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Sarah Tuttle-Singer
A Mermaid in Jerusalem
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SPOILER ALERT: It’ll never be enough

As a left-wing Israeli, I won't give up on my ideals of peace - and I also don't accept the world's willingness to leave Israel in the dust
Family and friends attend a memorial service for peace activist and Women Wage Peace founder Vivian Silver, at Kibbutz Gezer, November 16, 2023, murdered in the Hamas massacre on October 7, 2023. (Jonathan Shaul/ Flash90)
Family and friends attend a memorial service for peace activist and Women Wage Peace founder Vivian Silver, at Kibbutz Gezer, November 16, 2023, murdered in the Hamas massacre on October 7, 2023. (Jonathan Shaul/ Flash90)

We identify as left-wing Israelis.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We wrote, “Hatred is not a value; racism isn’t the way” on our hands.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We sent our kids to coexistence camps and schools.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We tried our best to learn Arabic.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We became friends with Palestinians and had frank and earnest discussions with them about how to move forward and make things better for our children.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We planted trees with Palestinians and fought off armed settlers.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

Many of us refused to buy settlement goods.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We protested the Occupation.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We said, “Boycotts don’t help end the Occupation, but we support your right to boycott.”

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We defended the right of our Palestinian brothers and sisters to hold Nakba Day commemorations.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We even stood beside them at protests and waved watermelon signs.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We wrote op-eds and essays and open letters calling for a just and equal shared society for Arabs and Jews.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We voted for left-wing Jewish parties and Palestinian parties in our national elections.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We wept when Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich were voted into the Knesset.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We protested the government and some of us were even arrested or hit in the face with water cannons during the demonstrations.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

Some of us sat in jail because we refused to serve in the army.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We lost touch with some of our more right-wing friends and family.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We were called traitors and kapos by people we loved.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We spent our lives insisting that justice and peace are the only way forward for everyone.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We fought alongside our Palestinian brothers and sisters for equal rights

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We fought to get Gazans medical permits and drove them to their doctors’ appointments and visited them in the hospital and advocated for them when the government gave them a hard time.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We connected with like-minded peace activists living near Gaza… and then later saw them get raped, tortured, and slaughtered on October 7th.

It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We continue to endure lies about our lived experiences here on October 7, and do our best to respond with grace and truth.

It isn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We see the devastation in Gaza and continue to call for a just solution for Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side, as brothers and sisters.

It isn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We advocate for our stolen family — the hostages (two babies! grandparents!) — who are suffering, wounded, and in mortal danger.

It isn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We continue to implore our government to do whatever it takes to bring our hostages home now. Right now! Even if it means we stop the war today.

It isn’t enough for the rest of the world.

We call for our leaders to do more to feed starving children and families in Gaza — many of us give money to charities that are supposed to send aid, and we pray we aren’t inadvertently helping Hamas.

It isn’t enough for the rest of the world.

Some of us even call for a ceasefire.

It isn’t enough for the rest of the world.

So, I turn to you now:

WHEN will it be enough?

WHEN will we be seen? WHEN will we be allowed to grieve?

When we give up our right to feel safe?

When we give up and let Hamas swallow the hostages whole?

When we stop fighting for our right to exist?

When we just line up to be killed?

Will it be enough then?

Now, to be clear: I’ll NEVER be done fighting for a just and equal solution to this conflict — for freedom, for some kind of restitution, for basic dignity, and, yes, security for everyone…Palestinian and Israeli. From the river to the sea.

I believe in this with all my heart and all my soul and all my being.

This is a hill I am willing to die on — and I am fully aware that I might.

But I am DONE giving a damn what the rest of the world thinks of me.

So, I’ll turn within and focus here. I’ll build community, and continue those frank and earnest discussions with my Palestinian brothers and sisters. I’ll continue to call out extremism and racism in the government. I’ll keep advocating for the hostages. I’ll struggle to learn Arabic and continue to look for ways to build bridges between others who also want security and freedom and peace for all of us and our children.

I’ll turn within — and focus here — on making Israel a truly safe and free and strong shared society for all who want to live here and are willing to work together.

I am done with what the rest of the world thinks.

It is enough.

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer is the author of Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered and the New Media Editor at Times of Israel. She was raised in Venice Beach, California on Yiddish lullabies and Civil Rights anthems, and she now lives in Jerusalem with her 3 kids where she climbs roofs, explores cisterns, opens secret doors, talks to strangers, and writes stories about people — especially taxi drivers. Sarah also speaks before audiences left, right, and center through the Jewish Speakers Bureau, asking them to wrestle with important questions while celebrating their willingness to do so. She loves whisky and tacos and chocolate chip cookies and old maps and foreign coins and discovering new ideas from different perspectives. Sarah is a work in progress.
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