Saturday, October 18, 2014

the children, the pain and the piano.. from Jaffa to Gaza.

   Late last night i wrote a FB post abut a beautiful concert by the amazing pianist Liz Magnes at her home in Jaffa, where the aim was to raise money for the children of Gaza. 

This morning at 8am my friend Michel called and urged me to remove it as it had, in his words, offended many people, and that it might start a new wave of hatred against me. He claimed there were those who felt it was wrong to support the children of Gaza without at the same time supporting the children of Sderot or other cities in Israel which had been hurt by the war, and that I was “crazy” for waking up the dragon. He was worried about me,   

When Michel called I was reading a book with my daughter in bed, enjoying the soft morning sunshine and savoring the last hours with her  before leaving for two weeks of concerts in Italy, a difficult and emotional moment for me. I was much too preoccupied and exhausted (I had packed till 2 am) to argue with him and I knew he meant well (Michel is a real friend) so I removed the post, but I felt very bad about doing so and the feeling has been gnawing at me all day, as my heart and conscience will not allow me to simply “let it be”.  

This feeling has lead me to write the following lines.

Over the 25 years of my career i have volunteered endlessly for children everywhere, and for the children of Israel more than any. I have sung for cancer associations, hospitals, special homes for battered women and their children, for blind children, deaf children, mentally disabled youth , I have helped raise money, I have visited, done workshops, taken photos, shaken hands, hugged, kissed and what not. And I have sung for soldiers, sung in bomb shelters, sung for bereaved parents, on and on the list goes.  Believe me, I am not exaggerating. I practice what I preach…”love your brother as you love yourself”. I do not flaunt these things or boast of them (and it annoys me that I am doing so now), and I do not document myself obsessively, I simply do the job.

When Liz Magnes wrote and said she was organizing this small get together at her home , I was thrilled. I have long wanted to hear Liz play live (she is amaaaazing!), and  thought, how wonderful to be able to help children  while I’m at it, even if the help is modest and symbolic.

Had I been approached by Liz or anyone for that matter, to do the same for the children of Sderot, I would act in exactly the same way. But none such opportunity presented itself last week. So, what should I have done? Refused to come to Liz’s little concert because there was no “balancing event” to give it legitimacy?? Or, attended but kept it to myself, because it might offend someone?? My whole career has been a long series of offensive events, from singing for the Pope to singing for peace to singing with Arabs to singing in general (if you’re an ultra orthodox male) …is that reason to shut up??
 I find the whole issue mind boggling.

I am asking myself why it is so difficult for some people here in Israel to support a simple act of charity and compassion towards children who are suffering, our neighbors’ children?  If for example, I would be raising money for the children of Africa, would that be ok? Or orphans in Russia or neonates in Naples? (I have raised money and volunteered extensively for all three…as good will ambassador of th UN organization FAO, Amnesty International Special Ambassador , Cavalliera de la Republica Italian , etc). I imagine nobody would find it offensive, on the contrary.

But the children of Gaza?? “Shame on you!” I am told, “they are the enemy!! How dare you show compassion towards them!? Do you think they’d show compassion towards you?? they'll slit your throat! You fool! Stick with your own kind! Israel Hater!! And anyway, the money goes to Hamas who build tunnels to kill your children” (some add, “I hope Hamas kills you and your children, Arab Lover”. Nice people.)

I feel truly sorry for people who think that way. I understand their hearts and minds are crippled by fear (some justified), tainted with prejudice and cynicism, and handicapped by short shortsightedness. Further, I suppose, they think that helping the children of Gaza means admitting in some way that we are responsible for their ill fate.

So here is a step by step analysis of the situation as I see it, and an explanation for why I choose not to delete the children of Gaza from my volunteering and raising money list:

1.   1.  People from Gaza are treated in Israeli hospitals every day. Why? Because we can. Because we have the know-how, the infrastructure, the manpower. Because despite what governments think and do, people exhibit humanity! I am proud if that. I heard that Abu Mazen’s wife was treated in an Israeli hospital not long ago! I am proud of those hospitals, those doctors (like my husband!), those nurses, who help save lives for the sake of humanity. I don’t think they say to themselves: “hmmm well, I haven’t helped a Jewish Israeli today, so I can’t help a Gazan. Sorry”. That would be ridiculous. And the hospitals are just the beginning! There are endless Israeli initiatives to help rebuild Gaza! From humanitarian aid to building products to technology, etc. I am asking all my critics: why are you not PROUD of this fact?? You should be! the same goes for raising money for the children of Gaza! I am proud to be part of a society that can and will do something like that!

2.    2. The 500 children who were killed in the Gaza offensive, and the 3000 that were wounded, were most likely not armed terrorists or serial killers. They were caught in the cross fire, just like any of us could have been. They are not the enemy. The enemy, as I have stated many times before is anyone who chooses death over life, anyone poisoned by extremism and fanaticism, anyone unable to speak any language but violence, both verbal and physical, and that goes for Arabs, Jews or whomever. A child is a child; I have three of my own and feel deeply for every single one on the planet. Every child is born pure of heart; hatred is not natural to the human species. I have always, and will always, do everything I can to secure a better future for ANYONE’s children.

3.   3.  Recognizing the pain of another does not eliminate your own pain. Recognizing the other’s tragedy does not erase or diminish your OWN tragedy. Recognizing the Palestinians struggle for independence and their right to self-definition within their own territory does not cancel your own right to all of those things. And admitting you are to blame for the loss of human life does not mean the other side does not share this blame. Self-righteousness and defensiveness, without the courage to reach out, will lead us nowhere.

4.    4. Yes, it is true that for the moment, no Palestinian organization will jump up and help the children of Sderot on the border with Gaza. On the other hand, if a Palestinian state existed, if we were two equal entities entangled in battle, I am sure citizens from the other side would feel confident and strong enough to reach out beyond the fence, just as I do. For the moment, sadly that is not (yet) the case. 

5.   5.  For whomever the purely humanitarian, compassionate and human-empathy considerations are not enough, consider that our well being (including the children of Sderot!) depends on the well being of our neighbors, whether we like it or not. Healthy children with a roof over their heads, with a chance for an education and a future, are less likely to grow into blood thirsty terrorists. It’s simple really.

6.    6. Anyone who has ever been involved in fundraising knows that you ALWAYS take a risk putting your money into the hands of strangers that you HOPE will get it to the needy. Unfortunately, there is often corruption, as a result which money falls into the wrong hands, and no country is free of this illness, including Israel. So yes, there is a chance some of the money might being kidnapped by Hamas. But is that a reason not to try and raise it? No. Is the fact that Africa is full of corrupt tyrants reason not to help the children of Africa? No.

I will end with something beautiful that Gil Dor once told me.

The Hebrew word for responsibility, “Achrayut”, has at its core the word “acher”, which means “the other, the different one”.  Responsibility is intrinsically linked to our relationship with “the  other”, the one that is different from us, it is he/she we must be looking out for, whether or not that sentiment is reciprocated.

I believe only if we create a positive dynamic, only if we give a personal example that will set the butterfly wings in motion, as tiny as the first little flap may be, can we hope for an eruption of positive change… somewhere, someday.

Noa, Oct 2014

(Liz Magnes at the piano at her home in Jaffa, my daughter Yum staring out into the ocean...)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

and now, the Spanish Opened Letter to the wind

Saludos desde nuestro rincón de Oriente Medio, donde últimamente se ha desatado el infierno.

Aterrorizada, angustiada y deprimida, frustrada, enfadada,… cada onda emocional se mezcla con la otra para dominar mi corazón y mi mente… ninguna más que otra y yo naufrago en el océano, en la ebullición que genera su mezcla.

Hay una alarma por misiles cada hora desde algún lugar cerca de mi casa. En Tel Aviv es todavía peor. Mi hijo y yo hemos parado nuestro coche en medio de la calle y nos hemos resguardado en un callejón cercano hasta que el penetrante sonido de la sirena ha dejado de sonar… algunos minutos después hemos escuchado tres fuertes explosiones que han hecho temblar las paredes. En el sur la situación es insostenible. Sus vidas allí abajo han llegado a un punto de colapso, su supervivencia está reducida; transcurren la mayor parte de su tiempo en los refugios antibombas. En gran parte los misiles son interceptados por nuestro sistema de defensa, pero no todos. Cada civil es un objetivo, nuestros niños están traumatizados, sus heridas emocionales son irreversibles. Y los túneles, excavados bajo tierra, llegan hasta las mismas puertas de las casas de los habitantes del kibbutz de la frontera de Gaza… en los oscuros meandros de mis pesadillas imagino a qué serán destinados: contrabando, secuestros, torturas, homicidios… Nuestros soldados están en primera línea. Están allí nuestros hijos, los hijos de nuestros amigos y vecinos, jóvenes soldados (hombres y mujeres) de este país llamados  al deber por nuestro gobierno… y ya ha pasado: ataúdes cubiertos con la bandera, funerales inundados de lágrimas, vidas destruidas el Kaddish, la bien conocida y devastadora rutina

Y la gente de Gaza… oh, Dios, la gente de Gaza… ¿Qué puede haber más miserable y horrible que lo que estas personas están soportando? ¿Será su destino eterno sufrir por culpa de crueles tiranos? Las imágenes de los niños ensangrentados, las madres llorando con sus vestidos manchados de sangre, los escombros y la devastación, el horror en sus ojos, un máximo de cinco minutos para salir de sus casas, correr para sobrevivir porque están cayendo bombas… ningún refugio… la táctica de los talibanes de Hamas de un lado y los aviones F16 del ejército israelí del otro, estas personas están como en un cascanueces, chafadas por las fauces metálicas de la ceguera y la estupidez humana… el balance de víctimas sigue creciendo… por amor de Dios… ¿cuánto tiempo más deberá continuar esto?

Los hombres de Hamas son extremistas, son Yihadistas, son peligrosos, su objetivo es matar a cualquier judío, a mí y a mis hijos incluidos. No reconocen Israel, tienen la intención de transformar a todos los habitantes de Gaza en mártires usándolos como escudos humanos… hemos escuchado todo. Hemos oído a  Hannia y sus secuaces y probablemente todos sea cierto, si es que hay alguna verdad en todo esto…

¿Pero todo hombre, mujer, niño debe ser condenado por la amarga y horrible locura de ambas partas? 

Escucho a Naftali Bennet que habla en la CNN y explica fríamente como los de Hamas son terroristas y tenemos todo el derecho a defendernos… espero, pacientemente, una expresión suya, de dolor, de amargura por la pérdida de vidas inocentes… pero no llega ninguna de estas señales. Y me digo: ¿has olvidado que representas a toda una nación? ¿Has olvidado las enseñanzas básicas de tu religión? ¡Avergüénzate! Por tu culpa han muerto personas inocentes, hombres y mujeres y tantos niños… aunque no pretendieras hacerlo. Y sí, los de Hamas siguen con su horrible retórica cargada de sangre, su cruel fanfarronería a costa de la infeliz población de Gaza… no esconden su malvado plan! Ellos PRETENDEN llevar a la muerte a gente inocente! No hay duda que existe un lugar especial para gente de este tipo en el infierno y la historia está llena de casos. Pero eso no nos exime de la obligación de comportarnos como seres humanos, a menos que nuestro objetivo sea llegar a una metamorfosis que nos transforme en la terrorífica imagen de nuestros más peligrosos enemigos.

Nosotros, Palestinos e Israelíes del mismo modo, no hemos “nunca perdido la oportunidad de dejar escapar una oportunidad de hacer las paces”. Hemos creado este desastre con nuestras manos y estamos pagando el terrible precio por nuestra arrogancia y sorda estupidez.

Es fácil señalar con el dedo y convertirnos en extremadamente autodefensivos cuando caen las bombas… cada parte se refugia en su propio rincón,  quedando cerca de su gente y culpando a la otra…

Mi corazón va con las familias de las víctimas, donde quiera que estén! Me siento feliz de tener un ejército israelí fuerte que me defiende de aquellos que afirman claramente que su objetivo es el de cortarle el cuello a mis hijos… pero no quiero usar mi tristeza o mi miedo como un escudo que me separe de la empatía humana y del raciocinio lúcido. Al contrario, quiero hacer lo opuesto.

Quiero saltar a la arena y proclamar mi verdad.

Sólo hay dos bandos y estos no son Israelíes y Palestinos, Judíos y Árabes.  Las dos partes son Moderados y Extremistas. Yo pertenezco a los moderados, donde quieran que estén. Son mi grupo. ¡Y esa facción necesita estar unida! No tengo nada de nada en común con los extremistas hebreos que queman vivos a niños, envenenan pozos o arrancan árboles, que lanzan piedras a los escolares… que están motivados por un odio fruto del lavado de cerebro y de una gran arrogancia. Quiero esconder la cabeza entre mis manos y desparecer, irme a la luna si es posible, cuando leo los sermones de los Rabinos Ginsburg y Lior, que mitifican la muerte y el asesinato en nombre de Dios como Baruch Goldstein (su santo mártir) que asesinó a 29 árabes a sangre fría mientras estaban rezando! --- cuando leo las increíbles palabras llenas de racismo y de odio escritas por cualquier conciudadano israelí, las lágrimas de alegría cuando se asesina a niños palestinos, el desprecio por la vida humana!! El hecho de compartir el mismo pasaporte y la misma religión con ellos no significa nada para mí. No quiero tener nada que ver con estas personas.

Del mismo modo, los extremistas del otro lado son también mis más acérrimos enemigos. Pero su cólera se ha lanzado no solo contra mí sino también contra los moderados de su propia sociedad… y eso nos convierte a todos en hermanos de causa.

Así como exhorto a los moderados árabes, donde quiera que estén, a hacer lo que esté en sus manos para rechazar el extremismo, no tengo ninguna intención de cerrar los ojos respecto a la responsabilidad que debe ser asumida por mi parte por el desastre que se está produciendo. El Islamismo radical es un fenómeno peligroso que debe ser enfrentado no sólo por Israel sino por el mundo entero. ¡Pero existen en el mundo musulmán voces más liberales, existen interlocutores para el diálogo! ¿Realmente hemos hecho todo lo que podemos para abrir un diálogo con ellos?

La respuesta es NO, hemos hecho lo contrario. El gobierno actual ha hecho todo lo que ha podido para reprimir cualquier tentativa de reconciliación. Ha debilitado y ofendido a Abu Mazen, lider de la más moderada OLP que ha afirmado tantas veces estar interesado en la paz. Cuando Abu Mazen ha realizado declaraciones sobre el Holocausto, definiéndolo como la mayor tragedia de la Historia Humana, se han mofado y desacreditado. No han respetado acuerdos que ellos mismos habían suscrito, rechazando liberar prisioneros que habían ya pactado liberar, prefiriendo continuar la ultrajante y exasperante construcción de los asentamientos como si no se hubiesen negociado. Es como abofetear a alguien, repetidamente, mientras al mismo tiempo inocentemente se le dice: “hagamos las paces, ¿no ves cuánto quiero la Paz?¿ Porqué no estás colaborando?”

¿Y qué pasa con las iniciativas de paz de la Liga Árabe?¿Por qué ha sido sistemática y recurrentemente ignorado por el gobierno israelí? ¡¡Recientemente, en un acto de buena fe sin precedentes, un ilustre funcionario de Arabia Saudí escribió un artículo en un diario israelí en el que expresaba su deseo de paz!! ¡Pasó desapercibido! Este comportamiento solo se puede describir como reprobable y arrogante.

¿Qué enloquecida fuerza mesiánica ha cegado a estos políticos y a su electorado? ¿Qué síndrome bíblico de Josué? ¿Están pensando a caso que poco a poco dominarán los territorios ocupados, hasta que no haya manera de crear el Estado Palestino? Y, ¿qué hay de todos los palestinos que viven allí, de sus aspiraciones, de su historia? ¿Qué sucederá con su bienestar, con sus sueños, son sus esperanzas, con su futuro?¿Vivirán simplemente felices para siempre como ciudadanos de segunda, o se convertirán en masa al judaísmo?¿Cuál es el plan?

No hay ningún plan, no hay una visión que sea moralmente compatible con valores universales, intentando procurar la coexistencia: o por lo menos ninguno que haya sido articulado coherentemente a nuestra gente. En su lugar, estamos alimentando constantemente el miedo y la paranoia, avivando las llamas del nacionalismo, cultivando la xenofobia y el racismo. De hecho, estas políticas están deteriorando Israel hacia un punto ideológico y estratégico de no retorno.

Solamente el diálogo desde un punto de vista de respeto y empatía puede salvarnos. Solo un esfuerzo consensuado para fortalecer a los moderados y así marginar al máximo posible a los radicales puede traernos alguna esperanza. Por mucho que en Israel justificadamente despreciemos a Hamas, no parece que éstos se vayan a ir a ningún sitio. ¿Hemos considerado seriamente las condiciones que ellos proponen para un alto el fuego? ¡Muchas de ellas tienen sentido! ¿Por qué no intentamos aliviar el sufrimiento de la gente de Gaza, les ayudamos a florecer económicamente, les retornamos la dignidad a sus vidas y ganamos 10 años de alto el fuego?... ¡10 años es mucho tiempo! ¡Las mentes jóvenes pueden abrirse! ¡Incluso una modesta prosperidad puede catalizar este cambio! ¿Por qué asumimos automáticamente que estos años serán utilizados SOLO para reforzar el poder militar de Hamás? Estas condiciones incluyen la supervisión internacional. ¿Puede que durante estos años se cree una realidad en la que Hamas, con una generación de jóvenes líderes que vean un horizonte diferente, pueda entrar en el círculo político de una forma que, finalmente, permita el diálogo?

Me pregunto a mi misma, y a Netanyahu: ¿Por qué no nos sorprendemos a nosotros mismos? Netanyahu, tú eres conocido como un hombre inteligente: ¿por qué no das un giro de 180 grados, cambias las reglas del juego, rompes los esquemas? ¡¡Da la bienvenida a Abu Mazen, para la construcción de asentamientos, apoya a un gobierno de unidad, abre Gaza y permite el comercio con supervisión internacional, abraza las aspiraciones Palestinas junto con las nuestras, da la bienvenida a la intervención internacional, y gana un aliado real CONTRA el extremismo!! ¡¡Jaque mate!!

¿Hemos hecho un verdadero esfuerzo para conseguir todo esto antes de mandar a nuestros jóvenes a morir? Tristemente, la respuesta es no.

Nadie está desmantelando el ejército israelí, que permanecerá fuerte. Pero, ¿por qué estamos rechazando testarudamente asumir este riesgo calculado, y en lugar de eso estamos prefiriendo el sacrificio de nuestros hijos? Va más allá de mi comprensión.

En Akedat Yitzchak, Dios intervino y salvó al niño. ¿Dónde está Dios ahora? ¿Se ha  vuelto indiferente ante la abominación de sus sagradas enseñanzas, por los extremistas de los dos lados?
Si rechazamos el reconocimiento de los derechos de las dos partes y de hacernos cargo de nuestras obligaciones, si continuamos aferrados a nuestros argumentos, con desprecio e indiferencia hacia los de los otros, si elegimos una y otra vez la espada sobre las palabras, si santificamos la tierra y  no las vidas de nuestros niños, nos veremos de verdad forzados a buscar una colonia en la luna, porque nuestra tierra estará tan empapada de sangre y tan cubierta de lápidas que no nos quedará nada para vivir.

Escribí estas palabras y las canté junto a mi amiga Mira Awad. Hoy tienen más sentido que nunca:

"Cuando lloro, lloro por los dos,
Mi dolor no tiene nombre.
Cuando lloro, lloro a al despiadado cielo y digo: 
Tiene que haber otra manera.."

“when I cry I cry for both of us,
My pain has no name.
When I cry, I cry to the merciless sky and say:
There must be another way

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lettera aperta al vento

Saluti dal nostro angolo del Medio Oriente, dove ultimamente si è scatenato l’inferno.

Terrorizzata, angosciata e depressa, frustrata, arrabbiata …. Ciascun’ondata emotiva concorre con l’altra per dominare sul mio cuore e sulla mia mente … nessuna ha la meglio, e io annego nell’oceano in ebollizione creato dal loro connubio.

C’è un allarme missili ogni ora da qualche parte vicino casa mia. A Tel Aviv, è anche peggio. Mio figlio e io oggi abbiamo fermato la nostra auto in mezzo alla strada e ci siamo precipitati in un vicolo vicino fino a che la sirena penetrante non ha smesso di suonare … alcuni minuti dopo abbiamo sentito tre fragorose esplosioni che hanno fatto tremare i muri. Nel Sud la situazione è insostenibile. Le loro vite laggiù sono giunte alla paralisi,  la loro sopravvivenza annientata; trascorrono la maggior parte del loro tempo nei rifugi anti bombe. In gran parte i missili sono intercettati dal nostro sistema di difesa, ma non tutti. Ogni civile è un obiettivo, i nostri bambini sono traumatizzati, le loro ferite emotive sono irreversibili.E i tunnel, scavati sottoterra, che raggiungono la soglia delle case di alcuni abitanti dei Kibbutz al confine di Gaza … negli oscuri meandri dei miei incubi immagino a cosa sono destinati: contrabbando, rapimenti, torture, omicidi …! I nostri soldati sono in prima linea. Vi sono nostri figli, figli di nostri amici e vicini, giovani uomini e donne dei questo paese chiamati al dovere dal nostro governo … e già, bare avvolte nella bandiera, funerali inondati dalle lacrime, vite distrutte, il Kadish, la sconvolgente ben nota routine.

E la gente di Gaza … oh Dio, la gente di Gaza … Cosa può esservi di più miserabile e orribile rispetto a quello che queste persone devono sopportare? Il loro destino sarà per sempre quello di soffrire per mano di crudeli tiranni? Le immagini dei bambini sanguinanti, le madri che piangono negli abiti macchiati di sangue, le macerie e la devastazione, il terrore nei loro occhi, cinque minuti al massimo per uscire dalle loro case, correre per sopravvivere perchè stanno cadendo le bombe .. nessun rifugio … la tattica dei talebani di Hamas da un lato e i bombardieri F16 dell'esercito israeliano dall’altro, queste persone sono tenute nella morsa come noci, schiacciate dalle spesse ganasce di metallo della cecità e stupidità umana! … il bilancio delle vittime continua a crescere … per amor di Dio .. per quanto tempo dovrà continuare tutto questo?
Gli uomini di Hamas sono estremisti, sono Jihadisti, sono pericolosi, il loro scopo è di uccidere ogni Ebreo, me e i miei figli compresi. Non riconoscono Israele, hanno intenzione di trasformare tutti gli abitanti di Gaza in martiri usandoli come scudi umani ... abbiamo sentito tutto. Abbiamo sentito Hannia e i suoi seguaci, ed è probabilmente tutto vero, per quanto possa esserci alcuna verità …

Ma ogni uomo, donna e bambino è da condannare per l’amara, orribile follia di entrambe le parti??

Io ascolto Naftali Bennet che parla alla CNN e spiega freddamente come quelli di Hamas sono terroristi e noi abbiamo tutto il diritto di difenderci, il che è vero … Aspetto, pazientemente, una sua espressione di dolore, un suo rammarico per la perdita di vite innocenti … ma non arriva alcuno di questi segni. E mi dico: hai dimenticato che rappresenti un’intera nazione? Hai dimenticato gli insegnamenti fondamentali della tua religione? Vergognati! Per te sono morte persone innocenti, uomini donne e così tanti bambini...anche se non intendevi farlo! E sì, quelli di Hamas continuano con la loro orribile retorica intrisa di sangue, la loro crudele spavalderia a spese dell’infelice gente di Gaza … loro non nascondono il loro piano scellerato! Loro INTENDONO portare alla morte gente innocente! Non vi è dubbio che c’è un posto speciale all’inferno per gente del genere, e la storia ne è piena. Ma questo non ci esime dall’obbligo di comportarci come esseri umani, a meno che il nostro scopo non sia quello di una metamorfosi che ci trasformi nella terrificante identica imagine dei nostri più pericolosi nemici.

Noi , Palestinesi e Israeliani allo stesso modo, non abbiamo “mai perso l’opportunità  di perdere un’opportunità di fare pace”. Abbiamo creato questo disastro con le nostre mani e stiamo pagando il terribile prezzo per la nostra arroganza e sorda stupidità.

È facile puntare il dito e diventare estremamente auto-difensivi quando le bombe cadono... ogni parte si rifugia nel proprio cantuccio, restando vicina alla propria gente, incolpando l'altra...

Il mio cuore va alle famiglie delle vittime dovunque esse siano. Sono felice di avere un esercito israeliano forte che mi difende da quelli che affermano chiaramente che il loro scopo è quello di tagliare la gola ai miei figli … MA non voglio usare la mia tristezza e paura come uno scudo che mi separi dall’empatia umana e dal ragionamento lucido. Al contrario, voglio fare l’opposto.

Voglio stare nell’arena e pronunciare la mia verità.

Vi sono solo due parti, e queste non sono Israeliani e Palestinesi, Ebrei e Arabi. Sono moderati ed estremisti. Io appartengo ai moderati, dovunque essi siano. Sono loro la mia fazione. E questa fazione ha bisogno di essere unita!! Io non ho niente di niente in comune con gli estremisti Ebrei che bruciano vivi I bambini, avvelenano pozzi e sradicano alberi, che scagliano pietre ai bambini della scuola, che sono motivati da un odio frutto del lavaggio del cervello, e da acuta arroganza. Voglio nascondere la testa nelle mie mani e scomparire, sulla luna se è possible, quando leggo I sermoni dei Rabbini Ginsburg e Lior, che mitizzano la morte e l’uccisione in nome di Dio così come fece Baruch Goldstein, il loro sacro martire, che ha ucciso 29 Arabi a sangue freddo mentre stavano pregando!... Quando leggo le incredibili parole di razzismo e di odio scritte da qualche mio concittadino israeliano, i pianti di gioia quando vengono uccisi bambini palestinesi, il disprezzo per la vita umana!!... Il fatto di condividere lo stesso passaporto e la stessa religione non significa nulla per me. Non voglio avere niente a che fare con queste persone.

Allo stesso modo, gli estremisti sull’altro fronte sono pure i miei acerrimi nemici. Ma la loro collera è rivolta non solo contro di me ma contro i moderati della loro stessa società  … ciò ci rende tutti fratelli armati!
Così come esorto I moderati arabi, dovunque siano, a fare tutto ciò che è in loro potere per respingere l’estremismo, non ho alcuna intenzione di chiudere gli occhi di fronte alle responsabilità che devono essere assunte dalla mia parte per il disastro che si sta verificando. L’Islam radicale è un fenomeno pericoloso che deve essere affrontato non solo da Israele, ma dal mondo intero. Ma vi sono nel mondo musulmano voci più liberali, vi sono partner per il dialogo! Abbiamo davvero fatto tutto ciò che è in nostro potere per aprire un dialogo con loro?

La risposta è NO, abbiamo fatto il contrario. Il governo attuale guidato da Netanyahu ha fatto tutto ciò che era in suo potere per reprimere qualunque tentativo di riconciliazione. Ha indebolito e offeso Abu Mazen, leader della più moderata OLP, che ha affermato più volte di essere interessato alla pace. Quando Abu Mazen ha fatto delle dichiarazioni sull’Olocausto, definendolo la più grande tragedia della storia umana, l’hanno schernito e screditato. Non hanno rispettato accordi che loro stessi avevano sottoscritto, rifiutando di rilasciare prigioneri che avevano già pattuito di rilasciare, preferendo continuare l’oltraggiosa ed esasperante costruzione degli insediamenti come se non vi fossero stati negoziati. È come schiaffeggiare qualcuno, ripetutamente, mentre nello stesso tempo innocentemente gli si dice: “Facciamo pace! Non vedi quanto voglio la pace? Perchè non stai collaborando?” 

E cosa dire dell’iniziativa di pace della Lega Araba? Perchè è stata sempre costantemente ignorata dal governo israeliano? Proprio di recente, in un gesto di buona fede senza precedenti, un ufficiale illustre dell’Arabia Saudita ha scritto un articolo su di un quotidiano israeliano, che esprimeva il suo desiderio di pace!! È rimasto inosservato! Questo comportamento può essere solo decritto come riprovevole e arrogante.

Quali folli forze messianiche accecano questi politici e il loro elettorato? Quale sindrome biblica di Joshua? Cosa stanno pensando, che pian piano domineranno i territori occupati sino a quando non vi sarà alcun modo di creare lo Stato palestinese? Che cosa sarà di tutti i palestinesi che vivono lì, delle loro aspirazioni, della loro storia? Che cosa sarà del loro benessere, dei loro sogni, delle loro speranze, del loro futuro? Vivranno semplicemente, come un lieto fine, come cittadini di seconda classe, o forse si convertiranno in massa al giudaismo? Qual è il piano?

Non c’è alcun piano, alcuna visione moralmente compatibile con valori universali, un desiderio di creare coesistenza: o almeno niente del genere è stato presentato in modo coerente alla nostra gente. Al suo posto, siamo nutriti di paura costante e paranoia, e si stanno alimentando le fiamme del nazionalismo, coltivando xenofobia e razzismo. Di fatto questi politici stanno deteriorando Israele a un ideologico e strategico punto di non ritorno.

Solo il dialogo da una posizione di rispetto e di empatia può salvarci.

Solo uno sforzo concertato per  rafforzare i moderati e, di conseguenza, marginalizzare quanto più è possibile gli estremisti può procurarci un po' di speranza. 

Per quanto noi in Israele disprezziamo giustamente Hamas, non sembra che si vada da nessuna parte. Abbiamo seriamente preso in considerazione le loro condizioni per un cessate il fuoco? Molte di esse hanno un senso!

Perché non cercare di alleviare le sofferenze degli abitanti di Gaza, consentire loro di svilupparsi economicamente, restituire dignità alle loro vite ed ottenere un cessate il fuoco di dieci anni? Dieci anni è un sacco di tempo!

Le menti giovani possono aprirsi. Persino una modesta prosperità economica può fare da catalizzatore per il cambiamento! Perché diamo per scontato che questi anni verranno usati solo per rafforzare il potere militare di Hamas? Le condizioni includono una supervisione internazionale. Forse gli anni creeranno una situazione in cui Hamas, con una generazione di leader più giovani che vedono un orizzonte diverso, verrà trascinata all'interno del circolo della politica in un modo che consentirà, finalmente, di aprire un dialogo?

Io chiedo a me stessa ed a Netanyahu: perché non sorprendiamo noi stessi?! Netanyahu, si dice che tu sia un uomo intelligente: perché non fai un'inversione a 180 gradi, cambi le regole del gioco, pensi fuori dagli schemi? Da' il benvenuto ad Abu Mazen, smetti di costruire gli insediamenti, sostieni il governo di unità, apri Gaza e consenti il commercio con la supervisione internazionale. Abbraccia le aspirazioni palestinesi unitamente alle nostre, accogli l'intervento internazionale e guadagna un vero alleato contro l'estremismo? Scacco matto!

Abbiamo davvero compiuto tutti questi sforzi, prima di mandare a morire i nostri soldati? E' triste, ma la risposta è no.

Nessuno sta smantellando l'esercito israeliano, che resterà forte. Ma allora perché ci rifiutiamo testardamente di correre questo rischio calcolato, preferendo piuttosto il sacrificio dei nostri figli? E' una cosa che va oltre ogni mia comprensione.

Ad Akedat Yitzchak, Dio è intervenuto salvando il bambino. Dov'è Dio, adesso? E' forse divenuto indifferente a causa dell'abominio che è stato fatto dei suoi sacri insegnamenti dagli estremisti di ambo le parti?

Se ci rifiutiamo di riconoscere i diritti di entrambe le parti e di farci carico dei nostri obblighi, se ciascuno di noi rimane aggrappato alla propria versione, con disprezzo e inosservanza di quella dell'altro, se continuiamo a preferire le spade alle parole, se santifichiamo la terra e non le vite dei nostri figli, saremo presto tutti costretti a cercare una colonia sulla Luna, perché la nostra terra sarà così zuppa di sangue e così intasata di lapidi che non vi resterà più niente per vivere.

Io ho scritto queste parole e le ho cantate insieme alla mia amica Mira Awad. Oggi sono più vere che mai: 

“When I cry I cry for both of us,  
("Quando piango, piango per tutti e due)
My pain has no name.  
(Il mio dolore non ha nome.)
When I cry, I cry to the merciless sky and say:  
(Quando piango, piango rivolta al cielo spietato e dico:)
There must be another way”  
 (Dev'esserci un'altra via)

Noa, 22 Luglio 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Open letter to the wind

Greetings from our corner of the Middle East, where all hell has recently broken loose.

Terrorized, anguished and depressed, frustrated, angry….each emotional tidal wave competing with the other for domination over my heart and head…none prevail, I am drowning in the boiling ocean which is all of them combined.

There is a missile alert every hour somewhere near my home. In Tel Aviv, its worse. My son and I stopped our car in the middle of the street today and rushed to a nearby corridor as the piercing siren went off…a few minutes later we heard three loud booms that shook the walls. In the south of Israel it’s unbearable. Their lives have come to a standstill, their livelihood crushed; they spend most of their time in bomb shelters. A large part of the missiles are intercepted by our defense system, but not all. Every civilian is a target, our children are traumatized ,the emotional scars  irreversible.

 And the tunnels, dug underground, reaching the very doorstep of some of the Kibbutzim on the Gaza border…in the dark dungeons of my nightmares I imagine what they are intended for: smuggling, kidnapping, torturing, murdering…. ! 

Our soldiers are on the front line. These are our sons, the sons of our friends and neighbors, the young men and women of this country called to duty by their government…and already, coffins draped in the flag, tear drenched funerals, shattered lives, Kaddish…the well known, devastating ritual.

And the Gazans..Oh lord, the Gazans…what could possibly be more miserable and horrible than what these people have to endure? Will their destiny be forever to suffer under the hands of cruel tyrants? The pictures of the bleeding children, the crying mothers in blood stained clothes, the rubble and devastation, the terror in their eyes, 5 minutes at best to get out of your house, to run for your lives because the bombs are falling…no shelter…the Taliban tactics of Hamas on one side and the F16 bombers of the Israeli army on the other, these people are clamped like walnuts, crushed by the thick metal jaws of blindness and stupidity!….the death toll rising and rising…for God’s sake….how much longer will this go on??

Hamas are extremists, they are Jihadists, they are dangerous, they aim to kill every Jew including me and my children, they do not recognize Israel, they plan to turn all Gazans into Shahids by using them as human shields. We’ve heard Hannia and his henchmen, and it’s probably all true, as far as there is any truth at all…
But is every man woman and child to blame for the bitter, horrible foolery of both sides??
I listen to Naftali Bennet speaking on CNN, coolly explaining how Hamas are terrorists and we have every right to defend ourselves, which we do, granted…I wait, patiently, for his sincere expression of sorrow and regret at the loss of innocent life…but none such gesture comes. And i say to myself: have you forgotten that you represent an entire nation?  Bow your head in shame! For you have brought the deaths of innocent people, men women and so many children…even if you did NOT intend to! And yes, Hamas leaders continue with their horrible blood soaked rhetoric, their cruel bravura at the expense of the miserable Gazans….they do not hide their sinister plan! They INTEND to bring the deaths of innocent people! No doubt there is a special place in hell for all of those, and history is full of them. But that does not release us from the obligation to behave as human beings, unless our aim is to metamorphose into the terrifying spitting image of our gravest enemies.

We, Palestinians and Israelis alike, have “never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity to make peace”. We have created this mess with our own two hands, and we are paying the awful price for our arrogance and deaf foolery.

It is easy to point fingers and become extremely self-defensive when bombs are falling…each side huddles in his own corner, sticking with his own, blaming the other…

My heart goes out to the families of the victims wherever they are. I am happy to have a strong Israeli Army to defend me against the those who clearly state their aim is to slit my children’s throats…BUT..i do not want to use my sorrow and fear as a shield against human empathy and clear thinking. On the contrary, I want to do the opposite.

I want to stand in the middle of the rink, and speak my truth.

There are only two sides, and they are not Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs. They are moderates and the extremists. I belong to the moderates, wherever they are. They are my camp. And this camp needs to unite!! I have nothing whatsoever in common with the Jewish extremists who burn children alive, who poison wells and uproot trees, who throw stones at school children, who are motivated by brainwashed hate and acute self-righteousness. I want to bury my head in my hands and disappear, to the moon if possible, when I read the sermons of Rabbi Ginsburg and Lior, romanticizing death and killing in the name of God as did Baruch Goldstein, their sacred martyr, who murdered 29 Arabs in cold blood as they were praying !..When I read the incredible words of racism and hate written by some of my fellow Israelis, the cries of Joy when Palestinian children are killed, the contempt for human life!! …The fact that we share the same passport and religion means nothing to me. I want nothing to do with these people.

Violent Radical Islamists terrify me. The pictures of how they torture and behead, kill and destroy, their indescribable cruelty and their abominable treatment of women are horrifying to say the very least. But their wrath is directed not only against me but against the moderates in their own society….thus making us all brothers in arms!

Just as I urge the Arab moderates wherever they are to do everything in their power to shun extremism, I have no intention of blinding my eyes to the responsibility that must be taken by my side for the fiasco that is now occurring. Radical Islam is a dangerous phenomenon that must be dealt with not only by Israel, but by the entire world. But there are in the Muslim world more moderate voices, there are partners for dialogue! Have we done everything in our power to reach out to them?

The answer is NO. 
Contrary to their once-upon-a-time “two state” declarations, the present government lead by Netanyahu has done everything in its power to suppress any attempts at reconciliation. It has weakened and insulted Abu Mazen, leader of the more moderate PLO, who has stated again and again that he is interested in peace. I heard him say it myself, first hand, after having been invited by the PA to Ramallah together with many other Israeli peace activist, for a lecture and Q and A session with the prime minister (an incredible act within itself, when you think that just a decade ago Israelis could go to jail for having any contact whatsoever with Fatah!). When talks seemed to be somehow progressing, Abu Mazen was demanded to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, though agreements with Egypt and Jordan were made without that demand. When he replied that The PA recognized the sovereignty of the state of Israel, but that any other sub-titles were an internal Israeli issue, he was accused of non-compliance. When Abu Mazen made statements about the Holocaust, calling it the greatest tragedy in human history, Netanyahu sneered and belittled him. The government has disrespected agreements they themselves signed with the PA, refusing at a whim to release prisoners they already agreed to release, preferring to continue the outrageous and infuriating building in the settlements as if no talks were being held. It’s like slapping someone in the face, again and again, while at the same time innocently saying: “let’s make peace! Don’t you see how much I want peace? Why aren’t you cooperating??”

And what of the Arab League’s peace initiative? Why has it been consistently and recurrently ignored but the Israeli government? Just recently, in an unprecedented act of good faith, a very prominent official from Saudi Arabia wrote an article in an Israeli Newspaper, expressing his wish for peace!! It went virtually unnoticed! (For this, the media too are to blame in their biased choices of what is deemed fit to print, and fit to emphasize. They have an important and destructive role in the “no partner for peace” folly).

I wonder, what crazed messianic forces blind the eyes of these politicians and their constituency? What biblical Joshua-syndrome? What are they thinking to themselves, that they will slowly but surely dominate the occupied territories until there will be no way to create the Palestinian state? What of all the Palestinians who live there, their aspirations, their history? What of their well-being, their dreams, hopes, future??   Will they simply live happily ever after as second class citizen, or maybe convert en-mass to Judaism? What is the plan??

There is no plan, there is no vision that is morally compatible with universal values, intent on procuring co-existence: or at least none that is being articulated coherently to our people. In its place, we are being fed constant fear and paranoia, fanning the flames of nationalism, cultivating xenophobia and racism. De facto, these policies are deteriorating Israel to an ideological and strategic point of no return.

Only dialogue from a place of respect and empathy can save us. Only a concerted effort to strengthen the moderates and thus marginalize, as much as possible, the radicals, can afford us some hope. 

As much as we in Israel justifiably despise Hamas, it does not look like they are going anywhere. Have we seriously considered the conditions they pose for a cease fire? Many of them make sense! Why not attempt to alleviate the suffering of the Gazans, enable them to flourish economically, return dignity to their lives and gain a 10 year cease fire…10 years is a long time! Young minds can be opened; even modest prosperity can be the catalyst of change! Why assume automatically that these years will be used ONLY to strengthen Hamas military power? The conditions include international supervision. Maybe the years will create a reality in which Hamas, with a younger generation of leaders who see a different horizon, be drawn into the Political circle in a way that will, finally, enable dialogue??

I ask myself:  why don’t we surprise ourselves! Netanyahu, you are known to be a clever man: why not go 180 degrees, change the rules of the game, think out of the box? Welcome Abu Mazen, strengthen him in the eyes of his people, think together with him of creative solutions, stop the building in the settlements, support the unity government, open Gaza and enable commerce with international supervision, embrace the Palestinian’s aspirations alongside our own, welcome international intervention, especially the Arab League, and gain a real ally AGAINST the waves of extremism?? Check mate!

Have we really made every effort to do all this before sending our young men to die? Sadly, we have not.
 No one is dismantling the Israeli Army anytime soon, and it should remain strong. But why are we so stubbornly refusing to take this calculated risk, and rather, choosing to sacrifice our children??? It is beyond my comprehension.

In Akedat Yitzchak, Abraham, father of Judaism and Islam, was commanded by God to sacrifice his son. Finally, God intervened and saved the boy. Where is God now?? Has he been stunned to numbness by the abomination of his sacred teachings, by all extremists on both sides???
If we refuse to recognize each other’s rights and embrace our obligations, if we continue to each cling to his own narrative with contempt and disregard for that of the other, if we again and again choose swords over words, if we sanctify land and not the lives of our children, we shall soon be forced to truly seek a colony on the moon, for our land will be so drenched in blood and so cluttered with tomb stones there will be nothing left for the living.

I wrote these words, and sang them together with my friend Mira Awad. They stand truer than ever today:

“when I cry, I cry for both of us,
My pain has no name.
When I cry, I cry to the merciless sky and say:
There must be another way

Noa, july 22, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

ארוע מחאה נגד תג מחיר

אמש, 14/6/14, ביטלנו גיל ואני את הופעתנו המתוכננת באירוע מחאה נגד פעולות תג מחיר.
אנחנו מאד מזדהים עם המחאה, אך חשבנו שהעיתוי (הטראגי) איננו מתאים. לכל המעוניין, הנה מה שביקשנו מהמארגנים להקריא באירוע, אך הם לצערי בחרו שלא לעשות זאת.
למען הסר ספק אנחנו נשמח ונתגאה לקחת חלק באירועים כאלה בעתיד.
פעילי שלום יקרים!

פעולות תג מחיר הן יותר מפשעי שנאה וגזענות. אלו מעשים שמטרתם לקדם אידיאולוגיה דתית לאומנית שתכליתה הנצחת הכיבוש. המבצעים אינם סומכים על המדינה וזרועות הביטחון שלה שיקדמו מדיניות זו. מסיבה זו נרצח גם ראש הממשלה יצחק רבין... דקות לאחר שעמדנו אנחנו על הבמה ושרנו מול מאות אלפי תומכי הסכמי אוסלו.
 פעולות תג מחיר אינם תגובה לאמצעי המאבק הלאומי הפלסטיני וגם לא לטרור מצד האסלאם הקיצוני כאן ועל פני הגלובוס כולו. הפעולות הן נגד עצם הלגיטימיות של פתרון שתי המדינות שאנחנו מייחלים לו ורואים בו את הצעד המשמעותי ביותר בדרך השלום.

התפתחויות היממה האחרונה הביאו אותנו למסקנה שהופעתנו באירוע החשוב שכולכם נרתמים אליו תגרום יותר נזק מתועלת למאבקנו המשותף. מרגש אותנו לחשוב שהחיבוק והחיזוק שתקבלו מנוכחותנו חשוב לכם אישית, אבל באותו הזמן אנחנו יודעים שזוהי חרב פיפיות, שכן אנחנו נותנים נשק בידם של אותם גורמים ששנאתם ומעשיהם הביאו אתכם לאירוע הזה. המפגש היום היה אמור להקרין על כל סביבותיו אווירה של שמחה ואחווה, אווירה של פיזור ענני החשדנות והאיבה. אתם ניצבים כאן, לוחמי השפיות והשלום שדבר לא יזיזם מעמדותיהם, נחושים להביע עמדה ולהתחזק ועל כך תבורכו. אולם המערכה מתנהלת בחזית רחבה של כלל הציבור בישראל ובעולם כולו. ברור לנו מתוך ניסיון רב שההד התקשורתי שיגיע היום לכל בית בישראל יעורר גל עצום של אנטגוניזם למפעלנו המשותף, כולל בקרב רבים מן האזרחים היהודים שהיו נוטים לברך עליו אך בעת הזאת נפשם חרדה לגורלם של שלושת הנערים הנעדרים ואין לנו דרך לעורר את ליבם ברגע זה. בצער רב, בעיקר על עצם המצב הטרגי שהפך לשגרת יומנו, אנחנו מוותרים היום על הבעת סולידריות אתכם בשטח למען המשך המערכה הגדולה, לפי מיטב שיפוטנו.

בברכת שלום ובכבוד רב
אחינועם ניני וגיל דור

Thursday, January 30, 2014

על גיבורי תרבות ופרסים.

על גיבורי תרבות ופרסים.

תהליך היצירה האומנותית כולל הבעה ספונטנית לצד פיתוח, עיבוד ועריכה. בקרת האיכות של התהליך נעשית על ידי המצפן האומנותי הפנימי של כל אמן. כאשר יוצר משתמש במצפן חיצוני - של יוצרים אחרים למשל- הוא לכל היותר שוליה, מתלמד, בדרכו להיות אמן, או לחלופין פשוט חקיין. במקרה  שהמצפן האומנותי שייך להמונים, או אז אנחנו מדברים על בידור -  פופולרי ומצליח ככל שיהיה, אך לא על אומנות. 
האמן נמצא בדיאלוג עם החברה סביבו. הוא מקבל ממנה חיזוק ועידוד בכל פעם שהוא מוצא הד בליבותיהם של  אנשים בעלי מצפן אומנותי זהה .  הרזוננס הזה הוא על כן איכותי מטבעו ואין הוא נמדד כמותית. ההיסטוריה של האומנות רצופה בגאונים שמעולם לא זכו להכרה בחייהם.
מסיבה זו, המיסוד של ״הכרה אומנותית״ בדרך של הענקת פרסים הוא בעייתי מעיקרו, וזאת בין שההכרה נתונה בידי ״וועדה״ או מבוססת על נתוני פופולריות ברי מדידה. על פי הוויקיפדיה ״פרס אקו"ם החל את דרכו בשנת 1958 כתחרות קטנה נושאת פרסים על יצירות אשר הוגשו בעילום שם מה שהחל כתחרות קטנה, הפך עם השנים למפעל הפרסים הגדול בישראל, בתחום המוסיקה והספרות....״ 
עקב תהליכים דומים בכל העולם, פרסים ואותות כבוד אמנם מקדמים בוודאות קריירה של אמנים אך לאו דווקא את האומנות עצמה!
 בחברתנו הציבור כבר הפנים את העובדה שגיבורי התרבות שלו נמדדים ברייטינג שלהם, או במילים אחרות, בהיותם ״סלבס״. מכאן קצרה הדרך לתובנה הנפוצה בכל תור לאודישינים בתכניות הריאליטי, שהדרך להיות ״סלב״ מתחילה באמביציה להתגלות כ״טאלנט״ ולא חשוב במה, ובעצם לתובנה המופשטת עוד יותר שאפשר גם בלי ״טאלנט״.
כתגובה לרידוד תרבותי זה משתדלים מקדמי ה ״הכרה האומנותית״ הממוסדת לעשות מלאכתם נאמנה ולתמוך באמנים ראויים (עד כמה שוועדה נבחרת יכולה להחליט ולהסכים). אך כאמור, ולמרבה הצער, גם הכוונות הטובות ביותר משרתות בסופו של יום את תעשיית הרייטינג. מצב דברים עגום זה, גם אם הוא בלתי נמנע, מטיל אחריות כבדה על כתפי מעניקי הפרסים למיניהם. אחריות זו אינה מסתכמת בבחירת אומנים ראויים, אלא בהבנה שהפרס מסייע להגדיר את גיבורי התרבות של האומה. גיבור תרבות, כמו כל גיבור, הוא משאת נפש הזוכה להערצה  וללגיטימציה ציבורית , לא רק כמייצג של אומנותו אלא כ״פרסונה״, כ״סלב״,כמופת חברתי.

דוגמא מאלפת למצב עניינים זה היא זכייתו של אריאל זילבר בפרס אקום על מפעל חיים השנה.
מעטים יחלקו על תרומתו האומנותית של אריאל ועל איכותו כיוצר מוכשר ומקורי. אך בחירתו, ובעיקר בקטגוריית מפעל החיים, מהווה הפניית עורף לאחריות הציבורית הזו.
הכיצד ? שלא כמו בהליך בחירות דמוקרטי בה הציבור זכאי להיחשף למגוון הדעות והעמדות ומתוכן הוא בוחר את מנהיגיו על פי שיפוטו, במקרה של אריאל זילבר ה״ממסד״  עצמו כבר בחר,  חגג, אישר, טיהר ולא ביקש הבהרות או התנצלויות. לציבור לא נותר אלא להריע ולאמץ בחום.
אפשר וצריך לשאול האם בקרב מעגלים רבי השפעה בתחומי התרבות יש מקום לביטוי של עמדות וערכים הומניסטיים בכלל? או שמא העמדה הפוסט מודרנית הביסה כליל את רוח החברה הליברלית ואת הזדהותם של אמנים בפומבי עם ערכיה? האם יש מקום לאמיל זולא שנלחם ב-1898 את מלחמתו של דריפוס  בישראל של 2014? 
איננו קוראים בשום אופן להחרים את אריאל זילבר האמן. יתרה מזו, היינו רוצים להאמין שהוא אכן ינצל את הבמה המכובדת שניתנה לו ויבהיר בפני הקהל מעט מן הדברים המיוחסים לו, ואולי גם יתנצל בפומבי בפני ההומואים, הערבים, היהודים החילונים, משפחת רבין, מדינת ישראל,  ״פושעי אוסלו״, צה״ל, עובדים זרים ושאר גויים...

בשבוע בו הלכה לעולמה שולמית אלוני אנחנו הוגים במשנתה. אין אנו מצטטים את ״אני מאשים״  של זולא, אלא מסתפקים ב- ״אנחנו מתביישים בשם הציבור״ ומוותרים על קבלת הפרס למרות הערכתנו הרבה לאקו״ם ולרצון הטוב של הדירקטוריון להעניק לנו אותו. 
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