112 Comments

I understand the emotions behind this piece, but progressive Jewish atheists like me condemn what Hamas did to innocent Israelis as strongly as we condemn what Israelis are doing to innocent Palestinians. The philosophy of an eye for an eye makes both sides blind.

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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

Among the unspeakable horrors happening I can't even take comfort in the fact that a writer I love reading ,Etgar Keret, is voicing in his own words exactly what I have been telling to myself , or the other day, to a friend......(if it is not presumptuous to claim that I understood you correctly, but I think I did: How difficult it is for the progressive left to think all those things together at once without joining one side acvording to its national or ethnic identity as if this was a soccer game where you chose sides and instead grieve over the tragedy ......Maybe I do take a little comfort in reading what you share , or why share anything at all really if one isn't allowed to take comfort despite the fact that one constantly keeps "checking her or his privilege " aware that oneself and his family has been spared. Thank you for this.

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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

As an older lefty who has marched and struggled often with being too binary in my own world view, I am grateful for this nuanced exploration of how destructive the act of choosing a side can be. Initially appalled by the actions of Hamas and cheering on the strong Israeli response, as the days passed, it became clear that the situation is anything but clear. I find myself in the odd place of heartache for all of the people involved in this terrible ordeal...there is simply is no one righteous position here. It seems the struggle to rule the kingdom of heaven will never end because we, all of us, are too human to understand what that will take. My thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

In a sea of despair, your words are a balm. I’m a Jewish progressive academic from Brazil living in the US. My entire life I had a hard time because while my heart aligned with the progressive left, my mind always lived in and with the contradictions of the world, nuance, and internal debates. The ideological police was always looming behind me. Your text actually helped me grow a bit more empathy for the friends and colleagues whose words now so disappoint and hurt me. You are one step ahead of me in the nuance! Thank you 💛

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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

Perfectly stated. Thank you for sharing this perspective. One day there will be space for moderates again but I fear it won’t be in my lifetime. Especially when children are being taught in school to think this way as well. But it’s a pendulum and it will swing to be more centered. But it’s going to take some time 😔

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Agreed, but the anger comes from feeling helpless and unable to influence events.

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You are one of the world’s most poignant, hilarious, and wise authors, and if the progressives have lost you, that is a dark day for them indeed. Thank you so much for this piece.

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Dear Etgar. You did it again. You speak about the ill in the world with such nuance, humanity and... (even!) humour. A progressive/ leftist myself I noticed this trend years ago and had the same thoughts/ problems with it. The world is in a bad place without nuanced, respectful conversations. We must carry on talking, even when talking - especially listening!- is difficult. I always cherish your words and will share them widely. תודה!

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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

You have the uncanny ability to translate some of the thoughts and feelings that roll endlessly around in my head, to paper. I so admire that and wish I was able to do it so eloquently. This is a conversation I have been trying to have with my adult children. I am not sure that they agree with anything I ever say, but I do think they may at least understand my feelings more clearly once they have read this.

Be safe.

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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

Thank you for this. The first answer that comes to one's mind is: It is unfortunate that so often the extreme voices are the loudest. But then, I realized that with your piece and the comments related to it, you have created a precious space for the moderate voices, that many are longing for and that we need so much for our world.

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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

What a terrific piece Etgar. Thanks. Love a bit of complexity. And love the weekly dose of thoughts from you, particularly at the moment, this particular complex moment. I picked up The Seven Good Years again last week. It's one of my favourite books. Sending you love and cheers

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A superb piece of writing forged in the deepest reaches of the furnace of art but that seemingly ignores the 3,000 years of Jew- hate behind those who feasted on us so orgiastically that Shabbat shachor, 07 October 2023.

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The question is: Can we hold two (or more) realities in our head at the same time? Perhaps one of the greatest human failings is that apparently many of us can’t. Thank you, Etgar, for having the courage to voice your opinions (and always so eloquently) whether you meet agreement or not.

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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Etgar Keret

Thank you. You have very articulately stated what I have been trying to say.

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Thank you for this, Etgar! I loved and shared (many times over) your audio interview with the NYT.

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Thank you, Etgar. Thank you for this great post.

This "woodchips go flying" thing bothers me since time immemorial. Even though I heard it first in my Soviet childhood of course-it seems to be a particularly enduring tradition.

Is it too cheesy to say I'm grateful that you exist?

I guess it is, oh well. I am grateful.

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