Disclaimer: The following is a fictional allegory meant to humanize the impossible dilemma that Israel finds itself in. I find it necessary to write this because, unfortunately, the level of Israel- and Jew-hating rhetoric has escalated to such a point that worldwide demonstrators are now saying things like "Kill the Jews." I must speak up against this dangerous spike in anti-Semitism and call it what it really is.
So please do not read this and say I'm in favor of illegal gun use or vigilante justice - I am not. Like you, I hate violence and bloodshed, though I do support the Constitutional right to bear arms and understand the importance of being able to defend yourself when necessary. And of course, like everyone else I recognize that every country, organization and person is capable of making mistakes - including Israel. I just don't believe the country should pay with its life for doing so, nor do I think that anybody has a good answer to the situation she finds herself in right now.
- Dannielle Blumenthal
Imagine you're a single mother living in a dangerous part of Chicago.
You've moved back to your childhood home, where your family is. You've fled your ex-boyfriend, who used to beat you up, but when you left he said he'd come for you and kill you one of these days.
The kids lay in their beds at night and you're shivering with fear; you can't buy enough deadbolts to make you feel safe.
One night you come home and he's standing right there outside your door. With ten of his friends, and moving boxes. They're moving in next door, all of them. They're the apartments right next to yours.
You think about going to the police. But your boyfriend is pretty good friends with someone on the force. In fact, his brother is a policeman himself. He hangs out with the guys at night and shoots pool.
Maybe you could go to Legal Aid, since there isn't a lawyer who would take your case. You're broke, for one thing. And for another - what has your boyfriend done to you?
Nothing...that you can prove.
One day you see a guy with a truck parked at the side of an alley. The back doors are hanging open. "Hey lady," he says. "Get yourself some protection, for only a hundred dollars."
Your heart is pounding in fear thinking either way you are dead. You think about your children and how they would be orphaned after he kills you. How your ex will likely get custody, then turn on them once he's gotten rid of you.
And you pick up the smooth, heavy black gun and put it in your purse, hoping never to use it. It stays in your kitchen drawer, unless you're going to work and then you've got it always within reach.
Not three months later your boyfriend jumps you in that same alley where you bought the gun in the first place. He says, "let's talk," and then one of his buddies lunges forward and starts to twist your arm behind you.
You know where all of this is headed - body and soul destroyed. Nobody is coming out there to save your life.
You pull the gun out, aim and shoot.
At the trial, your ex-boyfriend has a really good lawyer. Because he's friends with all kinds of people, including people with money, and they know what to say and how to say it just to land you in the slammer.
"She's an animal, your Honor, I swear it!" your ex-boyfriend says. "I was minding my business and she just jumped up and attacked me."
"But, but..." you try to say.
"Pipe down," says the judge.
"Keep quiet," says your lawyer, someone from the court. "You're in enough trouble already. After all, you are the one who pulled the trigger."
"She's abusive," your ex-boyfriend says, "and that gun right there only proves it. She tried to jump me, she already stole my kids and my money, and thank goodness you were there to help."
You're sitting there, mute and helpless. Everything you say really does amount to dirt.
"Wait, your Honor, I'll show you," your ex-boyfriend says. And he produces a picture of you, bloody and tearing out your hair as if you were a madwoman.
Isn't that.... you think. Wasn't I....
And then you remember. Those were pictures he took of you when you got drunk one night, when you were still together and on vacation. He's somehow doctored them, and you didn't save any pictures and can't make any case to the contrary.
* * *
It's 10 years later and you're out of jail. Your kids are grown up and they barely know you.
There's that dead feeling in your head, behind your eyes, and meanwhile your ex-boyfriend has gone on and married another lady.
Has two new kids besides.
Everybody loves and respects him. But you're written up in the newspaper.
You're that crazy lady that attacked some guy in the alley. You're an oppressor, a colonizer and a bully who only wanted 500 square feet of safety within which to raise her trembling kids.
* All opinions my own.