Talking to Israelis is so useless

Posted: October 13th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: The Left, The Right, The Settlements | Tags: , , , | 75 Comments »

Being part of the lefty ultra-minority in Israel – and obsessed with politics at the same time – I get mixed up regularly in political debates (fights?) with friends, family members, coworkers, writers and readers of pro-Israeli blogs, and basically, whoever is around. But lately, I have to admit, I’m getting tired of this habit. I feel that no matter what the issue at hand is, Israelis and their supporters fall back to the same argument:

The Palestinians want to destroy us, and therefore, whatever we do to them is justified.

It doesn’t matter that A doesn’t necessarily leads to B (even in war not everything is justified), it doesn’t even matter we are talking about something else completely, say racism towards Arab Israeli citizens or the future of Jerusalem. Whatever I say, wherever we go, we end up at the same station. The Palestinians want to destroy us, and therefore, whatever we do to them is justified.

I try to speak about Gaza, and say, the illegal use of phosphorus bombs against civilians.

“How do you know the IDF did that?” the answer comes. “Don’t say you believe that self-hating Jew, Goldstone?”

-    Well, there are pictures of the bombs exploding, there are people with phosphorus-like burns, and I know that every combat unit in the IDF carries standard phosphorus ammunition, because I’ve been there and I even used it in training.

-    You don’t get it, do you? The Palestinians want to destroy us all. What we did in Gaza was self-defense, like everyone else would have done. We didn’t want to kill those children. We did what’s necessary. It was justified.

And that’s basically it. Read the rest of this entry »

Next on the agenda: declaring war on Norway

Posted: October 3rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, The Right | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Avigdor Liberman is doing it again: Haaretz reports that our Foreign Minister is now considering throwing out the Norwegian monitoring force from Hebron. The reason: the anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic policies of Norway’s government. The evidence: Norway’s government’s pension fund’s decision to divest from an Israeli company, Elbit; Norway’s contacts with Hamas, which are yet to be proven (Last week Netanyahu made the same allegation, based on wrongful information, against Sweden); and on top of all, Norway’s insistence – after Liberman has warned them once already! – to mark the 100th birthday of Knut Hamsun, the writer who sympathized with the Nazis during WW2.

Of all the foreign ministers he met with in New York, Lieberman told the cabinet, this meeting [with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store] was the most difficult, because “the Norwegians take a very hostile line against us.”

“It may be the time has come to reassess our relations with them and reexamine our position on matters important to them, like their monitors in Hebron or [Israel's] cooperation with the forum of donor states [to the PA], which they head,” Lieberman added.

People praise Liberman for his firm stand against anti-Semitism, but personally I think he didn’t even start the real work. According to the same logic, Liberman should cut ties with Germany for playing Wagner‘s music, and with France for publishing Celin‘s work, with Finland (we remember which side they took!), naturally with Japan, and that’s just the beginning. By the way, they teach Hamsun and Celin in Israel’s schools and universities, but I guess that’s beside the point.

If we go back to serious politics, the international monitoring body’s present in Hebron is part of an agreement which Israel signed, and it’s not even in Liberman’s authority to postpone it. Clearly, Liberman knows that. I assume the real motive for his actions is an attempt to win some points with the Israeli public, since he can’t do anything else, as he is considered a persona non grate by most of the world. Obviously, Liberman is eroding whatever credit this government still enjoys in Europe and turning the very real the fight against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial into a joke, but that’s not too bad either. In a way, he represents the current atmosphere in Israel better than Shimon Peres or Tzipi Livni ever did when they held the same office. We couldn’t have asked for a more suitable Foreign Minister.