The tragedy of Israel

Smoke and fire from an Israeli bomb rises into the air ove Gaza CityFrom the The Huffington Post

GazaFamilyFleesFrom 91.3 FM, voice of the Cape

Gaza damageTyler Hicks/The New York Times

One Day, Many Years from Now, people will ask how come we were bystanders  An anonymous Israeli, Jewish, PhD student whose blog Reality Check Point is revelatory.

Israel was born in hope. Not just the hope of Jewish refugees fleeing the horrors of being second class – or third class or not even – citizens in Europe and, later, much of the Muslim world, but the hope of  non-Zionist Jewish people all over the diasporic world. That hope held Israel out as a beacon of Western, Humanistic, Democratic, values. For years, those values have been increasingly subjugated to Israel’s fears and brutality. A brutality that destroys the brutalizer as much as the brutalised.

Sadly, I doubt that it could have any other way, no matter how intense our hopes. For years we have known, on a personal level, that battering the child makes a brutal, battering, adult and the Jews were battered by experts; from the Roman Armies starting the diaspora, to the Spanish inquisition, to the pogroms of Eastern Europe and Western Russia, to the Shoah carried out by the German military under the Nazis. The lessons the survivors learned were not lessons of peace and tolerance, they were lessons of hate and fear. They were not lessons of the futility and ultimate failure of brutality, the lessons the survivors learned were of the effectiveness of raw power.

Why should Hamas, or any Palestinian for that matter, believe the world will shelter and secure them, help them, value them; the world has already said Move off your land, we are giving it to somebody else, you don’t count. People who hide behind their own children after striking out, have no faith in their own future. And a nation that sends their Army in to destroy schools, saying We are justified, the terrorists were hiding behind the children, has lost its moral bearing.

In this atmosphere, anybody who really thinks that a two state solution to Palestine is actually possible, hasn’t looked at the map. It is already one state, a nasty, brutal, apartheid state but one state nonetheless. West Bank HistoryIn October, 2003, Tony Judt, a Jewish intellectual I have come to admire, after being introduced to him by Richard and Tracy,  said in The New York Review of Books – in a thoughtful article I think is very much worth reading – The time has come to think the unthinkable. The two-state solution—the core of the Oslo process and the present “road map”—is probably already doomed….The true alternative facing the Middle East in coming years will be between an ethnically cleansed Greater Israel and a single, integrated, binational state of Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians. Sadly, things have only gotten worse since then and, now, even Reuven Rivlin, the Israeli President seems to agree.

I don’t see any ethical choice except a single, integrated Israel/Palestine and it is tragic that the dream didn’t come true, but it didn’t.

3 thoughts on “The tragedy of Israel

  1. Exactly the same thing that Europeans did to the native peoples of this continent. Man’s inhumanity to man – no matter the label a man claims.

  2. That is true, Gail, and in many ways what we did was worse, like giving the Indians smallpox infected blankets. That was 140 +- years ago which doesn’t make it right, but it was a over hundred years ago. However, even then, we didn’t use heavy artillery on schools and hospitals.

    All that said, we are a nasty animal.

  3. From Mike Moore: Steve; I must respectfully take issue with the battered child analogy as any sort of excuse for the Israelis’ abominable behavior [and let’s not tar the entirety of Your People with the same brush; I don’t see you, or any other Jews I know, running around blowing up your fellow-semites, or remotely as damaged as it would take to be so badly behaved] as from the beginning that State was conceived in rogue terrorism by some very cynical individuals who manipulated and preyed
    > upon the [justifiable, no denying that] fears and vulnerabilities of very desperate immigrants, many of them solicited and brought to the Palestinian Territories under false pretenses to be force-fed a propagandistic false history that only exacerbated said paranoias, creating, a century on, the self-fulfilling prophecies that may yet
    > lead to armageddon, or at least the next world war, if we’re not happily enjoying that one already.

    “A land without people for a people without land”; the creation myth, yes…and so convenient that that land came replete with orchards, groves and settlements hundreds if not thousands off years old. So what if there was a little blood on the walls…The maps are eloquent, but the facts behind them are that the Zionists, from the very beginning and at every turn, have violated every treaty and agreement they signed to get themselves onto them…including any and all nuclear ones.

    History, however, is no help, and don’t get me started on the complicity of the so-called “Great Powers” after each World War…it all just sucks, and here we are, watching it go down.

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