Continuing a trend of sad weeks, this one had few happy tidings. However, a happy Independence Day to Pakistan and India (belated for the former) and positive thoughts going into the weekend ahead.
pictures / nbcnews
Wonderful actor and human Robin Williams was found dead earlier this week in what appears to be a suicide. A great loss, and yet another indicator that mental health in the United States sees little to no help or treatment. | On comics battling depression.
Leftists in the Knesset (Israel) are alive and well. | However, in Israel, to be anti-war is to be in danger: Gideon Levy’s column in Haaretz has led to accusations of treason, the punishment for which is death during times of war.
Another long and hard week. However, a belated Eid Mubarak to all who celebrated! Revisiting this week, this blog has little to say that isn’t rooted in pessimism and sadness. However several fantastic op-eds have really captured how those who struggle with their support for Israel and their not mutually exclusive concern for human rights feel, including one below by Roger Cohen, and this piece by Ezra Klein:
I don’t equate support for Israel with support for the current policies of any particular Israeli government, any more than I equate support for America with support for the particular policies of President Bush or President Obama. My definition of being pro-Israel was always more basic, and, admittedly, more subjective: I want to see Israel succeed. I want to see it thrive. And that makes this moment in Israeli history painful to watch.
The state of Israel is supposed to make Jews safer. But Israel itself is terrifyingly vulnerable: it is home to 6 million Jews in a tiny sliver of land surrounded on all sides by enemies. Israel is a fortress built in hostile territory. Its survival, and its strength today, is something of a miracle. But the nightmares are easy to conjure: the Six-Day War ending another way, or a dirty bomb detonating in Tel Aviv.
Israel’s political ideals are similarly imperiled: it is a liberal democracy that intends to remain a Jewish state. The problem is that Jews might become a minority in the territory they control (though there’s disagreement about the demographic projections behind that fear), and even if they don’t, liberal democracies do not deprive millions of their native residents of a say in their government.