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The River Diaries

Sunday, October 1, 2000

Today, this morning, after an evening of joy celebrating Linda’s birthday and the second night of Rosh Ha-Shana—the Days of Awe—when Jews look into their hearts for the sufferings they have caused others, I pick up my paper and see the face of a horrified Palestinian father, his mouth opened in a silent scream as his left arm pushes his 12-year-old son behind him, trying to shield him from the bullets of Israeli soldiers; the words under the photograph continue in their unbearable way: “moments later the son was dead.” How can this be—how can the guns of a Jewish state find their targets in the chests of 12-year-old children? How can a home be built on the conquered homes of others? The legacy of the Holocaust continues—orchestrated hate built the ovens that consumed the lives of millions, and now twists a people’s dream of safety into a killing state. I wrote of history’s touch in our lives with a quiet hand, but now I am burning with rage and shame. I am a Jew—this bullet flew from my past into the heart of a child. Alav ha-Shalom


© 2000 Joan Nestle

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