shame, and anger

by tobybee

If you read the Age today, as I just did, you would have seen three articles about Israel’s actions, two of which are nothing but horrifying. The first explains that, yes, in the 1990s Israel took dead peoples body parts without permission from the people themselves (prior to their deaths) or their families. They removed corneas, skin, heart valves and bones from Palestinians, Israelis and foreign workers. When accusations about this practice were made in a Swedish newspaper earlier this year, the Israeli government flatly denied it. And now we learn that it is true. And though they say that the practice has ended, I don’t see how we can believe them.

The second article talks about the impact of Operation Cast Lead on the children of Gaza, and their parents. It says that 75 percent of the children in Gaza have at least one symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. One in ten of these children has every symptom. And the problems aren’t just from the bombardment that took place: because of Israel’s continued blockade of Gaza, the materials for rebuilding houses, for providing proper food and educational materials, are not getting into Gaza. People are still living in tents, in overcrowded conditions. Because Israel bombed the sewage treatment plant in Gaza in 2006, there is raw sewage being pumped into the Mediterranean, so when families play in the water – one of the few recreational activities available to them – they are getting sick.

So I read these articles, and I wonder how anyone justifies these practices. What has to happen to one’s brain, to one’s sense of humanity, to be able to assert that these are acceptable things for a Jewish State to be perpetrating? Without a doubt, this is not my idea of Jewishness. My Jewishness disavows these actions.