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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

20 Jul

Somebody tell me what the fuck I’m supposed to do.

I’ve lost people I love to terrorist attacks.

I’ve seen people around me lose husbands and sons to this conflict.

I’m afraid to voice my own beliefs on this blog for fear of getting attacked for them.

Because even though I’m a moderate I’ve been called a Nazi for even believing that I have a right to call Israel my home.

So I keep my views to myself because I know that this is an English language blog, that gets read by people in the United States. And Canada. And Europe.

And a host of other places where anti-semitism is on the upswing.

A host of places I admit I wish I could move to.

Because I don’t want my daughter to lose someone she loves to a terrorist attack. Or have to run into a bomb shelter in the middle of the night. Or have to watch her government take drastic action that she doesn’t agree with.

But tell me – what the fuck am I supposed to do?

I can’t leave. I’ve lived outside of this country before. I’ve been hated and cursed for being Jewish. For being Israeli.

Yes. I have. I have stories that would make your skin crawl.

But I don’t talk about that on this blog.

Because I know there’s some asshole out there who thinks that I don’t deserve to live because of the place where I was born and where I live.

And another asshole who would think I’m self-hating because I don’t support my government’s decisions blindly.

And another asshole who thinks that me thinking that I have a right to live in this country in peace makes me a bad person.

So tell me

What the fuck am I supposed to do?

I can’t up and leave. I can’t leave my family. Leave my friends. Leave my job. Leave a life I’ve worked so hard to build.

I can’t go anywhere else because anywhere else I’m different. Anywhere else I’m hated.

But how the fuck am I supposed to raise my child in this? How the fuck am I supposed to live in this reality?

Where my country is under siege by a group of monsters who use their women and children as human shields.

But that means that my country hurts those women and those children in the name of protecting us.

And as I sit here and type these words all I can think about is how every Israeli right wing fundamentalist will read this and curse me out for being a traitor, and every anti-Israel nut job will read this and say that I’m a criminal simply for living here. For having my child here. For building my home here. For belonging to this country.

But this is my home.

So tell me – what the fuck am I supposed to do?

Stay silent. Wrap myself and my child in a bubble of denial.

But she’ll be old enough one day to understand the things that are going on around her. She’ll be old enough one day to be afraid. To ask questions.

This never ending war. It’s been going on since before my parents were born. How long will it continue?

How long until EVERY HUMAN BEING in this region will feel safe in their own home?

How long until I can stop shedding tears for the grief, fear, and sense of insecurity that my daughter will one day inevitably feel?

But I can’t leave. Because this is my home. And I’m hated and shunned everywhere else.

Yet I’m hated and shunned here. And I’m hated and shunned for living here.

And I don’t see how my daughter’s fate will be any different.

So tell me – what the fuck am I supposed to do?

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21 Responses to “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”

  1. denise100709 July 21, 2014 at 00:57 #

    This is a really hard question. I don’t know the answer. I hate that you have to face this. Where I live in northern CA, I don’t witness any hatred of Israelis or Jews, but since I’m neither, I am not as aware. I do see people arguing in the newspaper about all this, from both sides, so the discourse is here. It’s not hateful, but I can see it’s hurtful. I don’t know the answer, but I am sad that this unending war is going on. As an atheist, I wonder if the religion was taken out if the equation all together, would both sides be less zealous? But then I think people (especially men) will always engage in turf wars. It seems to be part of male DNA…

    • Mo July 21, 2014 at 01:06 #

      As a fellow atheist I have to say: amen to that!

  2. chon July 21, 2014 at 02:04 #

    after what happened to many Australians on Friday I am, absolutely lost for words. I am so over this bullshit fight for religion – Islam is the greatest, Catholics are the best, Christianity is the only religion. Do you know what I see a bunch of power fucked mad MEN that are fighting over dirty strips of land and for what. WHAT. They will never be happy. They will never be content. If you believe in a god do you truly fucking think that killing INNOCENT people is right? I am also an atheist and I feel that this has less to do with religion and more to do with power, ego, hate, anger, testosterone and the feeling that they have to constantly be tougher than the other person. I am so sorry both sides of where you are at are here AGAIN and wait with bated breath for the day I can turn on the TV and not see once again male hatred and ego dominate the news.

  3. Jessica July 21, 2014 at 02:24 #

    As a secular jew living in North America, I feel embattled from both sides, just by virtue of what people assume based on my identity. As one living in israel (and facing the rockets and the potential loss of loved ones every day), I can only imagine it’s ten thousand times worse. Wishing you safety, and a speedy resolution to the insanity.

  4. justwedding July 21, 2014 at 03:12 #

    I’m confused. What would cause you to be hated and shunned?

    Certainly not being Jewish.

    • Mo July 21, 2014 at 06:12 #

      But alas, that is what causes it.

      • justwedding July 21, 2014 at 08:19 #

        My husband is Jewish and has never been hated or shunned because of his religion that we are aware of. I’m sure there are people out there that hate him and Jews in general, but we have never encountered them personally. We live in a major city in the US.

        • Mo July 21, 2014 at 08:21 #

          I guess he’s been lucky. He also doesn’t have the added bonus of being Israeli, which I’m sure is a factor.

  5. JourneyGirl July 21, 2014 at 03:26 #

    I am having trouble verbalising what I think here but for the most part, I feel sickened on your behalf, that’s a difficult way to live. I don’t really have any concept of your experience as I have never experienced any racism or religious prejudice. I live in Melbourne, Australia, which is very multicultural, peaceful and politically stable but of course, that does not mean that racism and intolerance don’t occur, I truly hope that it is getting less and less as time goes on.

    I don’t know what you should do either (as obviously I have no concept of your experience) basically my comment has not served to help in any way, I’m so sorry. What I do wish is for you to feel safe in your home and that your daughter grows up to feel the same.

  6. Esperanza July 21, 2014 at 04:19 #

    I echo Denise’s sentiments exactly. I’m also in NorCal and I also don’t notice anti-Semitic sentiments, but then again, why would I? Not only would I probably fail to notice it, but I certainly wouldn’t inspire it, so I will admit to being completely ignorant on that subject. I do know enough about the conflict to know that resolving it seems all but impossible. I don’t know what the answer is and I can’t imagine being stuck in the middle of it with my family. It must be unfathomably difficult . I won’t end with any trite platitudes but will say that I’m abiding with you.

  7. Babycrazykiwi July 21, 2014 at 08:19 #

    Oh wow I am lost for words. And terrified for you. You and your family are in my thoughts every time I what the crap going on over there. I can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through.
    I’ve never experienced anything at all like this but I would be getting the heck out most likely. New Zealand is a lovely safe place…..

  8. jay July 21, 2014 at 17:13 #

    This is such an awful situation, and it is amazing how human beings can fuck something up to an extent that fixing it seems impossible.I used to think Gandhi was a wimp as a child. Today, I wish more people were like him, because an eye for an eye is leading to worldwide blindness. I will say this: I’m Indian and this bit about racism and being disliked is something Indians generally have to contend with as well. The thing about racism in today’s world is that for one racist asshole, you will meet 40 nice people, and it is better and healthier to dismiss the asshole in the crowd. Obviously that takes effort, and it is easier to live in NYC compared to, I don’t know, small town Idaho. And everybody’s experiences and tolerance levels for racist episodes differ widely. Nonetheless, that commentary on dealing with racism aside, I pray that this situation does not escalate, and actually settles.

  9. Mrs T July 21, 2014 at 18:28 #

    I’ve been thinking of you so much lately and hoping that everyone you love stays safe. I wish you weren’t in this untenable position. ❤

  10. jjiraffe July 22, 2014 at 04:28 #

    NorCal is a unique place, I can attest to that. There is little anti-semitism here, and there are a lot of reasons for this. When I lived in London? It was bad. That was one of the reasons we moved, even though there was so much else to love. I am really sorry for all of this, it’s all so horrible. (((Hugs))) to you. WIshing you and everyone peace and safety.

  11. Amy July 22, 2014 at 16:12 #

    Just another atheist (recovering Catholic) chiming in here to echo the frustration that so many religiously-fueled conflicts escalate into such inhumanity. It’s difficult to grasp the enormity of it as someone who only reads and hears about it, mostly through mass media (thank you so much for putting a first-person face to it for me) – I cannot imagine trying to both incorporate the reality of it into your daily life while at the same time shielding your family’s lives from it as much as possible. It has to be heartbreaking, on all sides.

    I’m doubly sorry for the intolerance you know you’d face elsewhere – my small-town roots in Ohio didn’t exactly expose me to the widest diversity of people, yet I can hardly fathom the intensity of that kind of hatred. Going somewhere where it would be better for your family should always be an option; having that possibility eliminated on top of everything else is so unfair. May you and yours remain safe and hopeful.

  12. Lisa July 22, 2014 at 21:38 #

    Like you and most of your readers, I learned the hard way that if I haven’t been in someone’s moccasins, there ain’t no way in hell I’m making any judgments or looking down my nose at someone else’s choices. All I can say is that I’ve been thinking about you guys a lot and hoping you are safe. You know that what you have to do is whatever YOU AND SHMERSON think is right for your family. Not what you think will make anyone else happy or what you think people will expect you to do or what you think will make people be less judgey. Not their moccasins either.

    • yael375 July 24, 2014 at 20:54 #

      Hugs… I understand you 100%. These are rough times..

      I’ve personally felt pretty safe for the most part… but it was scary the couple times the sirens went off here. I try not to think about it when I go into Jerusalem, and I’ve been so far lucky that nothing has happened when I was out and about.

      I know we’ll get through this as we have gotten through other wars, though I doubt we will solve the problem. For me personally there were some other pretty scary times since I’ve been living here. My husband was in one of the bombings a couple weeks before our wedding…

      I fear that my boys will grow up soldiers and it terrifies me… But I don’t want to live anywhere else.

  13. Louisa July 30, 2014 at 19:39 #

    I’ve been thinking about you and your family and hoping you are all safe. I don’t have any answers just a hug for you and yours. Stay safe.

  14. NewMom July 31, 2014 at 00:18 #

    Well. I am not atheist. Definitely Christian. Definitely been hated on for that a lot. Mainly by atheists/agnostics. I live in SoCal. I think people hate on things they don’t understand. You just have to try and teach your daughter to be true to herself, because it really doesn’t matter who you are, what you believe, or where you are you will get discriminated against for something at some point. Will definitely be praying for the safety of all in the Middle East. My friend is headed to Israel soon and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about it.

  15. Jaclyn August 3, 2014 at 01:08 #

    In the New York City metro area, there is very little antisemitism. This would include many of the suburbs, if you would rather live in the suburbs than in a city. You should live wherever is best for your family (you have jobs, family and friends in Israel). but please know that there are parts of the world with no day to day antisemitism if antisemitism is the primary reason you want to stay in israel. I’m so sorry for everything your family is going through and I hope there will be peace soon. In response to your most recent post, we all have those days as parents and hopefully tomorrow will be better

  16. Geochick (@geochick_1) August 5, 2014 at 19:37 #

    Thinking of you in this situation. Hope you stay safe.

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