Sunday, October 28, 2012

Reading Israeli News

Op ed writer Gideon Levy writes in today's Ha'aretz about a recent survey of Israeli public opinion--very revealing to us as we sit here in the US and wonder whatever happened to the "peace process." Levy writes:

One-third of Israelis want to deny Arab citizens the right to vote; about half of Israelis favor a policy of 'transferring' Arabs out of the country; and a majority says there is apartheid here. We need to finally give up on the hope that things will get better.

Nice to make your acquaintance, we're racist and pro-apartheid. The poll whose results were published in Haaretz on Tuesday, conducted by Dialog and commissioned by the Yisraela Goldblum Fund, proved what we always knew, if not so bluntly. It's important to recognize the truth that has been thrown in our faces and those of the world (where the survey is making waves ). But it's even more important to draw the necessary conclusions from it.
Given the current reality, making peace would be an almost anti-democratic act: Most Israelis don't want it. A just, egalitarian society would also violate the wishes of most Israelis: That, too, is something they don't want. They're satisfied with the racism, comfortable with the occupation, pleased with the apartheid; things are very good for them in this country. That's what they told the pollsters.
Until a courageous leadership arises here, the kind that appears only rarely in history, and tries to change this nationalist, racist mood, there's no point in hoping for change to come from below. It won't come; indeed, it can't come, because it is contrary to the desires of most Israelis. This fact must be recognized.
The world must also recognize this. Those who long to reach an agreement and draw up periodic peace plans must finally recognize that Israelis are plainly telling them, "No thanks, we're not interested." Read the rest of the article.....

Harsh words, but it also sounds a lot like what I am seeing here in the US as we plod on toward the election. I find that the Israeli media is often much more candid about what is happening there than our US news sources are.

Mayber part of my own darkness comes from reading Mornings in Jenin this weekend (by Susan Abulhawa), and the horrors of the early years of Israel's occupation--1948, 1967, the first Lebanon war, the massacres in Lebanon at Sabra and Shatila. Although it's a novel, the events in the novel actually happened--to hundreds of thoushands of unnamed Palestinians. The novel's characters have personalities, aspiriations, loving families, desires for wholeness and peace. The nameless victims are only statistics and Wikipedia articles and old photos of dead bodies piled in the streets.

This was in 1982. And Ha'aretz reports today.....would it be any different?

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