“A Refuge Under Siege”

A leftist Irish film maker discovers the truth about Israel:

He talked slowly about his time in Gaza. He spoke about 20 Arab teenagers filled with ecstasy tablets and sent running towards the base he’d patrolled. Each strapped with a bomb and carrying a hand-held detonator.

The pills in their bloodstream meant they felt no pain. Only a headshot would take them down.

Conversations like this are normal in Tel Aviv. I began to experience the sense of isolation Israelis feel. An isolation that began in the ghettos of Europe and ended in Auschwitz.

Israel is a refuge — but a refuge under siege, a refuge where rockets rain death from the skies. And as I made the effort to empathise, to look at the world through their eyes. I began a new intellectual journey. One that would not be welcome back home.

The problem began when I resolved to come back with a film that showed both sides of the coin. Actually there are many more than two. Which is why my film is called Forty Shades of Grey. But only one side was wanted back in Dublin. My peers expected me to come back with an attack on Israel. No grey areas were acceptable.

An Irish artist is supposed to sign boycotts, wear a PLO scarf, and remonstrate loudly about The Occupation. But it’s not just artists who are supposed to hate Israel. Being anti-Israel is supposed to be part of our Irish identity, the same way we are supposed to resent the English.

But hating Israel is not part of my personal national identity. Neither is hating the English. I hold an Irish passport, but nowhere upon this document does it say I am a republican, or a Palestinian.

Oh, that’s just crazy talk. Crazy fascist.

9 thoughts on ““A Refuge Under Siege”

  1. Bob-1

    Rand,

    Condemn the film maker’s peers back in Ireland, but given other posts that you’ve made on the general subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict(s), I would suggest that you also take to heart his point about there being 40 shades of grey.

  2. sams

    What a racist right winger … how is He doubting Leftist Dogma just because of what He saw with his eyes ?

    1. Leland

      Perhaps the italics were not enough of a give away that most of Rand’s post was a quote of the flimmaker’s comments.

    2. Bob-1

      Stop and think.

      Why wouldn’t Rand condemn a bunch of leftists who, in Rand’s parlance, hate Israel? (In the filmmaker’s parlance, his peers are a bunch of people who see the situation as black and white, with the Palestinians as the only victims, and who refuse to see that there is more nuance to the conflict.)

      The filmmaker’s peers are one group of people who Rand and I would both condemn. I’m just agreeing with the fillmmaker that this is not a black-and-white situation, and I’m saying to Rand that he shouldn’t have a set of beliefs which are the mirror image of the idiots in Dublin — the Israelis are victims of terrorism, but there is plenty to criticize on the Israeli side too.

      1. Josh Reiter

        The Arab Palestinians will continue to remain victims up until that moment they begin to love their children more than they hate the Jews.

        1. Bob-1

          The vast majority of the Palestinians already do. It is no different from so many other places in the world where a minority can make life rotten for the majority.

          I recommend the opinion pages of Haaretz today. The leftwing commentators are unmistakably pro-Israel and pro-IDF (and pro-Iron Dome) as 200 or so rockets have been fired from Gaza toward Israel in the last few days. Seems like a black and white situation, but the critics of the government there don’t see it like that.

          1. Josh Reiter

            The majority of the Arab League has no interest in improving the situation for the average Palestinian because it doesn’t benefit them politically.

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