusing the Palestinians for being violent. And so I get frustrated whenever the topic turns to Israel in Palestine amongst friends.
These days I’ve started to quickly say a sentence about my point of view and then insist that we change topic. This is the kind of speachless frustration that so many people must feel in all sorts of situations. It’s a new feeling for me, however. It has taken me over 30 years to realize that my rhetorics are not good enough to convince people that don’t share my point of view. Without words, the empty air separating me from the people around me, a bitterness in my heart, an angry knot of blackness churning deep in my belly.
I remember the days, maybe a dozen of them, where I’d spend an hour during lunchhours on a Friday standing on Paradeplatz as all the tourists and bankers were rushing by, together with about ten other people, holding up a banner asking for a just peace in Palestine. And even by just asking for a just peace, I’ve seen a tourist insulting us for not knowing how it really was down there, and another one coming up to me and patting my shoulder, telling me that all Jews should be killed anyway. Strange days, and crazy people.
As we are now watching the Israelis kill over 100 people, mostly civilians, one wonders what people think. Here in Switzerland, I sometimes fear that they don’t think too much. Today I read in the news, for example, short note saying in the first sentence that the Israeli attack on Hisbollah was continuing, and in the second sentence it said that they had bombed the airport and hit a fuel depot. I paused. What the hell does that mean? Was Hisbollah hiding in the fuel tanks of the airport in Beirut? After all, we don’t bomb the Roman airport just because there are many mafiosi in Italy.
Once again, it’s a spinning fight. A fight about our heads. If the abduction is a criminal act, then we should call the police, put these people to court, and in a civilized country, they would go to prison for a few years. Even if the kidnappers had killed their hostages, we would not kill the kidnappers, because we’re a civilized people and we reject the death penalty. If the police tried to liberate the hostages and the hostages, or God forbid, innocent people got killed, we’d be angry. But the Israelis have killed over a hundred people! Without a trial. Innocent people. Children. Extrajudicial killings, as far as I can tell. The kind of policy that terrorist militia have used in South America for many years, the kind of policy that Russian military forces have been using in Chechnya.
Reminds me of “Kill them all, and let God sort them out!” 
I kept thinking about these things as I read that Israel was murdering so-called terrorists in Palestine, killing and wounding women, children, body guards, and any bystanders along with their target. That’s one extrajudicial killing plus bloody random murder, as far as I can tell. And with the recent campaign, the blood flowers are coming to bloom at last. A catharsis of blood and bones.
Anyway. Thinking about these things, and hearing my friends and coworkers blab their innocent mumblings about the Hamas being terrorists… I lack the words.