A Different Kind of Israel

Abby Zimet

Mondoweiss has a couple of interviews with Jewish passengers arrested
on the latest boat turned away from Gaza. They tell of IDF soldiers
using excessive force, and their own sorrow as they "witness the Israel
of today."

From Lillian
Rosengarten of New York, a former refugee from Nazi Germany:

For me the deportation
process was humiliating. Jew against Jew is totally against the dreams
of so long ago, what we imagined how our beloved Israel would evolve.
That dream was for me a safe haven, a country of compassion. Tolerance
for all, and a completely open society. I can imagine that Israel would
have become a beacon of light for the world to follow. In this dream
there would be tolerance for political difference. Now sadly, Jews have
become divided against one another and it is no longer a safe haven. We
from the Jewish boat were treated as traitors and people to get rid of.
We were not "good Jews," but "bad Jews to deport without being allowed
to enter Israel again." Only in Fascist regimes are people forced to
think the same. I experienced humiliation when arrested. I was not
physically mistreated but suffered emotionally. I suffered when the
immigration person asked me if I was Jewish after I told him I was a
refugee from the Nazis, the last generation to be able to tell the
heinous story. He wanted me to prove that I was Jewish. How was I to do
that and yes, how deeply humiliating. When I witness the Israel of
today, I feel enormous pain. I was deported because of my human rights
beliefs and non violent actions. In detention I no longer felt safe or
cared about. I don't even think it mattered that I am Jewish. Now I will
not be allowed to return to Israel as the cycle of hate and fear goes
on and on. Those of us who dreamed of a different kind of Israel can
only weep.

More from Ha'aretz here.

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