This was a strange essay for me to read. As a Jew, I’ve had trouble forming an opinion on the conflict between Palestine and Israel. You hear about the blood, the bombs, the babies burned in the streets. It sounds horrible. My official position has always been: it’s all bad. All parties involved are at fault for the horrific events.
I’m also not very religious– I don’t really believe that because Jews are the “chosen-people” that they rightfully belong in Palestine. I feel uncomfortable accepting money for the Birthright program that sends any Jewish kid to Israel. Sure it’s a great program– broadening children’s horizons is always a good thing. But should some ancient claim that a book makes really give a people right to the land?
Then on the other hand, on the hand that has written essays about the Holocaust, the expulsion of the Jews from the very beginning of human history, I think: these people have been so abused. These people, my people, deserve a place to call home. They ought to have a place to belong to, and after the Holocaust they deserve it.
But at the same time, reading Said’s article, I realize that what the Jews are doing to the Palestinians is taking away their homes– making them aliens where ever they go, even in their own country.
So I suppose I must end where I started. It was a strange essay for me to read. Strange and enlightening. And I still don’t know where I stand on the issue.