Taking the express train down into the tunnel known as apartheid. Certainly, a Hebrew state or a Jewbrew state held hostage by a minority that holds it over the majority is something not to shout, scream, kick and leap for joy about when attributes approaching South Africa are inexorably brought closer with each passing of a checkpoint. Its a serious danger, a moral cliff. A red line of infinite and eternal rule, cloaked in the language of the holy. Certainly, the Gideon Levy’s and Yossi Sarid’s are provocateurs and manipulators, but they are not exactly the problem nor are Israel’s foes, however nutty they may appear.
Factoring out the kooks, the empty gesture, and the posing, its a complex conflict outside of convention and known solution. Like the Jews in Europe, the oppression singes and dehumanizes the oppressor by the act of engendering suffering and pain. A slow process of the soul escaping into thin air while the oppressed grapple with the idea of nobility of spirit. Its a nation at the crossroads of fascism though it is not inevitable but the eleventh hour is at hand. As Meron Benvenisti recently said, it has to go back to the idea of a bi-national state, a democratic republic and the two-state ideal is doomed to failure. He’s not wrong, but does either side really want it? Benny Morris, also in a recent Haaretz interview was profoundly pessimistic of the Arab desire for co-existence.
Its axiomatic that violence creates more violence. But massive civil disobedience to create a new shining country? ….To date, live ammunition against civil disobedience seems to keep the ethno-centrism is vogue, that very carefully constructed hierarchy, the pecking order of civil society that is the basis of the invidious comparisons that define daily life.
The idea of a cause not worth taking someone else’s life for has not really entered the realm of public consciousness there, all apologies to Franz Fanon. The idea of citizenship based on religious criteria is the most contentious and disconcerting, and at the heart of no seemingly plausible end to this protracted conflict, despite some of the policies being in reaction to imagined, perceived and real threats from outside the national boundaries. To Benvenisti, the demographic fears, the battle of the womb, are a canard, and not tangible or realistic. Which goes back to Buber where Zionism was clearly not racism but that appropriation towards fighting for territory and suppression, the dogma of a Golda Meir, “a land without a people for a people without land,” we have the toxic mix of racism and European liberal democracy. Benvenisti’s argument that the land cannot be partitioned is an uncomfortable reality to many, in effect neatly unraveling the trope argument of victim and culprit placing both sides as guilty of violence and responsible for arriving at more functional means of living together.
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Meanwhile, in Syria…
Next came an even more fascinating demonstration, when the hugely popular State of the Nation satire show hosted none other than belligerent, anti-Israel Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi. The event was preceded by an amusing, ongoing “dispute” between Zoabi and the show’s host, which at one point prompted her to publically complain that she should not be slammed on the show for refusing to appear on it. The show’s stars, in turn, ridiculed Zoabi regularly for her views and even inaugurated a special “When Hanin will come” weekly segment to the show.
Saturday night Hanin finally came, providing viewers at home with one of the most entertaining shows in recent memory. The sides quickly resorted to mutual albeit friendly jabs at each other, with Zoabi castigating the show’s host over his attitude to Arabs, while other participants grilled the Arab MK over her attitude to the Jewish state, at one point jokingly asking for her “final solution” to the conflict.
At the end of the show, Zoabi was given the opportunity to directly address the audience at home. The atmosphere throughout the night could be summed up as friendly, and despite Zoabi’s attempt to remain serious when addressing the issues at hand, she regularly burst into laughter – also when the show’s host asked her to sign the program’s “guestbook,” with a knife.
Zoabi took the jabs in stride, contributing her share to a lively and pleasant session that seemed to remind viewers that Israel’s Jews and Arabs can engage in good natured dialogue, despite their disagreements. The sides ended the night with a handshake and a smile.
Earlier that same day, Syrian military forces continued their vicious assault on the city of Homs, executing men, women and children in what journalists at the scene described as a brutal massacre and war crime.
So is Israel perfect? No. Is it inherently racist? As the examples above seem to indicate, probably not. In any case, the Jewish state is apparently not a bad place to live in – even if you’re an Arab.Read More:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4198277,00.html