Continuing the War of Independence
I recently visited the IDF Museum. It’s made up of a large collection of weapons displayed in and around small pavilions that used to be barracks of a British army base. Each pavilion displays weapons of a different period, a different war.
Initial reaction: Uh, boring. But it wasn’t at all boring. It was fascinating and very moving. The guidance was excellent, connecting the weapons to the human stories behind them. They do tours in English, by the way. Worth a visit if you’re in the Tel Aviv area (tel. 03-5161346).
What struck me most, in the Museum, was the similarity of our current situation to the period of the Independence war of 1948. It seems to me that that war never really ended. There have been long periods of ceasefire from that time up to the present day, with outbreaks of warfare in the middle, when things heated up.
Westerners are talking about ’67 all the time because they see the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as the turning point that changed us from the goodies to the baddies. They see that as the focal point of the conflict. Most left wing Israelis see it this way as well. But the real issue for the Arabs is our very being here. How much of their land we occupy is just a detail. Of course, they exploit the '67 occupation point to their best advantage. Given Ehud Barak's offers of August 2000, this is absurd, but most Westerners don't realize this.
The connection between today’s situation and the War of independence is, for me, a major revelation of the last 22 months. This is why I personally see the current violence as a threat to the very existence of the State of Israel.
It looks like a lot of other Israelis feel the same way. Hence the massive change in Israeli public opinion since September 2000.
The right-wingers must be feeling quite smug, because they said this all along. Well, maybe Oslo wasn’t the right agreement, maybe we should have done things differently, but I believe we have a moral obligation to strive for peace with our neighbors. That hasn’t changed. It will just take longer than we had hoped.
Not “implementable”. Sorry.
I’m going to have to behave myself from now on
Bish gave my blog URL to a very left wing friend of ours. (Hi, M.). Now I’m feeling uncomfortable about saying nasty things about very left wing people.
It gets worse. He says he told her it was a left wing blog. I think he’s pulling my leg, though.
M! Read no further! It’s for your own good!