Monday, July 5, 2010

This post was written a month ago, during our vacation to Barcelona.

A couple of days ago, right around the corner from our apartment here in Barcelona there was a small demonstration; no more than a couple of thousand people at most (I'm not good at estimating crowds). It was in support of the Palestinians...I think maybe because of that Turkish ship with the people that were in support of Gaza that the Israeli's shot at...their chants and most of their signs were in Spanish of course so it was hard to tell.

It was interesting and a little disturbing too. There were signs with the Israeli flag set equal to the swastika (* = x), etc. They stopped at the corner and threw paint the color of the Palestinian flag at a building there. The building had a blue flag with a circle of yellow stars outside it which I discovered is the flag of the European Union. We asked the people we rented this apartment from if they knew why the demonstrators chose that particular building and even they weren’t sure.

I took a bunch of pictures and even a short video. I stood on one of the beautiful benches in front of Casa Milla, the Guadi apartment building, to take them.

I just found myself thinking that you'd never see this sort of demonstration in the US, and the reason that you DO see it in Europe is that there is such a small Jewish presence here, since it was basically destroyed 60 years there's nobody really to advocate for the Jews anymore. No matter how I feel about Israeli politics I found myself angered by this demonstration, since it managed to simplify a complicated situation and make it sound like it’s entirely the Israeli’s fault.

In the US I tend to differentiate between THE Jews (which includes me) and The Israeli Government, with whose policies and actions as a left-leaning political person I sometimes disagree. But this demonstration, in spite of the fact that I might have actually agreed with them on some points, felt a little scary. I just hate it when people equate things with the Nazis when that doesn't make sense. Cambodia's killing fields, yes. North Korea, yes. But the Israeli position on the West Bank, no matter how annoying I find it, no! And Obama...? Please! You know what I mean. Such equations trivialize what the Nazi’s did and gives undue weight to perceived injustices that don’t involve the organized and state-run murder of an entire people.

I wrote this when we first came back from Barcelona, and I hesitated then and now to post it, for fear of upsetting some of my relatives. But what the heck…it certainly was a significant event in our vacation, so it seems a little strange to be hiding it. So…here goes…

1 comment:

  1. Why would you hide something that had such a significant and thought provoking effect on you? Our emotions don't come wrapped in tidy packages ,and mentally sorting through the detritus of anger and history is not always a bad thing. A live time reminder to you of something that was dramatic and traumatic in history has purpose for you. Your loved ones understand that I am sure.



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