« Eyeless in Gaza » By Roger Cohen
I had a dream: Israeli Arab students, enraged by the war in Gaza , were protesting at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A counterdemonstration by Jewish students erupted. When the head of university security, a Holocaust survivor, tried to intervene, the Arab students called him a Nazi.
Actually, I didn't dream this. Shlomo Avineri, a political scientist at the university, related the incident, which occurred in the first days after Israel began its Gaza war on December 27. But dreams cut to the quick. There's no point denying that a line of sorts runs from the forty-three people killed by Israeli fire near a United Nations school in Gaza on January 6 back to the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948 and to Berlin , 1945.
History is relentless. Sometimes its destructive gyre gets overcome: France and Germany freed themselves after 1945 from war's cycle. So, even more remarkably, did Poland and Germany . China and Japan scarcely love each other but do business. Only in the Middle East do the dead rule. As Yehuda Amichai, the Israeli poet, once observed, the dead vote in Jerusalem . Their demand for blood is, it seems, inexhaustible. Their graves will not be quieted. Since 1948 and Israel 's creation, retribution has reigned between the Jewish and Palestinian national movements.
I have never previously felt so despondent about Israel , so shamed by its actions, so despairing of any peace that might terminate the dominion of the dead in favor of opportunity for the living.
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