At times it seems that there are two wars going on. On one front, the military is battling against Hamas. On the other, a government minister, who called Arab colleagues “terrorists” on the floor of the Knesset, and hooligans who intimidate peace activists on social media, jointly persecute “the enemy within”: anyone who speaks differently. There is no doubt that Hamas is posing a threat to our safety and to our children’s safety, but can the same thing be said about entertainers such as the comedian Orna Banai, the singer Achinoam Nini, or my wife, the film director Shira Geffen, all of whom were vilified in hateful and menacing ways when they publicly expressed dismay about the deaths of Palestinian children? Do the extreme attacks against them constitute another defense necessary for our survival, or are they merely a dark outburst of hate and rage? Are we really so weak and scared that any opinion that differs from the consensus must be muted, lest it provoke death threats against not only those voicing it, but their children as well?
Many people tried to convince me not to publish this piece. “You have a little boy,” one of my friends told me last night. “Sometimes it’s better to be smart than to be right.” I’ve never been right, and I must not be too smart, either, but I am willing to fight for my right to express my opinion with the same ferocity that the I.D.F. is now showing in Gaza.