Dear Mr Blinken et al,
I am a Latvian born, Soviet raised, Israeli Australian daughter, mother, psychiatrist, researcher, farmer, property developer, community member, athlete of a certain age - not that we can discuss age in these days of neutrality.
On the eve of your trip to Israel at the start of 2023, punctuated by a year long war in Ukraine courtesy of the USA immediately after its successful exit after 20 years of destruction in Afghanistan, and in the context of more violence and terror against Israeli civilians – not including members of terror organizations eliminated by the IDF– I urge you to undertake a small social experiment, in the tradition of classic American experiments by Stanley Milgram at Stanford University.
Namely, I propose that you walk a mile in the shoes of an ordinary Israeli citizen whereby for 24 hours you and your children and grandchildren get around incognito and undertake ordinary activities – take public transport, take your kids to school, go to an ordinary restaurant or bar, go to a supermarket or a pharmacy. Be glued to your phone 24 hours a day anxiously awaiting notification of location of yet another terrorist act. Go through security checks in carparks and shopping centres. Try to explain to your children and grandchildren why the government puts up with it. Listen to them when they ask you: “But daddy,why do the Americans want us to put up with this?”
Answer them. And as you are pondering your answer, wiping sweat from your brow in sweltering heat and consulting with your equally ignorant European colleagues who, along with the US, are supporting the barbarians, the kids ask you: “But daddy, we wouldn’t put up with this in our country, would we?”
As a proud citizen in your own country you might want to drive or walk around Israeli Arab cities, villages or suburbs. And why not? After all, we are all citizens in same country. Successive governments have gone to great lengths to create more than equal opportunities for our muslim population. You would probably have seen in the pharmacy that you went to that the pharmacist was a muslim, and why not? The nursing staff, builders, agriculture workers and a good many doctors are muslim. Universities are awash with muslim professors. And why not?
You should visit the universities, after all your children may well study on these campuses. While American universities have become a nursery for antisemitism, Israeli universities have become a nursery for advancement of our muslim population. And why not?
So why shouldn’t we be able to drive and walk safely in East Jerusalem or Um al Fahm? You should. We all should. Go for it. Wear a kippah, as a Jew should, and walk around East Jerusalem in broad daylight. But first, ask your children if they are afraid.
Listen to the voices of the children, for they are uninitiated in the complexity of high level international political intrigue.
Mr Blinken, it is the definition of insanity to keep doing same thing while expecting a different result. We will do things differently, because we are not insane.
But let’s talk after your experiment.
Everyday terror has become woven into the fabric of everyday life in many western countries including but not limited to the United States, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, and these countries appear to have accepted this and continue on the path of appeasement of their bullies. This has never worked, because bullies only respect someone who is stronger than they. Appeasing, negotiating, trying to understand and educate bullies is doomed only to failure, as history has shown.
Dr Natalie Krapivensky, Israel
Dr Natalie Krapivensky is a senior psychiatrist with extensive clinical, administrative, medicolegal and research experience in mental health including the development and delivery of specialist psychiatric services in different settings. Specific interests include PTSD, mood disorder, psychiatric comorbidity with substance use disorders,sleep problems, and psychopharmacology.. Founder and Medical Director of Australia’s only private hospital providing specialised assessment and treatment programmes addressing sleep problems in psychiatric patients. Dr.Krapivensky’s career demonstrates considerable experience in developing and delivering programs, leading multi-disciplinary teams, and provision of clinically effective treatment programmes in inpatient and outpatient settings combined with clinical, research and medicolegal expertise.