Friday, February 13, 2004

I think what I was trying to say, yesterday, was that because I live in Israel, I don’t have to be concerned about my being Jewish on a daily basis, because being Jewish is not being different. I don’t have to play down my Jewishness to get a job, I don’t feel the need to wear a Magen David (Star of David) to make a statement, or neatly tuck it inside my blouse when it would not be advisable for it to be seen. And I don’t have to worry about that Mel Gibson film, and about how it makes us look bad.

Besides the question of how religious I am, being Jewish is not an issue.

A friend said to me yesterday that her Post-Zionist husband wants to leave the country, claiming, among other things, that it is more dangerous to be a Jew in Israel, at the moment, than anywhere else in the world. Probably true.

But unlike in, say, France, this isn’t the personal problem of Imshin walking down the road in danger of being beaten up by Muslims. My daughters are not Jews at school (and they’re certainly not Dirty Jews). I don’t have to deal with being different in my everyday life. I can delegate the problem of looking after my personal safety, as a Jew, to my representatives in power, who will deal with it with the usual incompetence, but deal with it they will.

It's true - at the moment I am more likely to die for being Jewish in Israel. But the difference is that here I have an army, a police force, and other security organizations, all working night and day to protect me, as a Jew. Sixty years ago, in Poland, my cousins didn't have that, and the descendants of the few of them who mananged to survive don't have it either, in France, today.