Michael Chabon, , best selling novelist Pulitzer Prize winner and and his wife Ayelet Waldman , a successful writer as well, are a Jewish power couple on the literary scene. Unlike too many Jewish tribalists who reflexively support Israel no matter what they decided to actually go to Israel and see for themselves.
Well they saw for themselves. All you have to is visit Hebron. Go there because “the only democracy in the Middle East’ will not let you in to Gaza.
I thought I’d see a few miserable people, a few settlers, some pressure between them and the Palestinians,” she recalls now (speaking Hebrew). “But when I got to Hebron, I went into shock. Literally. Totally. I couldn’t believe it. To see a road on which I was allowed to travel because I am a Jew and hold an Israeli passport, and opposite me a person who lives there and whose family has lived there for generations but who is forbidden to set foot on that road – that was a shock to me. I returned brokenhearted and furious. That evening I said that I would never come back here again, that I couldn’t understand how people can stand to live here.”
I wanted to come back for another visit immediately,” she gushes. “I wanted to be part of this Israel, I felt I belonged. And then I told myself that if I feel I belong, that I’m connected, that it’s my place, too – then the problem is mine, too. I can’t just go home and not think about it anymore. If I feel part of this, I also have to assume responsibility for changing the situation there.”
The husband Michael Chabon brought international writers to see for themselves. Soon a book will appear which will tell the truth.
They have seen the Israeli angle – that is the Israeli angle. We saw settlers,” he says sarcastically, “they were real nice. The checkpoints, where they arbitrarily stop people and get you out of your car for no particular reason – to me, that is the Israeli angle. You could talk to the settlers and they would say ‘God gave us this land,’ but that is not the other side of the story. The other side of the story is what’s happening at the checkpoints.”
Brought to Hebron by a brave IDF soldier Yehuda Shaull a spokesperson for Breaking the Silence, a group of soldiers IDF veterans who dare to speak truth to the brainwashed citizenry who never taste Palestinian immiseration.
A war has two sides, but the occupation doesn’t have two sides. There is occupier and there are the occupied, and this book will be about the people who are occupied. We saw plenty of settlers, and we spoke to them, even when we didn’t want to. The ones in Hebron especially were very, very aggressive. They surrounded us and they attacked [Yehuda Shaul, from Breaking the Silence]. We didn’t talk to the settlers in Susya. Why? Because that’s a false dichotomy. There’s a village whose homes were stolen and there are the thieves. I’m not interested in the thieves.
His wife was just getting wound up:
“Bibi is a charlatan, he’s a con man,” she says. “He has convinced this country that the Jews of America are on his side. I will tell you who is on his side in America: the crazy evangelical Christians, the worst of the worst. Seventy-five percent of American Jews voted for Barack Obama. The American Jewish community is the single most liberal religious community in the United States. What just happened with AIPAC when Trump spoke and they stood on their feet – that I believe signals the death knell of AIPAC in the Jewish community. It might take five years, but they are finished. That’s why you saw them apologizing so fast, because the moment the Jews of America saw AIPAC standing on its feet and applauding Trump, that was the end. There’s this crazy dichotomy, where Israel takes $3.5 billion from the American government every year, and more money in donations, but it resists and resents the American influence. There’s a reason that every Jewish kid, no matter how rich his daddy is, gets a free trip to Israel ‘on the back’ of the Bronfman family. They’re worried that they are losing them, and the reason that is happening is the occupation.”
Well good for this couple of conscience for speaking the truth and admitting their prior ignorance.
“We live in Florida” a friend wrote “and are surrounded by an overwhelming presence of the New York Jewish population that actually has no clue as to how the Middle East got to where it is, but nonetheless, vehemently supports Israel no questions asked.”
Chabon alluded to these ignorant tribalists when he said:
Nobody knows. Nobody knows. Nobody knows. I didn’t know, and if I didn’t know – and I pay attention, I read the newspapers, I care about Israel, I’ve cared about Israel my whole life, but I didn’t know – nobody knows. Israelis don’t know. But Israelis always say: Why don’t you look at what the Turks are doing to the Kurds, at what’s going on in Syria? Chabon: “You know what I say to that? That’s who you want to be compared to? Why aren’t we comparing you to Sweden, why aren’t we comparing you to Denmark? You yourself are creating this category, which includes North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Turkey, Congo and Israel. Is that the standard you aspire to?”
Must be anti-Semites. They’re Jewish? they must be self-hating.