Friday, May 22, 2009

"Some Early Wisdom"

Last year, I attended a UCLA Extension class on the origin of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I learned a lot in that class. But this story in particular stayed in my mind.

When the Zionist movement was first getting started at the end of the nineteenth century, two Polish rabbis were sent off, to check out the place they hoped would someday become the Jewish homeland. After investigating the land that Zionists longed for but had never seen, the rabbis returned home and delivered their report.

“The bride is beautiful,” the rabbis told them, “but she’s married to another man.”

This is hardly the last word on the subject. But those early words, I think, are worth remembering.


MikeThe Blogger said...

Not "wisdom", at all. You are much better at the TV comedy stuff.

Yair said...

The quote is very good as a quote, but I wouldn't necessarily trust that it's authentic (even if it was in a UCLA course). I'm not saying it's not real, just that you should consider the option that it isn't before relying on it.

You could just as easily quote Mark Twain's report from a few decades earlier about the land being desolate, which is a real quote, but doesn't necessarily reflect the real situation.

The conflict is complex and has many intricacies and good and bad people on all sides (since there are more than two). I would advise being very careful in how you approach it and what value you assign to the information you receive. It's quite often falsified and misleading and almost of the global interest in the conflict is political in nature, not humanitarian (to see this consider any other current conflicts around the world which you may or may not be aware of, like Pakistan, India, Iraq, Sri Lanka or any number of African nations you can pick at random, where the situation is usually much worse for both sides).

P.S. Yes, I'm an Israeli. That means I feel that my side is generally more correct.

We now return you back to your regularly scheduled programming.