Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | January 11, 2007

I am not a radical

Over latte in Ramat Gan with one of my favorite local bloggers this week, I came to the conclusion that the Arab-Israeli conflict is similar to the abortion issue, in that those who fervently believe they are on the side of God simply cannot accept the validity of the beliefs of those who are on the other side, and feel the need to portray the “Godless” individuals in the most negative way possible. Consider the terminology. When the anti-abortion camp defines itself as being “pro-life”, it broadcasts to the rest of the world the implication that those in the pro-abortion camp must be “anti-life”, when this is clearly not the case. Being in favor of a woman’s right to make her own decisions regarding her body does not make me anti-life any more than being in favor of a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians makes me anti-Israel.

There are many who would have you believe otherwise, would have you believe that my ilk and I are the greatest threat to Israel’s existence as a sovereign state. We are called “stupid”, “ignorant” and “naive”, to name but a few of the terms often used against us, or we are gently reprimanded for “not understanding” the situation at hand, as though our beliefs reflect a lack of knowledge and experience rather than having opted for a different path. The name-calling and bullying tactics are pathetic, a reflection of the insecurities felt by some with regard to their own identities. Otherwise, why would they feel the need to resort to such childish antics when faced with an opinion with which they don’t agree? As I’ve mentioned on other occasions (and if I haven’t, I should have), I am always shocked by the degree of petty viciousness with which those of us who are opposed to the occupation and in favor of a just, two-state solution are regularly attacked, whether it be a full-on attack in any one of a variety of forums, or through periodic, thinly veiled barbs that may seem innocuous to others, but obvious to us.

As for the desire to convince us that if we only knew better, we’d surely see the light, well, suffice it to say that I find this scenario far more troubling, as I refuse to be treated as a child whose thoughts and ideas are deemed inconsequential by those who claim to know better. Making the situation even more absurd is that many of the more critical individuals do not even live in Israel (or do not have any direct ties to the country), popping up to throw in their passionate two cents before returning to their own lives, with either little or no actual comprehension of the intricate facts on the ground. Ironically, these same people who judge from abroad, claiming to know what is happening in my own backyard far better than I, make the irrational assumption that because I am in Israel, I have no concept of what is “really” going on in the rest of the world, or how the rest of the world views Israel, as though I do not have the very same access to global media as they do. We are keenly aware of what the world thinks of us, and more in touch with reality than you could possibly imagine, though perhaps it is not the reality of life in Israel and the Middle East that you choose to accept.

I am inclined to make another abortion comparison, as I watch people with no direct, vested interest in the situation (those living abroad) attempt to dictate the rules of the game for those of us whose lives will be directly affected by the outcome, often (though not always) invoking God and religion (as in “God promised this land to the Jews”, and other such sentiments that are simply unrealistic in light of the fact that such an argument will not cause the Palestinians to pick up and leave en masse) to justify their need to be involved in matters that do not concern them. I am awed by the strident, almost militant, tones, the manner dismissive of all opinions that differ from their own, and the attempts to belittle and invalidate those who proffer such opinions, as though the opinions of those individuals directly affected by such decisions are irrelevant. Opposition to my life choices should not be anyone’s cause celebre. Several of those on the right (though certainly not all) who live here are not much better, though obviously, the abortion comparison doesn’t work in this case, as they have just as much of a right to their opinions as I do to mine.

It is rather telling when people who fail to see the occupation and subjugation of an entire people as a bad thing are the ones who consider me to be the radical, anti-Israel, self-hating Jew, don’t you think?



  1. ‘k,i’ll bite and pose a ques at bottom.

    Israel withdrew one hundred percent from Lebanon in 2000 and Hezbollah filled the void for 6 years ….. Hez were building bunkers on the border and firing katyushas at Shlomi and other towns in north until July 2006 when they crossed the line. Israel withdrew one hundred percent from Gaza in 2005 and Hamas/Al Aqsa/Islamic Jihad et al has been firing Qassams at Sderot, Ashkelon etc..

    Barak had promised a strong reponse to Hez if they attacked after IDF withdrawal from Leb ,but then did nothing in response to Hez provocations and attacks/kidnappings.

    So hypothetically Meretz’s Yossi Beilin becomes Prime Minister and Israel withdraws from West Bank excluding Ma’ale Adumim and a few other Yishuvim

    What is going to happen if above occured — when the Hamas/Al Aqsa/Islamic Jihad et al start firing at katyushas at Ben Gurion Airport/raanana/kfar saba/herzliya ?

  2. In order not to be considered a “radical” I guess you should have a clear vision or plan for the future…For example: Approx. what percentage of Palestinians would be content with a 2 state solution without Right of Return? Besides all that, “Oslo” was rejected (and it even pushed RoR away to a later date), so what in addition to “Oslo” is Israel willing to offer to the Palestinians in exchange for peace because obviously Oslo was not enough?

  3. I have one more thing to add (I posted the comment above). It find it really odd that you wrote that people (specifically Jews) who live abroad have no right to discuss Israeli policy/hasbara when you know very well that Israeli policy/shitty hasbara affects Jews everywhere. As you know, after the Intifada was launched by the Palestinians, Jews all over the world sufferered. Anti-Jewish attacks are up as much as 500% in certain places in the last 6 years. I guess those are the ramifications of calling Israel the “Jewish state” (which I have no problem with, of course). There was even a PBS special on 2 nights ago which basically blamed Arab anti-Semitism on Christians & Israel (which I don’t agree with, but that’s beside the point). As such, I feel we have a right to comment on the situation and of course will continue to do so. Our actions affect Israel and Israeli actions affect us. It’s sort of a sympbiotic relationship and it’s a fact of life, so better to learn to work together than act as if only one has a right to talk. Besides that, there is not one Jew that I know who doesn’t have family in Israel (afterall, I’m sure you have family in the US). We in the states are not divorced from the situation much as you’d like to think so.

  4. Jews living abroad certainly have a right to discuss these issues, but they should also realize how aggravated those of us who live here get when people living abroad try to tell us that we’re the ones who don’t get it, that we are wrong, etc. I don’t know whether or not I know you (seeing as you are anonymous), but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had Jews who live abroad tell me that I’m not seeing the full picture, I don’t get it, I’m an idiot, etc., in incredibly patronizing tones. I can’t tell you how angry it makes me. I suppose my point is that my opinions are just as valid as those of anyone on the right, and it’s not for Jews abroad – especially those with no direct connection or vested interest in Israel – to tell me that I’m wrong.

    I’m American, yet because I live here, I would never presume to try to affect the outcome of American elections, or attempt to dictate American policy, even if I don’t agree with it (and I’m not saying I do or don’t), simply because I don’t live there. I would never treat American citizens with whom I don’t agree in the same way that some Jews abroad treat me. What it comes down to is that we all want what is best for Israel, we just have different ideas about what that is and how to go about it, and that doesn’t make me evil incarnate.

    I agree that Israel’s actions affect you, which is not the way it should be (small consolation, I’m sure), but the question that I pose is this – if the increase in anti-Semitic activity comes as a result of Israel’s policies vis a vis the Palestinians, should you continue to be unconditionally supportive of these policies, or should you (the collective you, not you specifically) or should you begin to publicly question the effectiveness of these policies? Clearly, something that Israel is doing isn’t working, but this is perhaps a subject for another post.

  5. Hi Liza:

    I admit, this is the first time Ive read your blog, but Ive heard of you before from other bloggers…

    As a settler, Im not “shocked by the degree of petty viciousness” that I feel is thrown at me by Left-wing Israelies. I’ve gotten used to it over the past 13 years since Oslo; be it from the name calling directed towards an entire population “Crybabies” (after terror attacks), “Kugelagerim and Propellors” (after expressing dismay and worry that Oslo would be a security disaster for Israel).

    I must admit, the venom directed towards the settlers from Gush katif who were thrown out of their homes this summer shocked me by the utter callousness of the entire country. I’m sure you know that they were thrown into a “temporary” situation, with zero planning for their future…and the ongoing cruelty thrown at them boggles the mind. I guess that after 35 years of demonization that the “settlers and ‘occupation’ are the root of Israel’s moral collapse” resulted in the State’s apathetic (at best) treatment of it’s citizens.

    But enough of me feeling victimized; you say you aren’t a radical. I can accept that. I can even hear you point of view without calling you a radical. However, your comparisons are just factually incorrect. In my yishuv, for example, the majority of the residents…are secular.

    The won’t wave a Bible in your face and scream that they are living in G-d’s land. you won’t find a hint of Christian Fundamentalist righteousness that accompanies the anti-abortion movement. (incidentally, Im sure you know that Orthodoxy allows for abortion in certain situations…but that’s besides the point).

    I have left wing and right wing friends, and we can agree to disagree without invective. We’ve had long, passionate arguments with each other — and while we’re at opposites of the political spectrum, it doesn’t mean that we don’t respect each other. We may even despise each other’s politics, but there’s a clear difference between arguing with a person’s views, and arguing with a person.

    Your post seems to be intent on expressing alot of anger towards “the rightwing”, and comparing the Settlement issue to abortion only exacerbates everything.

    I can tell you that the lack of the Leftwing’s basic understanding of the situation the government (and Oslo) have put the settlers into over the past 13 years, only saying, “the sooner you leave, the better for everyone”, instead of trying to comprehend WHY we are here (and its multifaceted) is the reason you may feel that you are thought of as “radical”.

    In any event, I sure hope your abortion comparison wasn’t to send a subliminal message, that some would prefer us settlers…to be dead.

  6. To answer your questions Liza,

    Let’s just put it this way: I don’t blame Israel b/c some Muslim terrorist in Seattle decides to kill a Jew because they’re upset about the war in Lebanon. How could I? You may see it differently, but that is my opinion.

    I don’t think anyone has the answers, here, or in Israel etc. As I wrote earlier, the Israelis are not willing to offer more than they did at Oslo and the Palestinians are not willing to accept even Oslo, so what has changed really? Not to mention Right of Return. But what do I know? I’m only an American 😉

  7. Anonymous, I agree with you. It’s not Israel’s fault, but clearly, there are others who don’t see it that way. I’m surprised by how many people out there don’t realize that most Jews outside of Israel do not necessarily have strong connections to Israel, nor have they even been here for a visit. For many, it’s just not the central focus of their Judaism (and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that), so to blame Jews outside of Israel for the actions of the Israeli government/military is wrong.

    I’m not sure what’s changed, but something has to. The situation will only get worse if we continue to occupy.

    Oh, and just to point out, I see this as a good discussion, we may have different opinions, but we are “talking”, exchanging rational ideas – no name calling or patronizing. I don’t have a problem with Jews abroad weighing in on these issues (truly!), but I don’t appreciate it when they patronize me. Most people wouldn’t, especially when those doing the patronizing haven’t walked a mile in my shoes, so to speak.

  8. Jameel,

    Your opinions are just as legitimate as mine are (and I’m guessing that they’re quite different on a number of issues), and for the record, I’m not one of those who would call “crybaby” or similar over terror attacks.

    What has happened to the Gush Katif settlers since the disengagement is a travesty, and symbolizes how dysfunctional and misguided our government is. I’m sure you realize that I was in favor of the disengagement, but I don’t think that it was carried out properly, and I am angered by the government’s inaction with regard to ensuring as quick and as painless a transition as possible. It is a travesty that there are still be living in hotels, unable to find work, etc., and the government is barely doing anything.

    As fare as the religious aspect, I thought I was clear when I said “…attempt to dictate the rules of the game for those of us whose lives will be directly affected by the outcome, often (though not always) invoking God and religion”, but apparently not clear enough, so I apologize for that. Religion is but one aspect, and not everyone uses it to justify Israel’s actions.

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the difference between arguing with (even attacking) one’s views and arguing with (or attacking) the person. That’s completely my point here. I realize and accept that people disagree (and often quite strongly) with my opinions, but that doesn’t make me stupid. I may disagree with someone’s opinions (and often in a really big way), but I’m not going to insult them personally.

    My anger isn’t directed at the right wing – it’s directed at those who disagree with me AND resort to name-calling and/or patronizing attitudes to let me know what they think of me and my opinions. I wouldn’t want to see someone call you an idiot just because you’re beliefs are different, or to see someone tell you that you just don’t get it, that you don’t really understand, etc., because they disagree with you.

    Disagree. Debate. Scream and shout if you want, but as you said, go after the idea, don’t attack the person.

    I didn’t compare the settlement issue to the abortion issue. I compared certain aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict with the abortion issue (“Being in favor of a woman’s right to make her own decisions regarding her body does not make me anti-life any more than being in favor of a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians makes me anti-Israel.”).

    I’m one of those people who believes that the sooner the settlers leave, the better for everyone (big shock, eh?), but I can also understand what brought you there, and why you stay (and I know that there is no single reason, but rather many different reasons, different for different people), even though I don’t agree that the settlements should stay. I even don’t have a problem with keeping some of them, like Maale Adumim and a few of the others. What it comes down to is that I want peace, and I think that as long as there are so many settlements in so many problematic locations, peace will be unattainable. Of course, I realize that we won’t have instant peace if we leave the settlements, but keeping them will make it all but impossible to achieve.

    As for the abortion comparison being a subliminal message, well, I’m not even sure I want to address that, because for me, it is a ridiculous notion. I don’t quite understand how you reached that conclusion, and I don’t know if you did it with the intention of trying to create a stir or because you actually believe it. I may not want you in a settlement, but I certainly don’t want you dead.

  9. Hi Liza:

    You had 2 main comparison points about “The Arab Israeli conflict” and abortion, and “religion” was very clearly one of the 2 points.

    How many people actually call you, “stupid”, “ignorant” and “naive” over your views? I could see people yelling these insults for example, at a provocative left wing demonstration. However, in general, I don’t see this sort of thing going on…where do you encounter it?

    While the State is responsible for the appalling treatment of the settlers from Gush Katif, the Left has totally washed it’s hands of responsibility for pushing the policy. It is cynical to advocate policy and then ignore the consequences…and I have yet to see “Peace Now” (or any Leftwing group) do anything but continue to advocate the forced removal of settlers from their homes, and ZERO actual care for those already removed from their homes.

    The Israeli left has zero credibility as a true liberal-thinking movement with human and civil rights on their agenda. Otherwise, how can anyone explain their zeal to throw Jews out of their homes and ignore the consequences?

    While I would be willing to wager that you, as an individual are pained by whats going, the Israeli Left collectively is just as responsible as the government for the human and civil rights abuse of the settlers.

    To take the Left seriously that they have an agenda that isn’t based on hatred of settlers/religious Jews, the Left MUST accept responsibility for their “remove the settlers from the ir homes” policy.

    Until the day when “Peace Now”, “Gush Shalom”, “Meretz” and others actively lobby for fixing the human and civil rights abuses that they were responsible for, committed against Israeli citizens, I can only assume that they honestly only care about Palestinians first, and Jewish Israelies last.

    (Not that I will agree with them afterwards, but they will earn my grudging respect for being true to their own published agenda of civil rights)

    Again, I have no reason to assume that you are cold-hearted towards those from Gush Katif. But do you honestly expect any rightwinger to respect your views till those already thrown out of their homes have permanent housing and job solutions?

    To complicate matters, while you, as an individual may think the Disengagement was about solving the “Arab Israeli Crisis”…Haaretz newspaper and many others declared that the Disengagement was aimed at “Disengagemnet from the Settlers…from the Religious…from the “Greater Israel Dream”. To hear the glee in the voices of Leftwing MKs after the hitnatkut that “The Dream of a Greater Israel is Dead” is the sort of invective that may cause the responses you hear from people when they hear your views.

    No one, not any Meretz, Labor, Kadima or even Likud MK can possibly “kill my dreams”. Just as many enemies of the Jewish people tried to “kill the dream” of Eretz Yisrael over the past 2000 years, there isn’t any force on Earth that can stop me from dreaming of a rebuilt Gush Katif.

    Lastly; Do you know who it was that called the settlers, “Crybabies” after a terror attack?

    (We can discuss the views of Jews from Chutz Laaretz in a different post…and I sincerely believe that they should be part of our decisions as well, even if they don’t yet live here)

  10. Hi Jameel,

    I’ve encountered it in the comments section on this blog and on other blogs. A commenter one particular blog (Keshertalk) actually started his comment with “Liza is an idiot…”. Then, there was a comment on On the Face where the commenter was incredibly patronizing, trying to insinuate that maybe the reason that I and a few others think the way we do is because even though we live in Israel, we haven’t actually made the mind switch from being in the US to being here, and thus we weren’t aware of how bad things really are (from a commenter not living in Israel). There was also another commenter on yet another blog (The Augean Stables) who referred to this blog as “nothing nothing”, but I just thought that was funny. On a serious note, though, I’ve discussed this issue with other bloggers who have the same opinions as I do, and they have had similar encounters with the name-calling, etc, so it’s definitely not a one-off. I’m sure that there are people on the left who do the same thing to people on the right, and it’s wrong no matter who does it. (If you like, I can provide you with links to the different comments, I’m just pressed for time at the moment, and want to get this comment finished before running out the door)

    I actually agree with a lot of what you said, though I would like to comment on one aspect. I think that if the demonstrations leading up to the disengagement as well as the displays that took place during the disengagement were a huge turn-off for many of the people on the left, and this probably served to diminish any sympathies that these people may have had. It still doesn’t excuse the state and the public from taking responsibility for people forced from their homes, but it might have made a difference in public opinion had people not seen some of the scenes that were broadcast.

    As far as being gleeful about the disengagement and afterwards, I can tell you that I, despite being in favor, was very pained by the whole episode. I forced myself to watch the difficult scenes, and I was far from happy when it was over. More like relieved, with the hope that now that it was finally over, we could start to repair all the damage done to society.

    I’m sure I’ve got more to say, but I’ve got a train to catch. Let me think about what you’ve said, and perhaps I’ll add more later/tomorrow.

    Very interesting exchange of ideas, by the way. Good dialog.

  11. Ah…. I love the bruhaha!!! 🙂

    I am sick as a dog, flying half way across the world tomorrow, am not a Jew, have never been to Israel and probably have less right than anyone else here to throw in my two cents…

    … but here it is…

    The point is the same regardless of the situation or argument. I have witnessed Liza being ripped up one side and down the other for having an opposing view. And I’ve seen it in hundreds of other discussions that have nothing to do with the middle east. There is a tendency among some to resort to name calling when they are unable to convince their opponent to change his/her mind. That is the comparison to the abortion issue with which I am most in tune. Perhaps the point isn’t to convince your opponent of anything. Maybe it’s about the discussion, the dialogue, the chance to be open to new ideas without feeling threatened by them.

    So, this all sounded very touchy-feeling, crunchie-granola, didn’t it. But, it’s a whole lot more productive than name calling. And after a productive discussion, opinions may not have been changed, but seeds may have been planted that bring everyone a step closer to compromise. Which is probably the only realistic outcome when opinions differ as drastically as they do here.

    Thanks for the bruhaha, Liza!

  12. Ooooooh…someone was looking for a fight! And on a day when I have no time!!
    Good Luck.

  13. Very well said. You’ve also expressed yourself far more temperately on this subject than I would–something I admire you for.
    One thing you should keep in mind, that there are more than just rightist pro-Israel people here in the Diaspora. There are also individuals like myself who support what you do & say wholeheartedly. And take a look at Israel Palestine Blogs where you’ll find 40 other peace blogs (including yr own) supporting yr pt of view–a goodly number written by Jews in the Diaspora.

    Another thing to keep in mind: those same individuals telling you you can’t possibly understand what goes on in the “real world” outside Israel; are also telling me how chutzpadik it is for me to presume to tell Israelis that they should “surrender” to Palestinian terror by negotiating away Israel’s right to exist.

    So what I mean to say is you can’t win w. these types. Either you live in Israel & don’t know the rest of the world or you live in the Diaspora & have no right to critique anything Israel does or says. Of course, both attitudes are DEAD WRONG.

    These critics of ours are downers. I’ve been at my blog for three years & these commenters are a lot of background noise for my blog. You swat at them like flies when they come buzzin’ round yr. door. Just don’t lose faith w. yr own inner voice & convictions. Keep writing it as you see it. We progressive Zionists have to keep on keepin’ on. And give ea. other moral support & sustenance.

    B’hatzlacha, Richard

  14. And one final suggestion if I may. If you go to right wing Israeli blogs & expect either love, respect or rational discourse, you’re lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.

    I find sites like those a total waste of time & energy. You seem to feel there’s value to talking to those who vehemently oppose yr perspective. While I admire your openness to getting tarred & feathered by Israeli nationalists, I’d rather spend my own time writing my own ideas on the conflict in my blog. Of course, I like you scour the web for interesting blogs to comment on. Sometimes, I even read & comment on blogs I’m opposed to. But I just find it productive & so limit myself.

  15. Correction–the last sentence in the above comment should’ve read:

    “But I just find it UNproductive & so limit myself.

  16. Liza, it is just that you haven’t been “mugged” yet.

    You haven’t had the violence effect you on a personal level yet.

    Once it does, you will come around.

  17. If you can’t take the heat, get out of Israel. Israel is at constant war. That is just what people accepts when they move to Israel.

    It is like moving to the old American West in the 19th century and being prepared that the Native Americans are going to be shooting arrows at you.

  18. If you can’t take the heat, get out of Israel. Israel is at constant war. That is just what people accept when they move to Israel.

    It is like moving to the old American West in the 19th century and NOT being prepared that the Native Americans are going to be shooting arrows at you.

  19. I meant that you are like if you are a pioneer who settled in the Old West but isn’t prepared that the Indians are going to be shooting at you.

    Either understand that living in Israel means that you must be prepared to fight for your life at a moment’s notice or go to somewhere safer.

  20. Liza,

    I am an American and so I am seeing it from my experiences in America so I might be totally off here, as it might not relate to Israel. But from what I have read you remind me of America’s enemy within. There are people within America who done a very good job destroying my country and who are indeed a greater threat to America than even Islamic terrorists. In fact they work hand and hand with the terrorists to harm my country.

    Our country is being weakened dramatically because of this processes, but still it is a process that is subtle and it will take a generation or so to accomplish.

    But in a country like Israel, surrounded on all sides by enemies whose culture is devoted to destroying every last Jew, whose whole identity depends on destroying Jews, I would suspect the effects of an ‘enemy within’ like what America has would be more immediate.

    If I lived in a country like Israel whose people live under a constant state of war, I would demand that if there were such an enemy within, that they would be locked up. Yes Freedom of Speech is a very valuable principle, but acts of treason should never fall under its protection. Freedom of Speech can only be protected by a government that exists, therefore anything that threatens a society must first and foremost be dealt with.

    America still has a “cushion” where acts of treason and sedition, while still hurtful aren’t devastating enough to destroy our country. Though this is far less the case after 9-11. But Israel has no such “cushion” so acts of treason and words of sedition need to be treated much more seriously.

    I can understand why real Israelis (those who didn’t come from the US and don’t have the US to come back to when things get really hot) would be so angry. You are playing with the lives of their family, their children. That would piss me off too. In fact after 9-11 America’s “enemy within” is doing just that, so I think I understand where they are coming from.

  21. Answer me this.

    Why could Israel in the past win wars against overwhelming odds but now can’t seem to win wars?

    It’s the denigration of your culture. Some places in your country have the same kind of filth that you would find in San Francisco.

    Until you clean that all up and return to more G-dly ways, you are going to continue to lose wars for the only justification of you being there is that you are G_d’s chosen people and when you continue to disobey G_d, G_d will continue to turn His back on you.

  22. I am the anonymous from earlier (Kyra) :). I think this talk is good too and it is nice that you and Jameel are being civil to one another. That’s a good start :). It seems to me(as an outsider) that the Israeli left has reached out to Palestinians much more than to the settlers. Would you agree with that? There is a saying that I am almost certainly butchering that goes something like ” No society (or empire?) can be destructed from the outside unless it has already destructed from within.”

  23. NRG, Thanks for being the crunchy-granola you that I love so much! Have a great trip!

  24. Hi Richard, Thanks for the comments. I tried not to “shout” too much, though it wasn’t easy. BTW, while there are some “opposing view” blogs that I do visit, there aren’t many, because I know that in most cases, I’ll just get upset. The comments about me on other blogs were in response to posts written by the blog owners in response to one of my recent posts. I’d never purposely go over to an opposing blog and leave comments just to cause a ruckus, though if another commenter starts something – like calling me an idiot, depending on my mood, I’m not going to sit back quietly without responding.

    I wouldn’t say I’m open to being tarred and feathered, I’m just not going to be the one to start the battle. Even this post was a response, and I had to have been pretty pissed off to write it in the first place.

  25. Anonymous,

    Mugged? I’m sorry, your comment was terribly condescending, if you presume that my attitude has to do with whether or not I’ve been personally affected by violence. What makes you think I haven’t? Perhaps I haven’t lost any loved ones or watched as someone blew up in front of me, but I’ve had enough close calls to last a life time. I’m guessing you’re one of those people judging me from abroad, because everyone living in Israel is affected by terror to some extent. It is precisely people like you that caused me to write this post, as you assume that I just don’t know any better.

  26. Jay,

    Do you live in Israel? If you do, you clearly aren’t living my life. Nobody is shooting arrows at me. I don’t dodge bullets on my way to work. My life is normal – I can’t imagine that it’s that much different from the lives of my friends in the US and Europe, aside from the fact that we’ve got the dysfunctional government from hell. Israel is having trouble on the Gaza border and periodically along the northern border, but we are not in a state of constant, in your face, war.

    Jay, since I don’t know where you live, I’m stopping here, as I don’t want to continue without having all the parameters, and I don’t want to make incorrect assumptions. Feel free to share, and then I’ll have more to say.

  27. Being called “an idiot” is ridiculous & I completely understand yr wish to explain or defend yrself. I sometimes do this myself when rightist pro-Israel blogs “go at me.” But mostly I find that even doing this is a waste of time. You know that ten others rightists are only going to jump down yr throat in the same thread after you publish yr own defense.

    I welcome criticism of my views published in the comment threads of my own blog & I vigorously rebut the dreck that some commenters publish there about the conflict or my own ideas about it. Somehow I feel I have more control of the environment where I ‘live.’

    I’ve been called an idiot & far, far worse I’m afraid in my own comment threads & at other people’s blogs. It’s almost like being in a war isn’t it except that instead of murdering people, there are people trying to murder the idea of peace and that it is possible. It’s terribly sad, really.

    Oh & one other diff. bet. us is that I get extremely caustic w. those in my comment threads who abuse my hospitality by taunting me. I come out swinging. I rather prefer yr calmness to my own rowdiness. But I have a part of me that is simply unwilling to take abuse lying down (not that you DO). I give as good as I get.

  28. can’t believe you haven’t answered tom yet, Liza… i’d do it myself, but the plane leaves soon!!! It should be a fun response to read, though!

  29. NRG, Going to answer Tom now. Just had to take a quick breakfast/BBC Prime break!

  30. Liza said “I can’t imagine that it’s that much different from the lives of my friends in the US and Europe…”

    And isn’t that just your problem? You aren’t in the US or in Europe so you shouldn’t have an US or European mindset. You live in Israel and despite whatever illusion of normalcy you might be under, you aren’t living in a place of normalcy.

    Ari Shavit said it best in his newspaper column article of August 16, 2006.

  31. Tom, You really should have stopped your comment after your first sentence, “I am an American and so I am seeing it from my experiences in America so I might be totally off here, as it might not relate to Israel.”

    What acts of treason have I committed, exactly? I love my country. Being critical of government policies isn’t treason, or at least it wasn’t the last time I checked, nor is wanting to achieve a peaceful, respectful solution to this horrible conflict.

    As I asked another commenter, what kind of constant state of war do you think I’m living under? Do you have any idea what daily life is really like here? Should I consider investing in a bullet-proof coffee cup for my morning commute?

    There are certainly a number of Arabs who would like to see me and my fellow countrymen dead, but there are also many who want peace just as I do, and I’ve had the distinct pleasure to be in contact with many of them, so I find your sweeping generalizations about Israel being surrounded by enemies whose primary goal is to see me dead is, shall we say, misguided at best.

    So, you’d like to have me and all those who think like me locked up, eh? I’m rather honored that you see little ol’ me as that much of a threat to Israeli society. At least I know I’d have excellent company. You are a far more serious threat to society than I am, if you believe that being critical of one’s government is akin to sedition and treason.

    As for your last paragraph regarding “real” Israelis, suffice it to say that if I was ever going to get potty-mouthed with a commenter, it would be you, now. According to your cracked logic, anyone not born here is not a real Israeli. Many, many Israelis were not born here. My husband was born in Iran and came here when he was 3. Is he a “real” Israeli? What about the Holocaust survivors living here? Are they “real” Israelis? The Jews who came here from other Arab countries, are they “real” Israelis? How dare you decide that I am not a “real” Israeli. I have been here through war, through terror, through times when life here was so bad that you could practically see and feel the collective depression and frustrations of the entire nation. I am raising one son here, and have buried another son here. I live here and work here – all of my joys and sorrows are connected to this country where I have chosen to make my life, despite the difficulties, despite the existential dangers, despite the fact that I could probably have a much easier life had I chosen to stay in the US. When you refer to “their family” and “their children”, you refer to my family and my children, and you, who are sitting so comfortably in your own narrow-minded, misguided little world with no connection to mine, have no right whatsoever to judge me. None.

  32. Ben,

    Actually, it’s people like you who are my problem. Are you suggesting that I alter my routine to one more befitting of a war situation, heading into work with laptop slung over one shoulder and gas mask slung over the other?

    Did you even read the blog entry, or did you just head straight for the comments? I’m asking because you’re doing exactly what I railed against – the patronizing attitude, the notion that I’m not aware of the “actual” situation in my country, a country where I have lived for 15 years.

    Do you even live in Israel? Do you know what life is like here? If you do, then we’re clearly living in very different areas, because my life is, for the most part, quite normal. Granted, it was less normal during the summer, but despite the war, my routines didn’t really change. And despite the lack of normalcy during the summer, most people have returned to the normalcy they enjoyed prior to the war (with Sderot and the Western Negev being the unfortunate exception). I don’t know what you think life in Israel is like, but for the most part, we are just as keen on the pursuits of fun and hedonism as anyone in Europe or the US, and we enjoy our lives. We do not live in the shadow of fear, despite what you and others would like us to believe.

  33. Hi Kyra,

    Sorry it took so long to respond to your comment – it kind of got lost in the shuffle here.

    I think you’re right in that the Israeli left tends to be more willing to reach out to the Palestinians than to the settlers, and while it’s not a great trend, I’d have to say that I’m guilty of it as well, to some extent. I’ve actually discussed it with other like-minded bloggers, and we find it disturbing. I think that part of the problem might be that we are all so passionate in our beliefs that we are ignoring anything that we might have in common in order to play up the differences, which is a shame. Both the people on the left and the settlers are guilty of this, I think. I’m trying to change that about myself, and while I’m not going to get into details here, I will share that during the past few weeks, I had an incredibly pleasant meeting and exchange of viewpoints with someone I never would have expected to like just a week or two earlier.

    Dialog is indeed possible, and I must admit that I’ve enjoy my dialog with Jameel here very much. We’ve shown that despite our different opinions, we can communicate those opinions and exchanges in a respectful, civil way. I can’t speak for Jameel, but I know that I had good feelings about our exchange, and Jameel is welcome here. Sadly, as you can see from some of the other comments, there are many others who can’t seem to make an opposing point without patronizing, insulting, etc., which just proves the point of my original post.

  34. Liza, here in Amsterdam… unfortunately, I won’t see any more of our stomping grounds than Schipol airport, but…so be it. You were much kinder to Tom than I would have been… that is probably why I don’t have my own blog. I would be seen by many Americans as an enemy from without…I suppose. Since I don’t live within any longer. But if Americans are no longer free to criticize the country they love with the hopes of making it a better place for all, then it isn’t the place that I left 9 years ago.

    I don’t envy your position. You have to defend you ‘Israeliness’ for some reason I don’t quite understand. I don’t own a Norwegian passport, so there are certain issues that I feel I am unable to comment on in Norwegian society. You, on the other hand, are an Israeli citizen who has lived there for 15 years. What type of background are you required to possess before you can speak as an ‘insider’?.

    Hang in there…you are brave for speaking your mind…crazy for illiciting the pandemonium that follows, and fantastic entertainment for those of us en route around the globe… and I haven’t even changed time zones yet!!

  35. Tom –
    A. You are a fascist.
    B.- “I can understand why real Israelis (those who didn’t come from the US and don’t have the US to come back to when things get really hot) would be so angry. You are playing with the lives of their family, their children.”

    WTF? Now you are just a moron. Right and left have nothing to do with Israeli born or not. There are Israeli-born left wingers who have servied in multiple wars and lost friends, parents, siblings and children in them and in terror attacks. At the same time there are Israeli hard right-wingers fresh off the boat who can’t speak the language and don’t know the difference between an Uzi and an M16.

    Liza has a son WHO WILL END UP IN THE ARMY risking his life if things don’t work out. That is a hell of a lot to have at stake. YOU are the one playing with the life of HER child as you politic from across the ocean and the comfort of your bunker.

  36. Liza said, “we are just as keen on the pursuits of fun and hedonism as anyone in Europe or the US”.

    But isn’t that just the problem. You can ill afford to behave like those societies (which are also are societies in decay) because Israel is in a far more precarious situation.

    There needs to be a different mentality to survive. A one that forsakes hedonism and instead behaves as the chosen people of G-d should behave in order to maintain G-d’s favor.

    Peace will never come to Israel. That is just a fact of living in Israel that most Israelis have come to accept. That is why all Israeli citizens need to learn how to use an Uzi and practice with it regularly.

    Your enemy’s whole identity is wrapped up in working towards your destruction. Without that, there is nothing to unite them as a people. They have too much invested in their hatred of you to ever change. For if they ever do they would fall into chaos as a society.

    So, that is why hedonism needs to give way to a more tough minded perspective. This isn’t the US. This isn’t Europe. You need to praise G-d and pass the ammunition if Israel is going to survive.

    I direct you towards a very good article by Ari Shavit. The spirit of hedonism that you mention is a spirit of absolute folly

    A Spirit of Absolute Folly

  37. Liza,

    Whether you are locked up or not is an issue for the Israelis to decide.

    And when I was referring to “real Israelis” I didn’t mean they had to be born in Israel, but I was under the impression that you had family in the US that you could run to if things get too violent. If that is not the case then I apologize.

    I have seen the Left in America weaken my country to such an extent that now we must fear terrorism within our own borders. A generation ago that would not be the case.

    And if there are people in Israel who came from the US and other Western Countries who are doing the same thing then since Israel by its very nature is in a more precarious position it make them even more dangerous than they even are in the US.

    The recent Gay Pride parade should have all Israelis concerned. Israel depends for it’s national security that it is seen as a distinctly more spiritual culture than the US and Europe. Take that away and you take away Israel’s raison d’être.

    I read Ari Shavit article and I suggest you read it again. Here is just one paragraph from it that I would like you to specifically ponder.

    “The political correctness that has come to dominate Israeli discourse and Israeli awareness in the past generation was totally divorced from the Israeli situation. It did not have the tools to deal with the reality of an existential conflict. “

  38. Liza said, “Are you suggesting that I alter my routine to one more befitting of a war situation, heading into work with laptop slung over one shoulder and gas mask slung over the other?”

    Of course you should. And don’t forget the bulletproof vest and the Uzi.

    And no you shouldn’t live in fear. You should live in defiance. Your enemies might want to drive you into the Sea, but you are tough enough to resist them and more importantly defeat them. This time you aren’t just going to meekly submit to extermination. This time, they are going to feel the full wraith of G-d’s Chosen!

  39. lisoosh from what I have read in the Blogs it seems that most of the people of Liza (and I assume your) ilk originally came from North America and sometimes Europe.

    While I guess they are probably out there I can’t imagine many native born Israelis to have your viewpoint.

    The culture you grew up in left you ill prepared for the realities you now face in Israel.

  40. occupation and subjugation of an entire people is a bad thing, indeed, but I can easily imagine something much worse: extermination of your own people. If you have to choose between these alternatives, what do you prefer? And if you can not understand necessity to choose sometimes between bad and awful, you are naive, at best.

  41. Hi Liza,

    Well I’m glad you are reaching out. I will admit that I supported disengagement (from Gaza only) but have been very disappointed with how the gov’t treated the evacuees afterward. Perhaps the left, who were ecstatic to give away Gaza, should’ve at least organized a day to help Gaza evacuees and I think that would’ve made a huge difference. Instead they saw your (not yours, specifically) smiling faces while their lives were ripped apart. I have seen the talkbacks on YNET and I have seen the smiling faces and they have made me feel ashamed to be Jewish.

    I think the reasonable left needs to reach out more to reasonable settlers and vice versa. It was a big step to have Jameel write here, I think. I have seen another blogger (Tsedek, I think) reach out to a Hezbollah member who was saying horrible things!! That is her business if she wants to talk to someone whose leader said they are glad all the Jews moved to Israel so it would save them the trouble of going after them worldwide. But, would it really be harder to reach out to a settler? And, I’m not talking about one who lives on a remote hilltop talking about G-d and the bible all day…

  42. Here is another good quote from the article by Ari Shavit.

    “We were poisoned with an illusion of normalcy. The State of Israel is fundamentally an abnormal state. Just because it is a Jewish state in an Arab region, and just because it is a Western country in a Muslim region, and just because it is a democratic state in a region of fanaticism and despotism, Israel is in constant tension with its surroundings.”

  43. From the same article

    “At the same time, political correctness assumed that Israeli strength is a given. That Israel is insanely strong. Therefore, political correctness disdained any attempt to build and maintain Israeli strength. The defense budget was cut, the values of volunteerism were mocked, the concepts of heroism and fortitude became despicable.”

  44. Also from the same article:

    “Every cooperative ethos was dismantled in favor of the individual. Power was identified with fascism. Masculinity was publicly condemned. The pursuit of absolute justice was mixed with the pursuit of absolute pleasure and turned the reigning discourse from a discourse of commitment and enlistment to one of protest and pampering.”

  45. Kyra, yeah it was Tsedek.

    Here is the web page of her discussion

  46. Tom –

    I’m an ilk?

    Realize that you are reading English language blogs, so of course you are reading the opinions of people whose first language is English.
    The spread among Hebrew blogs is pretty similar, some left, some right, most somewhere in the middle. The same is true of born Israelis in general, most are centrists and they lean to the left or right depending on current events. On the outer edges you have the extremists. In all honesty, most Israelis would be happy being anything if it led to a quiet life, they are a lot less idealogical than you think.

    Israels base is rooted in socialism, so actually there are plenty of our/my ilk among born Israelis. You seem to be basing your opinions mostly on assumptions you should spend some time here speaking to the natives if you want to really talk with any authority.

  47. I wonder why America has staked so much of its national interests on Israel instead of going against Israel in the hopes of winning favor with the people that have oil under them?

    I fear it might be because the Israeli lobby AIPAC has too much influence over American Politicians making them act in ways that doesn’t best serve our national interests.

  48. Your proposed solution is based on implicit assumption that every people posess ability to create and keep national state of his own. This is simply factual error. There are around 2000 languges on the Earth, but only 200 states. This means that only one people in ten can create and mantain state; no wonder, because this ability assume rather high level of historic development, unattainable for majority. So vast majority of peoples live in empires ruled by people of different ethnicity than their own. This is especially common to Middle East, where ruling kings as a rule belong to different tribe that majority of population, or to different sect (as, for example, Sunni Arabs rule shia Arabs and Kurds in Iraq). So to assume ability of Palestinians to nation-building has no historical justification. No tribal culture has this ability. They always, with Israel or without, will be anarchy of murderous rival gangs, as well as Somali and Pushtu tribes. And occupation by some advanced democratical state is significant improvement by comparizon; even under Osman Turks or Brits Arabs of Erez Israel would have lived better, than left to their own devices.

  49. The only social cohesion they have is their desire to kill Jews. Without that they have nothing binding them as a people.

    It is too wrapped into their cultural identity to ever change.

  50. Wow, I can’t believe where these comments have gone. I can’t believe how many of you did precisely what I railed against in my original post, patronizing and name-calling simply because we have different opinions. I can’t believe how much of what was said in some of these comments is utterly and completely unrelated to the original post.

    For those of you who are desperately clinging to a single article that Ari Shavit wrote six months ago while the country was involved in a war and quoting it as gospel, it only makes me realize just how limited your knowledge and experience vis a vis daily life in Israel really is.

    For those of you who are trying to bring God and religion into this whole thing, such as the anonymous commenter who wrote “…clean that all up and return to more G-dly ways, you are going to continue to lose wars for the only justification of you being there is that you are G_d’s chosen people and when you continue to disobey G_d, G_d will continue to turn His back on you.”, or the one who wrote “There needs to be a different mentality to survive. A one that forsakes hedonism and instead behaves as the chosen people of G-d should behave in order to maintain G-d’s favor.”, well, I don’t suppose that there’s anything I could say to you that would make you think any differently. If either of you do live in Israel, it’s obviously a very different society from the one that I’m living in, and while I respect your right to voice your opinions, I disagree with what you’ve written 100%. While in religious terms, we may be considered God’s chosen people, we are a very real country with real people who live normal lives, and expecting us to be better or more moral than any other people is unrealistic.

  51. For those of you who suggest that Israelis are wrong to try to live normal lives like people in Europe and America, what would you suggest we do, spend our days cowering in our sealed rooms and shelters, waiting for the next missile to fall? It is precisely because of the situation that Israel is in that Israelis are so keen on living life to the fullest, to enjoying life as much as possible.

    We are indeed going through something of a national identity crisis following the war last summer and the fact that each new day seems to bring suspicions of criminal activity regarding a growing number of politicians. Just a few months ago, women across the country were being more cautious than ever, knowing that a violent convicted rapist had escaped from the police and was on the loose. If there is one motto that sums up Israeli society the best, I’d have to say that it would be “life goes on”. Despite the wars, the terror, the criminals, the problems with the economy (and the list goes on and on), we Israelis ensure that life goes on. To alter our routines is a sign of weakness, and we remain defiant. We will continue with our hedonistic pleasures and our evenings out because this is how we live our lives and this is how we get through the day in this country that can sometimes be so very difficult and frustrating to live in, and once again, it is not for any of you armchair critics writing from your own little bubbles somewhere outside of Israel to tell us how we should or should not live.

  52. Sergey, I disagree with you on so many levels. I do not believe that ending the occupation will result in Israel’s destruction. The occupation has played a major role in rotting our society in so many different ways, and the only way that we can become strong again, the only way for us to become moral again is to stop the oppressive, immoral occupation.

  53. Tom, I do still have family in the US, but that doesn’t mean I’m running to them in times of trouble. I have chosen to live here, I have thrown my lot in with the rest of the Israelis. Quite a few of your “real” Israelis have chosen to leave the country when the going gets rough, despite having no family abroad. Are they no longer “real” Israelis? If I ever find myself in a situation where there is a very real, direct threat to my son’s safety, then I probably would take him somewhere safer, and that doesn’t make me any less of an Israeli for wanting to keep my child out of harm’s way in war time. If you think it does, well that’s your problem.

    And, what does the Gay Pride Parade have to do with this topic at all? Frankly, it doesn’t surprise me that after reading everything that you’ve spewed so far, I find out that you are also a homophobe.

    Here’s a note to you and to any other commenters. If anyone else says anything here about homosexuals, gay pride, or similar, their comment will be deleted. It has nothing to do with this topic, has absolutely no place in this discussion, and will not be tolerated.

  54. In addition, I’d be pleased as punch if y’all would stick to the topic of the original post. I’m tired of debating many of the issues that have been thrown out here. You’re all welcome to have your own opinions about the Arab-Israeli conflict, but don’t try to tell me that I don’t know shit from shinola (or that I should be locked up) just because you don’t agree with my opinions. And, I’d also like to recommend to those of you whose opinions have been almost solely defined by the MSM, you really should get your asses over here and see the country for yourselves before trying to tell me just how wrong I am or how ignorant I am.

  55. I am certainly not saying that Israelis shouldn’t try to live as normal of a life as possible and have fun. You are right that can be considered in of itself an act of defiance.

    But as you have fun don’t be lulled into a sense of “normalcy”. Sure live a life similar to North Americans or Europeans but always remember the precarious situation Israel finds itself in.

    Act normal but realize you aren’t normal. Go to your theaters, cafes, etc, but also make sure to go to the gun range regularly to practice with your Uzi.

  56. Acting like G-ds chosen people is important for your national security. When the holy city is defiled can you really be surprised that G-d didn’t come to your aid as in past wars?

  57. Running away from Israel when things get too violent is an act of cowardness.

    I am not talking about people who when military operations are occurring move somewhere else within Israel like they did last summer. That is often required by the government, it makes sense and it isn’t abandoning your country.

    But to totally leave Israel because things are getting too violent. That would be wrong. You should fight the enemy to the end.

  58. Liza, you call the occupation oppressive and immoral. But it is what keeps you alive.

    It is really the lesser of two evils, the greater evil being your extermination.

    As you practice your hedonistic pleasures just remember that it comes at a price. It is kind of hypocritical to criticize the very thing that allows you to live the way you do.

  59. Anonymous,

    I don’t have an Uzi, nor do I plan to acquire one in the near future. Stop being such a drama queen. Tell me, are you a naive American getting all your news from the MSM or a gun-toting settler type? I figure you must be one or the other, given that you really don’t seem to have any concept of what life is like here.

  60. Anonymous,

    I don’t believe in God, so I suppose that’s going to put a damper on this little argument.

    You go on about God and the Old Testament, etc, but you forget that there are actual people involved. We may be God’s chosen, but we are normal people, citizens of the world, no better and no worse than the citizens of other countries. Putting us on some kind of moral pedestal will only end in disappointment for all those who do so.

  61. FYI, I’ve just deleted a comment about homosexuality. I warned that such comments would not be tolerated, so don’t waste your time writing them.

  62. Anonymous,

    Cowardice is making utterly absurd and idiotic comments without identifying yourself. Who the hell are you, to tell me that what I should or shouldn’t do in times of war? I am a mother, and I will do whatever it takes to protect my son and keep him safe. It is not for you or anyone else outside my family to make decisions regarding the safety of members of my family. Some parents may feel that it’s okay to potentially put their children in harm’s way, but I do not. If you think that doing anything and everything necessary to protect the life of a child makes a person a coward, then so be it. I’d rather be a coward from afar than a mother in Israel burying her child because someone thought I needed to “stay and fight to the end”.

    If you live in Israel, it is your decision to stay and fight, and I’m sure you are fully aware of the prices you might have to pay. We’ve got seriously differing opinions, but I respect your decision to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.

    If you are living abroad and telling me what I should be doing from the comfort of your armchair, labeling me while living in safety far away from my world, then your opinions don’t mean shit to me. Find yourself another hobby, because I’m not it.

  63. Tom,

    I don’t agree with you. Period.

  64. I would do everything I could to protect my child, EXCEPT leaving the country I love in its time of need.

    My child needs to learn that there are things worth fighting and yes, even risking death for.

  65. Liza you really need to get an Uzi.

    It is your patriotic duty to have one .

    And you need to teach your child how to use an Uzi too. By the time they are eight they should know at least the basics of it.

    It is just like America in the frontier days. Back then every child knew how to use a rifle.

  66. Finally reading this, extremely belatedly: Well said, Girl!(I’m on dial-up so I can’t say anything else right now) And thank you for the compliment…

  67. Anonymous,

    If you are prepared to sacrifice your child for the country you love, that is your perogative. I’d have to say that makes you not much better than the parent of a suicide bomber who rejoices in the death of their child. I love my country, but I love my son more, and I would sooner die myself than allow him to remain in harm’s way. He’s 2 1/2 and does not have to die for his country. When he becomes an adult, it will be his decision whether to stay or go, but until that happens, I won’t allow my son to be a victim of the “good to die for our country” mantra. Unlike some parents, I would never, ever purposely put him in harm’s way.

    I’d be most interested to know where you live, especially to see if it jives with the mental profile I’ve begun building.

  68. Hey, do any of the Israelis out there know when Uzis R Us closes in the evening? Apparently, it’s imperative that I run out to stock up. I wonder if they’ve got family rates…

    Anonymous, I’m sorry, but you’re talking shit, and I think I’ve run out of responses for your asinine Uzi comments.

    I’ve seen what my son can do with a plastic hammer and a battery-operated Elmo toy. He’s definitely not ready for an Uzi yet. Perhaps once he turns 3 he’ll have mature enough for us to equip him with automatic weapons, but he’s just not there yet. Neither am I, and I’m considerably older.

    BTW, did y’all know that the UZI Talk Forums have 4,848 members? How’s that for your daily bit of trivia, eh?

  69. Thanks, TAFKA! Hope to see you again soon! Don’t forget your Uzi!

  70. What exactly the phrase “citizen of the world” means? World is not a polity. You need a country or city to be a citizen, because citizenship implies certain set of rights and obligations, and these sets are vastly different from one culture to another. And even in one culture, ancient Greek for example, it as a very different thing to be citizen of Sparta than to be citizen of Athens. So world citizenship is an empty notion.
    Also, oppression is an integral part of any decent culture; moreover, it is the very substance of culture as such. That is why non-cultured people, who can not restrict themselves so not to be harmful to others, need external oppression as necessary compensation for lack of internal one, which we call decency. By the same reason serial murderers and nut-cases are held in prisons and mental institutions. What applies to a person, in some sense applies to a nation.

  71. Israel from its inception have been a fortress under siege, and still is. Living under siege reqires another type of morality than living in peacefull neighborhood. Denyal of this reality is not radicalism, of course, but it is some form of moral insanity. There is no any indication that peace is attainable in forseeable future; and all civilized world as well becomes more and more in the same situation as Israel is now. Terrorist cells are established in all European capitals; Arabs funded by Saudi kings organize Palestine-type terror in Moscow, London, Madrid, New York… Do you see this big picture? Do understand that in this global clash of civilizations only one would survive, and the other will be completely destroyed, subjugated and re-educated, as was done with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan? On this background any slogans “Peace Now” really sound very idiotic, indeed.

  72. While sure it is up to every parent, and it varies with every child but I believe that around six or seven it would be a good time to start teaching your child how to shoot an Uzi. With parental supervision of course.

    Before then, let you child watch you clean your Uzi and teach your child how to take one apart and then put it back together.

  73. Many of the Germans who hid Jews from the Nazis during WWII risked not only their lives but the LIVES OF THEIR CHILDREN too.

    So, while I would literally protect my child with my life, there are things that I would put my child at greater risk for and that includes defending my country.

  74. Liza, you may have lived in Israel for a long time now but you still seem to have an American mindset.

    The way things are going Americans are going to need to adopt a more Israeli mindset, not the other way around.

  75. phew, just got back from Uzis R US, it was hell! for some reason there was a rush on…i blame this blog!

  76. Dear Liza,

    I had this argument with my dad just last weekend, asking him why we can’t (even now) withdraw from the West Bank. He is an ex-Israeli, very left-wing and humanitarian, and up-to-date with the daily Israeli news. He reads Ha’aretz cover to cover. He said, quite simply, if we were to withdraw to the Green Line it would open up a front which would be indefensible. Not only Ben Gurion Airport but also Jerusalem and Tel Aviv would then be in the line of rocket attacks, so what is left of the country? I agree that the occupation is untenable. I believe we are sitting on a powder keg which will one day explode in our faces. But at the same time we are in an accelerated process to tighten our stranglehold on the West Bank. I read Jimmy Carter’s book recently and there is a map showing our settlements on the West Bank. They are everywhere. But 1. what is your alternative scenario? 2. how do you stop the government agenda? given that we were even building settlements during the Oslo period? Regards, miki

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