From TPM Reader ES …
Thanks for the link to the Forward article. That really brightened my day. Especially because it seems that all we hear and see from Israel is de-humanizing, tribal talk of vengeance. That being said, the fundamental problem is that the Fraenkel parents are living in Gush Etzion. Not that it diminishes the horror of what happened to their son, but maybe, just maybe, as a matter of practicality, it’d be worthwhile reconsidering the very existence of a place like Gush Etzion. It is nothing but a religious perversion of Zionism.
The whole Greater Israel thing is the Allon plan gone amok: post 67, Allon thought about dotting the West Bank with small settlements for defensive purposes, following the same ‘tower-and-fence’ pattern that had served early Zionist settlers so well. The only people he found to implement that plan were excitable Mafdal types (who participated in every coalition until 1992!!) No-one else wanted a part in this. Labor bigwigs thought this was an excellent idea: send the zealots in small groups on top of barren hills in the middle of hostile territory. Useful idiots. Who’s the idiot now?
The upshot is that there are now truly two states between the sea and the Jordan river. On the one hand, the coastal area, where Israelis live as well as they can as a national community – certainly with gigantic social problems, but not intractable in the context of a robust democratic tradition. And on the other hand, the country behind the wall and the 1967 line – and the patchwork of Israeli special administrative zones in occupied West Bank. This second Israeli country has very different laws – which seems to favor the forcible expropriation of Arab property, and a very distinctive culture (to put it diplomatically). And the tragedy is that the second Israel holds considerable sway over the first Israel.
I don’t know – mixing Zionism with religion may have seemed expedient at the time (1967) – it’s an unmitigated disaster at this point, a festering heap of social pathologies (how do you call the cold-blooded murder of children on both sides otherwise – political activism gone wrong?).
I’d say that at least personally, I cannot support Zionism or Israel any longer (and dude, this is a very big thing for me, my family lives there, I got my political and life education at Hashomer Hatzair – my Dad was a traveling companion of Matzpen – and these guys had it right back in 67 – Google if you’re not familiar).
It’s not that my opinion matters in any way, the State of Israel does not need me – and that’s a good thing. In practice that means I’ll never set foot there if I can help it, and I’ll do my utmost to convince my nieces to emigrate to more civilized places. They have French passports, that should help.
Anyways, my two cents. Oy.