Friday, June 26, 2009

On Zionism and frozen yoghurt

"Good morning Israel! It is very late, and you have overslept. One can’t call a country peaceful when it has an extreme right-wing government and Ariel Sharon’s party in opposition. One can’t – not logically – describe any criticism of Zionism as anti-semitism and at the same time concede that 75 per cent of Israeli Jews wouldn’t want to live in the same building as an Arab. One can’t teach high-school students about the dangers of racism and discrimination, and the next day lecture them about the Israeli government project to Judaise the Galilee. One can’t describe ending the military occupation and handing the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to its rightfullegal inhabitants as a ‘painful Israeli compromise’. ‘A villa in the jungle’ is how Ehud Barak described Israel’s position in the MiddleEast. It’s a fantasy that the whole of Israel takes part in. In the heart of Tel Aviv onecan find the Ha-Kirya complex, the headquarters of the Israel Defence Forces. Thefact that Tel Avivians can calmly walk past this building without making a connection between their army and the occupied Palestinian territories, between their independence and the continued Palestinian suffering, is alarming. Israeli decadence isn’t measured in crime rates or corruption, but in their opposite: inhaving a prospering society and democratic elections while directly abrogating the Palestinians’ most basic human, national and political rights.

The way of fantasising another Israel – peaceful and moral, Jewish and democratic, not perfect but not harmful – has brought into being a virtual reality in which historical and contemporary events are blurred by wishful, deceitful and blinkered thinking. In order to recruit Israeli Jewish society to this mission, no induction orders were needed. Everything has come together – Israel’s political and religious institutions, its media, its ‘friends’ around the world, its borders, its terminology, its collective memory, its imagination and also its ice-cream parlours – to enable Israel to reach the stage where it has completely lost any connection with reality." (Thanks Izzat)

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