Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Israel's Problem

       Israel, as a nation-state with very close links to a larger world-wide Jewish community, has serious problems, and I have no clear idea how to help her.

       It is as if she is a close friend who is caught in a bad marriage.  The smarter she is, the worse it seems to be.   She has endless problems with her husband, and she'll tell you all about them, but is he really as uncaring as she makes him out to be?  She dotes on her children today, but she calls them "self-loathing" and "worse than Hitler" tomorrow.  She berates her neighbors.  She doesn't like the neighborhood either, but she chose to move there.

       Is it really, always, everybody else's fault?  Is she always the one who is "misunderstood"?  You'd like to help her, but the more she talks to you about her problems, the more you find yourself drawn into a lose-lose conversation.  If you agree with her today that her kids don't love her enough, will she turn on you tomorrow for bad-mouthing her kids?

       Or the neighbors.  She can't get along with her enemies.  But she can't get along with her friends, either.  They can be so insensitive.

       I think she can't get along with herself.

       Can she ever say, "I was wrong," or, "I am sorry,"  or, "I apologize," about anything?  Or even decide, publicly or privately, "I am going to be a better person.  I am going to stop blaming others and take responsibility for my own bad behavior," like the rest of us have to do?

       I don't know what she wants.

       She does not want peace, because she does not do the things that make for peace.  She has everything from cyber-weapons to nuclear weapons, and she sells her surplus armaments all over the world, and she claims she has no security.  Everything is an "existential threat."

       She doesn't like to take advice from anybody, whether it is God, Moses, the Prophets, or Messiah Himself.  (Which, by the way, puts Turkey, the UN, President Obama -- and some good rabbis -- in good company, temporarily at least.)

       So what do you say?

       I'm sure I have little to contribute.  Since I have no answers that have not already been offered and rejected a thousand times, only this: I am sorry to see my own country and the rest of the world being dragged into this.

       I hope that she, and her Husband, and her kids, can work through this.  I pray for health and healing for them all.


  1. who are the husband and kids? I have a good idea but I am not certain.

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    Thanks for the follow-up question. I suspect that your good idea is very similar to my own.