Saturday, January 30, 2021

My January 22, 2021 Letter in JPost Magazine

As published in the Jerusalem Post Weekend Magazine, January 22, 2021:

I was astounded, nay, discombobulated, reading Glenn C. Altschuler's review of Aharon Nathan's memoir ("A better Israel and world", Jan. 15). Altschuler, a university professor, finds that a 90-year old, in reminiscing about his female teachers during his teenage school years, wrote in a way that is "inappropriate in 2021". This was, for me, a stupefying moment.

In 2021, it seems he is suggesting that memories need be erased, that reality be reordered, that what was, well, wasn't quite the way it was. Honesty in history is to be avoided.

Was Nathan's language one of suggesting after-school liaisons or encouraging  adult-minor intimacy? He was, to be clear, recalling his feelings and those of his classmates. No vulgarities seem to have been employed. I can only wonder what Altschuler would have allowed in that chapter.

If in academia the cancel culture so reigns in that we cannot read what actually  happened, if only in a young man's mind, that we may never be permitted to know exactly what occurred so that we cannot discuss, argue and deliberate events and thinking, we might as well start burning books and torching films.

Yisrael Medad


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