Duality

It is so easy to get caught up in one side of the story when the prevailing dialogue is dichotomous. But both of these sides, caught up in their perpetual battle of rhetoric and mud-slinging, turn a blind eye to the third side of the story. This is the story that tells of an idealism manifest in reality (for some, though certainly not all). A place where you are welcome because of who you are, not in spite of who you are. Not quite utopian but for many it is the better – the best – option. It is a pity this principle has been so lost, so warped, and so used for the base and short-sighted needs of the politicians and the pundits and the provocateurs.

Oppression and persecution cannot exterminate us. No nation on earth has survived such struggles and sufferings as we have gone through. Jew-baiting has merely stripped off our weaklings; the strong among us were invariably true to their race when persecution broke out against them. …

For old prejudices against us still lie deep in the hearts of the people. He who would have proofs of this need only listen to the people where they speak with frankness and simplicity: proverb and fairy-tale are both Anti-Semitic. A nation is everywhere a great child, which can certainly be educated; but its education would, even in most favorable circumstances, occupy such a vast amount of time that we could, as already mentioned, remove our own difficulties by other means long before the process was accomplished. (Herzl)

To create somewhere so free, but in so limited a capacity? To be free for the persecuted, but only the persecuted Jews? Noble or ignoble? For the moment we will tend towards noble – an international prejudice will spur such thought, and completely warranted. It is the implementation of this solution that is so troublesome. But the opportunity, the opportunity is beautiful.

A dark woman sits on a bus, her face gaunt and hollow. Faded tattoos of crosses and stars frame her eyes which betray a deeper knowledge. Her past is a mystery but it hints at sorrows of the souls, sadness unknown. But here she is safe, her daughters are happy, here eyes twinkle. She remembers, but she can forget.

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