a different side of Israel

The Republic

During my stroll down town I have stumbled upon a friend, Glaucon the son of Ariston. We chatted a bit about the weather (“yeah, it’s pretty damn hot”) and then, out of nowhere, says he: “So, whaddya think of those Arabs, eh?”

Correct? Incorrect? Who cares? We all want to discuss politics. And controversial issues too. But mainly politics. It makes sense, doesn’t it? We don’t have much time for entertainment and gossip, when there’s war going on around us, or when there are “just threats” to attack our lovely country. It’s even a bit funny to see the newspapers dealing with the local American Idol contestants or some other non-political issues, “Like hello, we’re in the middle-east here!” So, yes, this is the Israeli situation. And, boy, do we love to discuss it!

The sons of Abraham must have somehow inherited Plato’s legacy. In every social event, be it a family Shabbat dinner or stam hanging out with friends, one of the following issues is bound to come up:

– The on-going (never-ending?) Israeli-Arab conflict;
– Israeli politicians (highly praised, or not very much so);
– Religion and religious belief;
– Minorities (immigrants, foreign workers, homosexuals, what not)

Such non-PC discussions never end until every single participant has presented all their arguments, usually with much effort to overcome the others’ speech volume, frequently ending without much agreement. Yet, though they can become somewhat rough, these conversations almost always end in a friendly way. The agreement to disagree, with which most Western discussions begin, does not appeal to the all-knowing Israeli, and, you know what? I tend to think it’s not such a bad thing after all. Why hold stuff inside and smile and nod, when there is obviously a way of expressing your beliefs and ideas in a polite and intelligent manner? Now tell me you don’t have anything clever to say about that…!

1 Comment

  1. “clever” not really being one of my specialities; Oh, how I wish it were sometimes! I would say, if you can’t “agree to disagree on some things, what are the options? Dare I ask, when the world seems so full of those taking them.

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