What really annoys me about the Caryl Churchill play is this: I’m an Israeli parent. I have raised 5 children in Israel, which is no easy task, over and above the normal difficulties of parenting. Like the majority of Israeli parents I have wrestled with the dilemma of how to raise happy, balanced children in an environment with so many instances of violence and fear.
One has to cope with the fears of a child whose father and / or brother has gone to war. One has to cope with the anxieties of children forced to wear a gas mask for hours at a time for weeks on end and forbidden to leave the house. One has to cope with the nightmares resulting from seemingly unending terror attacks. One has to decide on a balance between the freedoms a teenager demands and the obvious dangers. One has to comfort teenagers who have buried friends.
But all the while, from their infancy, one tries not to opt for the easiest route. So one buys children’s books promoting Arab-Israeli co-existance. One takes them to play with the children of Arab friends. One encourages them to study hard in Arabic lessons in school. One discusses current affairs and politics, taking care to present the other point of view. When they go to the army one makes sure that they discuss their difficulties and moral dilemmas over a shabbat meal.
And then along comes Caryl Churchill and makes a complete stereotypical lie out of all those years of parenting and all those sleepless nights of dilemma.
- An Israeli Nurse (and Mom)
Photo: Israeli & Palestinian children at a soccer camp near Haifa with Argentinean football coach Daniel Passarella, 2008