These Are Not Your Heroes

When I started this Substack it was to talk about books, gardens, and whatever else intrigued me. And I’ll get back to that. But the war in the middle east has overtaken any sense of the normal routine of daily life.

Palestinians, I’ve seen the AI image of a paraglider sailing into Jerusalem. It’s heroic and stirring. But terrorists who slaughter children, who stream live video on their victims’ social media accounts, who randomly call friends and family from victims’ cell phones to gloat and horrify — these are not your heroes.

Israelis, I’ve seen reservists young and old racing to answer the nation’s call. It’s heroic and stirring. But a military that uses white phosphorus on civilians, that orders a million people out of their homes toward closed borders, that shells indiscriminately — these are not your heroes.

“We wouldn’t have if they hadn’t — “ “They’ve always — “ “We had to respond — “ “They won’t — “ “They will — “

Enough. Enough. ENOUGH.

There’s plenty of guilt and savagery on both sides, enough that it’ll take centuries to expiate. But that has to start because this has to end.

Here in the US a new organization of Jews, IfNotNow, is leaning on the US government to pressure the Israeli government to back down from the “Once And For All” stance — which rings a lot like the Final Solution, doesn’t it? We can only hope there are similar organizations among the Palestinians. If not they must be created. Palestinians and Israelis of good heart must throw off Hamas and its partners, and the Israeli right wing and its enablers. Everyone else everywhere else must help however we can.

We have to be each other’s heroes.

This war will end as all wars do. Israel is in the middle east to stay. Palestine must be created as a co-equal nation. These are truths, and not necessarily bitter ones. They have to be acknowledged and the work of building has to begin.

Those who do it, these are your heroes.

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