Ein Gedi Botanic Garden

Ein Gedi Botanic Garden
Seek the serenity of a Judean Desert sky in Autumn at the Ein Gedi Botanic Garden

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Russian-American Coalition

It's almost 11:00 pm and for once, I am not wondering where my children are.
I am wondering where I am instead, as a returning American immigrant and as a Jew.

The post-Disengagement horror stories continue their steady march into our bruised landscape and those who care are simply numb. Those who did not care before, care even less by now, unmoved by the daily tales of tragedy after tragedy.

Three suicides committed by young soldiers at last count, with scores more admitted to psychiatric wards around the country, unable to cope with the trauma, the grief and the rage of having to perpetrate one of the worst military operations in Israel's history.

Homeless families of seven who used to live in five-bedroom houses are now scattered all over Israel, crammed into two-room apartments the size of their former kitchens. Residents of the much-touted "caravillas" are struggling with burst pipes, inadequate electrical wiring and a faulty infrastructure barely constructed for the thousands expelled from homes the government urged them to build decades ago.

And it's not even winter yet.

We once innocently referred to this place as The Holy Land. We know now that although this will forever be true, it doesn't mean the inhabitants have lived up to the same standards. We have indeed become "a nation like all other nations", to our eternal disgrace.

Filthy Israeli politics has sold us out – again. I wonder how many years it will take until the ethical among us learn that the only way to change the system is to shake off the disillusionment and depression and GET INVOLVED. It means teaching our children, as our predecessors did in the Sixties, that political activism – not only on the streets, but at political events and in actual political parties – is the most effective way to create a new reality.

Our generation has been too reluctant to get our hands dirty with politics, and we are now reaping that bitter harvest. It is not too late, however, to teach our children to be passionate about a commitment to politics as a venue for changing a corrupt and broken system. This country desperately needs it. We desperately need it.

The Russians, for once, are way ahead of us and wisely started their own political party years ago to protect their own interests and those they perceived to be Israel's.

It's time to form a North American immigrant party to bring this country back to the ethical Jewish standards we thought we were "moving up to" when we made aliyah.

And since some of our concerns are identical to those in Natan Sharansky's party (immigrant rights, for example) perhaps we could form a coalition together – who says miracles don't happen?

In the Middle East, even the Russians and Americans can team up for the same cause.

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