Don`t mention the war
In a brilliant episode of Fawlty Towers, some germans come to the hotel and Basil, who is suffering from a brain concussion, cautions everyone not to mention the war but keeps offering the german guests things like “a Goering salad” and “something to drink before the war”. Finally, when confronted by the insulted germans, he defends himself: “Well, you started it! You invaded Poland!”
It is hard to talk about the war and it is hard not to talk about it. My beloved husband, who is a gentle soul and hasn’t a violent bone in his body, thinks that this time Israel is the justified side and that we have to fight this time, otherwise we will find ourselves in an extremely dangerous situation sooner or later, maybe sooner. A close friend who is like a brother to me is radical left-wing and is appalled by the militarism and agressivity of our government. They both try to talk to me about the war, and I have a hard time talking to them.
What can I say? I say I don’t know. What I do know is that I can’t stand to watch the news and the leaders’ speeches, that if I were the kidnapped soldiers’ parents I would be very angry that freeing them doesn’t seem to be a top priority, that it is absurd to me that people have to be killed, so many people. I don’t know if the war is justified: To me no war is justified. Do I feel confident enough about the war being wrong to go out in the streets and protest? No. Besides, protesting in the streets is very scary to me.
Am I irresponsible for not having a firm opinion to stick to and fight for? Or is that the responsible stance? Again, I do not know. “I do not know… I feel…” are phrases I hear also from my female friends. Maybe it’s a gender issue, though many women do have firm opinions. I do not know. I just wish for us all to be safe soon, for all the craziness to stop.
Lee Evron-Vaknin, 30, lives in Jerusalem. She writes prose and poetry and works as an editor at a “Keter-books” publishing house.