The search to establish the body’s identity takes the reader back and forth between Hadera and Tel Aviv. Interestingly, the political situation in Israel is only mentioned through various allusions: bombings, overcrowding of the morgue and the loss of children in the war. Even though conflict is tangible in the background, it is only represented in an indirect manner. To explain this important blank space she says:
When the reality around you is so complicated or too frightening, people tend to detach themselves from it. We cannot live our lives fearing what is going to happen next, we have to protect ourselves. I know it seems strange that Palestinians are not mentioned in the story. Israelis prefer not to think about the context of terror. […] It is too complicated to think of the context (and it depends on who you ask), and depressing, too.”
Even though I immensely enjoyed reading Exit Wounds, I did feel uncomfortable at the complete absence of the life of Palestinians. Why was Modan completely incapable of naming the political problem – the Israeli occupation – and only capable of alluding to it? We must ask the question: is not this amnesia part of the problem?
Israelis may prefer “not to think about the context of terror” but this does not justify not doing so. However, some Israelis object to the occupation on moral grounds, and have called for the creation of an independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders. In 1993, it seemed that the occupation would finally end with the signing of the Oslo Agreement in Washington and that the withdrawal from the occupied territories would lead to the creation of a Palestinian State. Unfortunately, as we know, the Oslo Agreement did not lead to the desired results. In fact, it only permitted Israel to maintain occupation in a more “sophisticated form”. The result is an increasingly militarized and belligerent state – as the raid on the international aid flotilla on its way to Gaza has certainly proven. As Yeshayahu Leibovitz, an Israeli philosopher, warned in 1968: “A state governing a hostile population of 1.5 to 2 million foreigners is bound to become a Shin Bet (Security Service) state, with all that this implies for the spirit of education, freedom of speech and thought and democracy. Israel will be infected with corruption, characteristic of any colonial regime”.  That’s a context worth thinking about.
Drawn & Quarterly
Rutu Modan - Mixed Emotions - New York Times - Blog
 Kobi Ben-Simhon, Books, Hors-série, no. 2, avril-mai 2010, p.49.
 Rutu Modan. Exit Wounds. Montreal, Drawn & Quarterly, 2008, p. 180-181.
 See Tanya Reinhart. Israel/Palestine. How to End the War of 1948. New York, Seven Stories Press, 2005 (Second Edition).