Scribe, ut possis cum voles dicere: dices cum velle debebis (Pl. Ep. 6.29)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Pull Me Out

As of this writing, my Blogger profile says "Russian-born and Israeli grown, i came out a free-thinker". It's about time to elaborate on that.

But first - there are a few sorries to say. I'm sorry if this here entry is too long and incoherent. It's a stream of consciousness.

It's scary to write what i'm writing now, but i have to do it. It's about time. Staying in the closet for too long just hurts.

To all my friends who know me and think whatever they think about me and my opinions on issues - i'm sorry if i'm going to disappoint you. Sorry, Daniel. Sorry, Mira. But i'm firm.

I'm against The Withdrawal. The Disengagement. The Pull-Out. The Hitnatkut, or whatever you call it. I'm sorry, i don't buy it; never did. I'm even sorry about the fact that i have to say that i'm sorry about it all the time. That's the sad state of our society - being a certain kind of guy, i'm expected to have a certain opinion. Sorry, i have a different opinion and i'm not ashamed to sound it.

I am a secular cosmopolitan libertarian, a free-thinker. Pro-choice, pro-nuclear-disarmament, pro-gay-rights, pro-human-rights, pro-Greenpeace, pro-separation-of-church-and-state. Vehemently anti-racist. And i support the Jewish settlers in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. By this point, most people would say that it makes no sense. It does. I won't try convince you that i'm right, but i'll try to convince you that it makes sense.

I support them because in this unfortunate war, they are the good guys. This is an opinion; it is wholly subjective. Yes, some of them, quite a lot of them even, are violent religious fanatics. But, quoting Walter Sobchak, "at least they've got an ethos". No, i don't support messianic delusions of the likes of Noam Federman and Yigal Amir. I totally despise them. But i love the silent majority of settlers who are simply doing quite the same thing that the socialist Zionists in the beginning of the 20th century did - building and developing villages and towns amidst dense Arabic population. Tel-Aviv, Petakh-Tikva, Nir-David, Nazrath-Illit and Karmiel were all built amidst dense Arabic population. The early Zionists were the good guys then, because they came to build a new democratic country amidst Arabic negligence and dictatorship. The settlers of today are doing the same thing. The most fanatical Jewish religious bigot understands and supports democracy more than the average Arab. I don't blame the Arabs; i don't hate the Arabs; i don't think that Arabs are stupid. I think they deserve independence and freedom, just like any other people. I do dare to think that they don't understand democracy and that they would consciously choose dictatorship, negligence and underdevelopment. If they would only let us, we would give them democracy and freedom. Not because we're better, not because we're smarter. Because we were simply taught to think differently. We think freely; we don't need a dictator to lead us; we, unlike them are not afraid to vote. I'm sorry if i sound racist here; i tried not to. But that's what i think.

But leave the Arabs alone. The problem is ours. Most importantly, i support the Jewish settlers because they care.

Yes, they actually dare to care about something. In this age of total apathy towards politics and ideals caring is almost a crime. But forget politics and ideals; politics and ideals were the main reasons for most of the wars that mankind had. I'm talking about building. They care about building something new; planting crops; developing new flourishing communities. Show me someone from Tel-Aviv or Hertzeliya that actually cares about that. "Oh, yes, certainly i care about that; it's very important". But when even the kibbutzim hardly care about settling and development and agriculture anymore, what's to say about the average bourgeois Israeli? He mainly cares about IKEA, plasma screens, digital cameras and discotheques. And yes, i know; the settlers in Gaza/Gush-Katif built their beautiful clean red-roofed cottages and flourishing greenhouses thanks to huge government subsidies, that many would say that they don't deserve. But who does deserve them? Those people there work to build new homes for Israelis, they work and risk their lives. So why don't they deserve the subsidies?

Ah, i know. "They are all religious fanatics. I don't have anything in common with them. They just pray all the time. They are just stealing my tax shekels so they can pray more. They are not my brothers. They are not like me. I don't want to be like them. I don't care about them." That's what the average secular Israeli would say. In a way he'd be right. And the settlers really are to blame.

I watched their propaganda clip against the destruction of Gush-Katif. Their public relations people suck. They show the numbers of schools that would be destroyed if the withdrawal will go forth. Good tactic. Schools are good, destroying schools is clearly bad. But then they go and spoil it all by showing the number of midrashot, ulpenot, talmudey-torah and yeshivot that would be destroyed if the withdrawal will go forth. Bzzzt, wrong. That's preaching to the converted. It's the secular uncaring slackers from Tel-Aviv you need to convince, not religious Jews who support you anyway. The secular Israeli doesn't know what midrashot, ulpenot and talmudey-torah are. These are all words in a language he doesn't know. And he certainly doesn't care that a few yeshivot would be closed - after all, his children won't learn in those religious colleges, and as far as he's concerned, it's just a huge waste of his tax shekels anyway. He thinks that he's a free-thinker, but really he doesn't think at all.

Because if he would, he wouldn't ignore the simple fact, that when the Arabs will see that terror earned them the destruction of yeshivot and ulpenot, they will go on and demand the destruction of secular schools in Maale Adumim and Ariel. And then they'll proceed to the perfectly legal and 100%-Israeli Modiin and Karmiel and Haifa. Because as far as Hamas are concerned, the settlers in Gaza and the secular Israelis in Tel-Aviv are all one big enemy. He doesn't care if an Israeli wears a kipa on his head or not. This secular, modern, educated, free-thinking and very naïve Israeli chooses to ignore the simple fact that as far as Hamas is concerned he doesn't belong here in Palestine. He belongs in Poland, Germany, Iraq, Morocco, USA, Russia. Or best of all - in hell.

We are the good guys. Hamas and PLO are the bad guys. And we, consciously and quietly surrender. We must not be sane. This culture of Channel 2, Maya Buskila, Dudu Topaz, all that cretinous entertainment, made Israelis totally inept to understand the news. Even those Israelis that are addicted to watching the news everyday don't understand a word. They don't know what all this Sharon's Pull-Out Plan is. They just want it to be over already. They care about the tax returns. They care about the prices of airplane tickets to Turkey. They care about the price of a minute of a cellular phone-call. They care about their children's education. At least they think they care, but they don't. They just don't care about anything anymore. This is a complete atrophy of the mind; and thus our democracy is totally disfunctional. If this horrible Pull-Out Plan will be carried out and Jews will be deported from Gaza and Samaria, it's only a matter of time, very short time, that they will be deported from Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa and Karmiel. They? Oh, i really meant us.

I hope you're disappointed. Sorry.


nev said...


N said...

Hi Amir,
I usually e-mail you my thoughts, which, truth be told, there aren't too many of lately (have I become boring?), but you've hit a nerve.
I'm not disappointed by your opinion. It's well thought out and nicely worded.
I am however, very surprised.
You've been there, doing general security duties for fundamentalist crazies who are sitting there DAVKA, just to be a thorn in the Palestinians side. They are ruining any chances we have for peace.
No, I don't believe that this Hitnatkut or Road Map or whatever will bring peace, but why not TRY?
Why do things chilidshly, on purpose?
I can't say that I know what they're going through, being uprooted for political reasons, but their actions and consequent GREED make me all the more against them and for this maneuver.
They are making the social situation in Israel so much harder, and their actions will bring on the next Civil War. They chose a war-mongering, military NASTY campaign which is doing the exact opposite of what it is supposed to be doing, at least on my part.
You know me, I am VERY liberal, so much as to point out that we (the Jews) actually used terror agains the British while they were in control of Israel. I usually draw fire on account of that.
But here, surprisingly (very), I am all for Sharon. On this issue only, mind you.

On a different note - wanna come to another Berry concert tomorrow?

Amir said...

Berry concert - i'd gladly come, but i'm not sure who you are, N. Nev? Noga? Roz? You should have written your name. I hope you read this.

As for your other comments - greed? Yes. Probably. Won't deny it. It's human. DAVKA to be a thorn? Well, a few of them maybe (especially the nuts in Hebron). But most of them live there. I don't look at the Gaza strip as a small area with too much Arabs and too little Jews. It just depends on who draws the maps. You could say pretty much the same about places like Amirim and Karmiel. There are a lot of Arabs there too.

NASTY, stupid campaign? Yes, i wish they'd stop ruining the last remnants of their reputation with those idiotic desperate actions they've done lately. I actually sent emails about it to their representatives in the Knesset, although i fear it's too late.

But GIVE IT A TRY??? Didn't we give Oslo and a dozen other peace proposals A TRY? And what have we got in return?

Now I'm gonna say a really nasty thing, about which i am truly sorry, but: it's a war, and someone must WIN. If we retreat, they win. If they win, we lose. And then we lose some more. I don't want to lose. I tremble as i write this, because war means blood and death and tragedy. But retreat? That's no way to run a country.

Anonymous said...

openly said, at last