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Zionist Apostate

#1
From the New Yorker:
In this atmosphere of post-traumatic gloom, Avraham Burg, a former Speaker of the Knesset, managed to inflame the Israeli public (left, right, and center) with little more than an interview in the liberal daily Ha’aretz, promoting his recent book, “Defeating Hitler.” Short of being Prime Minister, Burg could not be higher in the Zionist establishment. His father was a Cabinet minister for nearly four decades, serving under Prime Ministers from David Ben-Gurion to Shimon Peres. In addition to a decade-long career in the Knesset, including four years as Speaker, Burg had also been leader of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for Israel. And yet he did not obey the commands of pedigree. “Defeating Hitler” and an earlier book, “God Is Back,” are, in combination, a despairing look at the Israeli condition. Burg warns that an increasingly large and ardent sector of Israeli society disdains political democracy. He describes the country in its current state as Holocaust-obsessed, militaristic, xenophobic, and, like Germany in the nineteen-thirties, vulnerable to an extremist minority.
...
In “Defeating Hitler,” Burg writes that one of the most dispiriting aspects of Israeli political conversation is the constant reference point of the slaughter of six million Jews in the nineteen-forties. “The most optimistic years in the state of Israel were 1945 to 1948,” he said to me. “The farther we got from the camps and the gas chambers, the more pessimistic we became and the more untrusting we became toward the world. It was a shock to me. Didn’t we, the politicians, feed the public? Didn’t we cheapen the sanctity of the Holocaust by using it about everything? Some people say, ‘Occupation? You call this occupation? This is nothing compared to the absolute evil of the Holocaust!’ And if it is nothing compared to the Holocaust then you can continue. And since nothing, thank God, is comparable to the ultimate trauma it legitimatizes many things.” Burg said that contemporary Israelis “are not at the stage to be sensitive enough to what happens to others and in many ways are too indifferent to the suffering of others. We confiscated, we monopolized, world suffering. We did not allow anybody else to call whatever suffering they have ‘holocaust’ or ‘genocide,’ be it Armenians, be it Kosovo, be it Darfur.
...
In the coming months, it may turn out that the most important constituency applying pressure to the Israeli government to engage the Palestinians in diplomatic negotiations will be not the activists or the left wing of the Labor Party but, rather, the entrepreneurs and managers who run such successful companies as Teva, Check Point, and Iscar. According to Bernard Avishai, a consulting editor with Harvard Business Review and the author of “The Tragedy of Zionism,” the business élites know that political unrest and, of course, potential war on any front threatens their interests. Those same businessmen are also wary of the most right-wing sector of society: the thirty-eight per cent of the Jewish population that wants the state to be run by religious law, and the thirty per cent that wants Yigal Amir, the assassin of Yitzhak Rabin, to be pardoned.
“The continued success of the economy depends on global companies being willing to let Israeli companies into their networks,” Avishai told me over lunch in Jerusalem. “If Israel collapses into chaos—if the Lebanon war had been six months instead of one—that could all end.”
...
“Will the young people take the job offer in London from Goldman Sachs or will they stay here and wait for the missiles to fall?” Avishai said. “The question is, is this a good enough place to come back to when they are married and have children? Finally, the Israeli government has to confront its own crazies and create a national consensus on democratic ideals, enact a secular constitution, and really confront the settlers. So far, the government is only willing to say that it is making ‘painful’ moves. We are told that we have to grieve with the settlers, think about making deals, but quietly let on that we actually think these are the real Israeli pioneers. Bullshit. Avrum Burg might not express the need to change in the most effective way, but at least he has the courage to insist on it.”
If I was an Israeli I'd be outraged by the like of Burg but also a little proud of him. In most societies only a comedian can get away with speaking painful truth so bluntly.
 
#2
Reading the interview, it is remarkable how similar his description of Israel is with the current state of affairs in the USA. Both countries have elements similar to what lead to the rise of the Nazis.
 
#3
gnuorder said:
Reading the interview, it is remarkable how similar his description of Israel is with the current state of affairs in the USA. Both countries have elements similar to what lead to the rise of the Nazis.
I'd not seriously compare either with 30s Germany.

The Israeli's have a vibrantly frank open society that remains capable of such searing self criticism.

You look at the instant inquest into last year's debacle in Lebanon and compare it with the mounds of whitewashed over bullshit that has passed for public debate on Iraq in the US recently and weep. It was not always so.

Not much better in blighty despite religious loonies being thin on the ground.
 
#4
gnuorder said:
Reading the interview, it is remarkable how similar his description of Israel is with the current state of affairs in the USA. Both countries have elements similar to what lead to the rise of the Nazis.
You really don't live on the same planet as us earthlings do you.
 
#5
Sadly the country is becoming very polarized, when I was there 1992...the secular were fairly contemptuous of the Hasidic Jews and visa-versa, however, they seemed to co-exist politically as each accepted the rights the other....what has changed is the arrival of the immigrants from the US....I have very little time for them, they young, ultra-conservative, and extremely antagonistic.

They have brought there US constitution and political values and transplanted them in the W.Bank they despise the government, hate the Arabs and do not trust the Army...........worse these people community has not yet shaped Israel in a major war, (1948, 1952, 1967, 1972, 1982, S Lebanon, Intafarda 1 or 2), the doggedly refuse to continence talks for peace, they opposed the withdrawal from Lebanon and Gaza that had scared the Israeli psyches for 25 years......They are Jews but they are not Israeli in my view.

Israels greatest strength and weakness is the central government. When the chips are down it pulls together to become a unified block and yet paradoxically it greatest weakness is that it lack strength in when there is no war to be fought....it can win most wars but has consistently loses the peace.

The newcomers increase the risks of a major set back or worse the polarization of politics into liberal/conservative (economics) Israeli’s against the Jews/New Zionists. Whereby no progress can be made, whether, a Nazi party can arise inside Israel is debatable the rise of Hamas and Hizb-allah suggests that other countries governments can not survive long term with a gridlocked Knesset.
 
#6
Jailorinummqasr said:
Sadly the country is becoming very polarized, when I was there 1992...the secular were fairly contemptuous of the Hasidic Jews and visa-versa, however, they seemed to co-exist politically as each accepted the rights the other....what has changed is the arrival of the immigrants from the US....I have very little time for them, they young, ultra-conservative, and extremely antagonistic...
An IDF Colonel told me a few years ago that if it wasn't for the distraction that the Pals provide secular old school Zionists like him would be at war with the Orthodox.

Incidentally North American immigration to Israel to hit 33-year high in 2007.
In recent years, Nefesh B'Nefesh has expanded its activities to other English-speaking countries, despite opposition from the Jewish Agency. The latter argues that the success of Nefesh B'Nefesh stems from its selectiveness and its tendency mainly to assist young Orthodox immigrants, whose chances of making a go of life in Israel are very good. According to Jewish Agency figures, some 70 percent of North American immigrants arriving this year are under the age of 35, while nearly 40percent are under 18.
You wonder about that. Like Muslims Orthodox Jews do tend to lean rightwards.

At the extreme the acolytes of Meir Kahane demonstrate an antipathy to the Israeli state that is comparable with anything the Arab world can throw at it. Rated by Shin Bet as a severe threat to Israeli security and even outlawed by DC, there's a documentary about these AQ like nutters here.

Berg appalled most Israelis by suggesting that their kids would be unwise to rely on just an Israeli passport. Most Zionist burnt their boats long ago. The zealous blow-ins from the US are for all their fervor psychologically prepared to bolt if their maximalist positions finally bring Israel crashing down.
 

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