Untold Stories 18:

As if you just doesn't exist

“We pass each other on the street and in the alleyways every single day, the Palestinians and us. But we do not see each other.”
This striking statement is from an interview I conducted in 1987 with David Grossman, now a world-famous Israeli author. He had just published the articles that later became the book “The Yellow Wind” which, almost prophetically, foreshadowed the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising – the Intifada – a few months later. It was a revolt against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza that came as a total surprise to Israel.
David Grossman had worked as a journalist for Israeli Radio. It was something of a mystery to me how Israelis who had been in such close contact with the Palestinians could fail to notice what was happening.
“We have made each other into glass in our own minds. We look right through them, and they also do not see us. That’s the problem,” Grossman told me. “That’s why the problems become so entrenched. We see only ourselves and do not register the others. And in this sin of omission we are both guilty.”
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Translation by Matthew Kalman
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