Battlepanda: The Father Speaks


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Father Speaks

What do you say to a father whose son was killed in the final countdown before the end of the pointless Israeli/Lebanese conflict.

In lieu of anything to say, maybe we can listen.
Uri was a very Israeli boy. Even his name is the ultimate Israeli, Hebrew name. He was the quintessence of the Israeli I would like to see. The kind that has almost been forgotten. The kind that people today consider a curiosity. At times, I would look at him and think that he was something of an anachronism. He and Yonatan, and Ruti, too. Children of the 1950s. Uri with his absolute integrity, taking full responsibility for everything happening around him. You could always trust him with everything. Uri with his profound sensitivity to all suffering, to every injustice. With his compassion. Whenever that word came to mind, I thought of Uri.

He was a man of values. In recent years, that word has faded. It has even been ridiculed. Because in our disjointed, cruel, cynical world, it's not cool to have values. Or to be a humanist. Or to be really sensitive to the distress of others, even if the other is your enemy on the battlefield.

But I learned from Uri that it's possible and necessary. That we need to defend ourselves, but in two senses: to defend our bodies, and not to surrender our souls. Not to surrender to the temptations of force and simplistic thinking, to the corruption of cynicism. Not to surrender to boorishness and contempt for others, which are the really great curses of the person who lives his entire life in a disaster area like ours.

(Via What is Liberalism)