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More moral shades than flavors of Ben & Jerry’s

13 1 138

In Spring 2013, the student government at UC Berkeley stood to vote on a BDS-resolution. At the time, I was a visiting postdoctoral fellow at The Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, and one of my students asked me, as an Israeli visiting faculty member, to come to the “town hall” gathering in advance of the vote and speak against it. I didn’t hesitate. After I left the polarized auditorium, however, I wondered whether I would do it again. Not because I was any less passionate in my opposition to BDS, but because I felt traumatized by the contours of the debate there. “For” or “against,” “good” or “evil,” “victim” or “perpetrator.” The choice was between loyalty and moral nuance.

Back in Israel, or Israel-Palestine, everyday life prevents the delusion of such dichotomies. In order to show just how murky things get, I am listing briefly some of the moral distinctions I’ve tried to draw over the years. I hope that they confuse you and seem scattershot:

  • I made aliyah under the Law of Return in 1992 and served in the IDF.
  • When, shortly after marrying in 1994, my wife and I looked to buy a home, I refused to buy an “Arab home” in Jerusalem because I didn’t want to inhabit the home of someone displaced.
  • When, in 2000, we looked to leave Jerusalem and live in a rural community, I refused to consider anything beyond the Green Line because I didn’t want to live in an area that Israel had........

    © The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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