Since Larry Derfner wrote his blog, since I discovered it and decided to re-post it, all that followed and continues to come surprised me. I do not know Larry neither does he know me.
What I said about me in my short presentation “About Me” is just that: a rather unknown Israeli woman who one day in 2006 was unexpectedly thrown into the center of a very serious event – right in the middle of “the war”. I did what I had to do; I did the “right thing”: I contacted the Shabak. I and my Palestinian friend (most of all) wanted to stop some terrible event that is (unfortunately) ongoing to this day. To our own sorrow, our attempt to stop it came too late.
Doing this “right thing” brought me into the sight of the Shabak. What followed for me were month of (still rather moderate) abuse (compared to what suspects of any kind have to endure): my phone was tapped, my computer was hacked, and more.
I definitely wish that this will never happen again – but if it would, I would do the same. The difference would be that now I would know what I would be exposed to and brace myself against it. I have learned an awful lot since then.
At that time it made me understand – immediately – that the Shabak was NOT about “protecting me”, and that if I, the “perfect” Israeli mom, was abused in this way, all I had heard about them murdering people, about torture and more (and what had been presented as Palestinian propaganda by the Israeli media) might be true after all. At this point, I started to investigate on my own – and discovered a VERY different reality than what was presented to all Israelis. This – the Shabak itself – changed me into the activist I am now. The naïve attempt to “escape” by picking up a nickname (what I mention in my self-presentation “About me”) refers to that. Many things have showed me already a few days later that “to escape them” is impossible, especially by such a tiny thing like taking a nickname on the net. Also, have become inconsistent about my real name and my nickname since then and know that it is very easy to find out who I am. In 2006 and for a long time I was so shocked that, although I already knew better, I partially kept my new name “Alice” in some of my posts on the net. At least I knew that my employer at that time would not find out and fire me for my opinions…
Until this fatal day in 2006 I was a very naïve, good Israeli citizen, a mother of 2 still very young children, moderately religious, moderately Zionist (in the sense that going to live in a settlement after my aliyah was out of question). Yet, because we wished to live in Jerusalem and because we didn’t have enough money to buy a flat in a better place, we went to live in a place Jerusalem calls a “neighborhood” but International Law considers as a settlement, as it is built beyond the Green Line. Nowadays I agree with this definition and consider it as a settlement as well.
So far about me.
My Blog, as well as all I do on facebook and in “real life” is much more for my own conscience than to believe I could radically change my world. I know that my own contribution is not more than a drop into the sea. However, you know a drop + a drop + another drop and so on might one-day form a river… I have explained my motivations clearly enough in my very first post on this Blog.
Posting Larry Derfners blog was not more than to spread it (a bit) – my Blog had very few readers until now, and I did nothing to promote it. After all, I am still a mom, I have a difficult life, and I cannot spend my days on the net, even if I wanted it (badly).
Accidentally (again) I seem to be the only person to have copied it and thus allowed many people to read the exact words for which Larry was fired. I was not really shocked by his words about Israelis being killed and the event in Eilat. They disturbed me a little, for sure, but it was more important to me that “someone known” had finally expressed what everybody should have understood. Many lives of Israelis as well as of Palestinians might have been saved long ago if more people had spoken out like him, like Gideon Levy, like Amira Hass and many others. Moreover: I believe that his blog, the JPosts firing him, and all this ongoing debate might very well save the lives of many Israelis “in the future”.
His main message – to question ourselves and to question the official version that all we do is “defending ourselves” was much more important to me – as well as to say that “we” who express such views are NOT traitors, but rather the only ones who try to save the last bit of honor of this country that has lost it already in the eyes of many people around the world. Even Gideon Levy, one of the most notorious “traitors” in and outside of Israel expressed what Larry said (and I quoted) that “writing this is not treason. It is an attempt at patriotism”.
My blog, my facebook page, my unpublicized attempts to help victims of “our” injustice, my tiny contributions to prevent a few injustices to happen are attempts to SAVE LIVES.
And this – I believe – was Larry Derfners motivation as well: to save lives, not to condone terrorism.
But nobody is as deaf as those who do not want to hear.