First, there is one thing most murderers, reckless drivers, and other violent criminals have in common. It’s not race, it’s not ethnicity – sorry, all you xenophobes and haters. The overwhelming preponderance of people who kill are men. Perhaps this is so obvious that it’s become transparent and that’s why nobody is addressing the gender factor as a root cause; or because it’s not unique to Israel maybe we think it’s acceptable. It is not acceptable, and I don’t care if it’s not unique. Israel must take a deep look at what makes our boys killers and work much harder to spare them that fate.
The second thing bothers me more. I refuse to live in fear of violence, but I am terrified of the human the ability to deny. Denying is lying. In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech in 1970, Alexander Solzhenitsyn said:
Violence does not and cannot flourish by itself; it is inevitably intertwined with lying… nothing screens violence except lies, and the only way lies can hold out is by violence. Whoever has once announced violence as his method must inexorably choose lying as his principle.
I would go further. All forms of violence are connected. Whoever is violent in his home, is violent in the street. Whoever is violent in his words, is violent by his hand. Whoever is violent to his enemies will eventually be violent with his friends. We will convince ourselves that the situation demands violence; in fact, the violence that defines us demands that we create the situations.
It’s no fun to say all this. But denying it keeps the whole system going.