Saturday, December 29, 2012

Joshua Sombol: I''ve long been of the opinion that Judaism has a strong suicidal tendency'

Four quotes from an interview of the Israeli playwright Joshua Sombol with the daily Haaretz. I think they speak for themselves:

1) We’re on a plane whose pilots are suffering from vertigo. They think they are soaring, but actually they’re plummeting toward the ground at dizzying speed. Which usually ends in disaster.

2) I have long been of the opinion that Judaism has a very strong suicidal tendency. We’ve already managed to do it twice.
Joshua Sobol

3)(..) I’m an atheist. All the justifications for our being here because of God’s will are worthless. So I have to explain to myself why I’m here.

And what do you tell yourself?
That this place, in the final analysis, saved my parents’ families. They were saved thanks to the fact that they were Zionists. My mother’s family fled from the pogromists in 1922, and my father’s family immigrated from Poland in 1934 because they realized that the ground was burning beneath their feet and they had to get out of there. So the tie to this place is actually historical – because my parents were atheists like me. What they did: building a place that saved them and saved their lives, and I feel obligated to continue what they did.

A tie of gratitude.

Yes. You could say that. And I’ll tell you something else. I think we have an obligation to prove that there can be Judaism that isn’t cannibalistic and barbaric and racist. It’s a battle, in effect, to rescue Judaism from the hands of those who are devouring it. When they say that “thy destroyers ... shall go forth from thee” [Isaiah 49:17], I see the people who presume to carry the banner of Judaism, and in my opinion are its destroyers. And I see the task of people like me as rescuing Judaism from them, proving that it doesn’t have to be Teutonic barbarism.
 4) I think, as Marx said in his day, that the situation determines awareness, and we’re in a situation of an occupying nation that is ruling over another nation and profiting from it. The settlers are living and benefiting at the expense of another people. People say to themselves, “What’s wrong?” They pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Anyone who is located west of the Green Line and votes for the right is, in effect, giving his vote, money and taxes to those living east of it. That’s the division.
The whole article can be found here

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