20.8.06

How to Talk to Your Jewish Friends About Israel

I'm posting this article because it reminded me of our struggle to get through even the most 'reasonable' Israeli commentators.

by Ira Chernus

“I can talk to my Jewish friends about anything -- except Israel. When that subject comes up, they just shut down.”
I’ve heard this complaint from so many people, so many times, that I want to offer a few suggestions about how to talk to your “pro-Israel” Jewish friends. I hope this will be helpful to everyone, Jew and non-Jew alike, who is critical of Israel’s war policy and wants to move public opinion toward peace.
First, you can think about your own reasons for raising the subject. Are you just trying to express yourself -- to bear moral witness or vent moral outrage? Or do you want to help your Jewish friends think about Israel’s actions in a new, more peace-oriented way? Let’s assume it’s the latter.
That means you aren’t just trying to score points and win the debate. So there’s no reason to go on the attack. Even though you may have most of the right and justice on your side, take it slow and easy. If you put your Jewish friends on the defensive, they are likely to close their ears, eyes, and minds. That’s what we all do when we feel defensive about anything.
And many of your friends probably feel defensive when it comes to Israel. They are defending themselves against the voice of their own conscience. They are morally sensitive people. That’s what is so frustrating. They care deeply about social justice in every other arena. But there is something peculiar about this Israel thing that seems to throw their normal ethical compass out of whack.
That “something” is a very complicated mix of factors. Part of it is a lifetime’s worth of socialization. They’ve been raised in a community that assumes -- without question, as an article of faith -- that Israel really is fighting for its life. They’ve been taught to see Israel as an innocent victim, surrounded by irrational, barbaric anti-semites bent on destroying it. So all Israel can do is fight back.
Your friends have been told this so many times, by so many people, in so many ways that it will take an immense mental shift to begin to question it. Imagine someone trying to convince you that the sun rises in the west, and you’ll begin to understand what an effort you are asking them to make.
At the same time, your friends still have that ethical compass. They are bound to be disturbed by the pictures they see on television. They know that the Lebanese and Palestinians are suffering far worse than the Israelis. They don’t value Jewish life more than Arab life. (If they did, they wouldn’t be your friends, right?)
So they are in a deep bind. They feel sure Israel is an innocent victim. Yet they can see the clear evidence that Israel bears some responsibility -- and, they’re beginning to suspect, culpability -- for the violence. They know two things that seem obviously true yet can’t both be true, because they contradict each other. Psychologists call that cognitive dissonance.

Read the rest here

22 Comments:

At Sunday, August 20, 2006 11:41:00 PM, Blogger Laury Haytayan said...

Nice article, I am curious to know "how to talk to your Shia friends about Hezbollah"

 
At Sunday, August 20, 2006 11:41:00 PM, Blogger Andrey said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 1:30:00 AM, Blogger شيماء زاهر said...

Thanks 4 posting this article, it takes into conhsideration how the other thinks, and that 's what we lack in the Arab world, how to address the other..

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 3:49:00 AM, Blogger Jeffrey said...

Wait a minute, Hizbollah does want to destroy Israel! They say that all the time. Maybe Nasrallah isn't a classic anti-Semite, but his ultimate objective vis-a-vis Israel is perfectly clear.

Maybe all Nasrallah's "Death to Israels" have been mistranslated? What is it in Arabic, Mawt l'Israel?

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 5:31:00 AM, Blogger arch.memory said...

Mirvat, great article; thanks for the link! I can think of so many people who can use this, and that I'll be sending it to.

Laury, I think the same article can be used for that purpose, without much modification. It's basic psychology, after all.

Jeffrey, you probably already know this, but your use of "anti-Semite" isn't accurate, as Arabs are Semites, too. "Anti-Jewish" is more like it. And yes, Nasrallah and Ahmedinejad do probably want to destroy Israel; that still doesn't justify the Israeli atrocities, and it doesn't justify the eradication of the Lebanese or the Iranians. The same way that many zionists do "value Jewish life more than Arab life"; that doesn't justify eradicating Jews. It's this twisted defensive illogic that will take us all down the drains...

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 5:42:00 AM, Blogger Blacksmith Jade said...

Oh man, totally useful article! I've actually been going nuts about this subject and have written a bunch of stuff about it...including how to talk to Hizballah supporters (thats for u laura)...check some of them out:

(talking to israelis)
http://blacksmithsoflebanon.blogspot.com/2006/08/part-i-talking-to-israel.html

(talking to Hizballah supporters)
http://blacksmithsoflebanon.blogspot.com/2006/08/part-ii-talking-to-hizballahs.html

(crazy conversation with pro-israel american)
http://blacksmithsoflebanon.blogspot.com/2006/08/blinded-by-biggotry.html

Like I said this subject has driven me crazy...so I've written a lot about trying to understand different people's mentality and logic.

Hope its helpful.

For more commentaries and analysis, please feel free to visit:
http://blacksmithsoflebanon.blogspot.com

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 5:42:00 AM, Blogger Mirvat said...

nasrallah is not anti-jewish, he's anti-zionist ans so is ahmadinejad. these are people who follow the ideology that zionism is evil and against Arabs. truth be told, the history of the zionist movement doesn't leave much room to question that nor does the past and present treatment of lebanese and palestinians.
we have said this before and again, we're not anti-jewish. and by now, being people who value life and peace, we don't want israel to disappear, that's absurd. nasrallah has asked for very specific things that serve the lebanese interest, you can even find that on wickepidia.

look beyond what you're being fed will you..

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 7:22:00 AM, Blogger Israeli-American said...

Mirvat,
the zionist movement ideology has never embraced hatred toward any other group as part of it's charter. This cannot be said for Hamas, Hezbolah, or the Iranian leaderhip. You personally might not wish for Israel's destruction, but they most certainly do. If these governments would truly want peace with israel, they would have it. Look at your history books and you will see that Israel has repeatedly stuck it's neck out for peace, only to receive attacks in response. Oslo resulted in second antifada, Withdrawl from gaza resulted in constant rocket attacks on civillians, withdrawl from southern lebanon resulted in 4 year preparation for hezbalah to attack and fight.

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 8:05:00 AM, Blogger Emil , Jerusalem said...

To Laury :
You know , I live in Jerusalem and there was a period , when I was working at hotel , that I met Arabs daily and often we had a talk.
Of course , there was alot of issues to talk about , unless we switch to politics. Exactly the same result , as you post !
So nothing is new...
I think , the general reason is that when we talk about BMW Z series we share the same goals , assumptions etc.
But when people of different ethnic \ religious groups discuss politics , usually there is no common starting point so there is no room to agree.
And sorry for maybe a little bit not politicaly correct , but you are very beautiful.

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 10:54:00 AM, Blogger Fadi said...

Laury Haytayan : if you checked my blog, and if you read Arabic (too long to translate), you'd probably see that Shiite introspection – much stronger than just talk - such as "What it means to be a Shiite," and other topics are currently open for discussions. I would also like to remind you that "the Shiite crisis" as some might call it is what, 20 years old, vs. the Israel the untouchable for the last 60. You're right, introspection is vital. Let's do it in parallel. Blaming the other is always a good aversion of the issue. The Iranian bomb is in the process of Inception, the Israeli bomb is rusting, and someone is itching to dump it.

Israeli-American: check the following link: http://youtube.com/watch?v=QHA2NLzrcYE


I will just change a few words to show you how counter accusation is valid:

The Arab Nationalist/Islamist movement ideology has never embraced hatred toward any other group as part of it's charter. This cannot be said for Shas, or the Yisrael Beiteinu leaderhip, or Ovadia Yussef. You personally might not wish for Arab's or Muslim's destruction, but they most certainly do. If these governments would truly want peace with Arabs, they would have it. Look at your history books and you will see that Arabs last plan for peace was three years ago, only to receive attacks in response. Sharon's visit to the Mosque of the dome resulted in second entifada, siege of Gaza and the west bank and the building of the wall resulted in constant rocket attacks on civilians, partial withdrawal from southern Lebanon and the continued abduction of Lebanese Citizens resulted in 6 year preparation for Hizbullah to attack and fight.

You see, we can argue like this forever, it's your word against mind, and whether we resort to Live TV imagery or to pure fiction to substantiate my or your points, we're not going anywhere.

I also have some facts below, I only include as a sample:

Polls time after time confirm that majority of Israeli Jews hold racist views toward Arabs. Israeli parties with anti-Arab platforms made electoral gains in the recent elections. What do you think this mean for the Arabs? Is it a Zionist, a Jewish or an Israeli thing, or is it just fanaticism with no rational explanation. Excuse me, I'm confused much as you are.

You see, it's probably the same mix-up others get on Islam, Arab, Lebanese, Palestinian, Bin Ladin.

Another question: was Hitler a Christian, a European, a German, or just a Moron?
Similar question, is Sharon a Jew, a Zionist, an Israeli, or just a war monger?
Equal question: is Bin Ladin a Muslim, a Quaeda, a Saudi or just a terrorist?

Hitler was "purifying" Europe.
Sharon was "defending" Israel.
Bin Ladin is "fighting the indfidels" out of Arabia.

Let's not fool each other, let's not fall for that!

The question is: what next?

Peace is not a debate club (although debate is very healthy), but Peace is to put words into practice. I will take the time to mention a few quotes against Arabs by Jewish religious people against creation of a School that joins both Arabs and Jews:

Rabbi named Yehuda Der'i also participated in the conference against the school and said that "this is a thing that the Jewish mind, logic and soul cannot tolerate. We have to go from house to house and raise supporters in the neighborhood to prevent this horrid punishment."
More vacuous comments...

Rabbi David Bazri's words, in full, "The establishment of such a school is a foul, disgraceful deed. You can't mix pure and foul. They are a disease, a disaster, a devil. The Arabs are asses, and the question must be asked, why did God did not create them walking on their fours? The answer is that they need to build and wash. They have no place in our school".

Yisrael Beiteinu party, advocates redrawing the border of Israel to place a half-million Arab-Israelis outside of Israel. Party chairman Avigdor Lieberman stated, "We have become the largest party in the national camp and I’m certain that next time we will be Israel’s ruling party."

Israeli rabbi Munir Lao haled the killing of Palestinian children and youth by the Israeli settlers?
Israeli rabbi Ovadia Youssef described the Arabs as snakes that should be killed "The Palestinians should be killed especially in Jerusalem because they are like ants and when the Masiah (Christ) comes he will disperse the Arabs."

The spiritual leader of Israel's Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, forbids "to be merciful" to Arabs? Didn't he order: "You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable."

According to your description, these are equivalently the Hizbullah's and Hamas' of Israel if you care to know. According to Extremists on both sides, Jews are soap bars, Arabs are donkeys. Jews are monkeys, Arabs are snakes.

Let's call it a tie. Fanatics are equally disgraceful.

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 11:52:00 AM, Blogger lennybruce said...

This seems to be a hot topic at the moment so as an American - Israeli - Dutch Jew I will add my two cents. One bit in the post that struck me was:

"That “something” is a very complicated mix of factors. Part of it is a lifetime’s worth of socialization. They’ve been raised in a community that assumes -- without question, as an article of faith -- that Israel really is fighting for its life. They’ve been taught to see Israel as an innocent victim, surrounded by irrational, barbaric anti-semites bent on destroying it. So all Israel can do is fight back."

I call it our existential survival gene, developed over 2600 years, since the first forced exile of jews to the diaspora, of living and surviving in hostile environments. It is who we are. But many of us see that what has allowed us to survive these past 2600 years isnt what we need to move beyond that and into the future.

To a man with only a hammer in his hand, everything looks like a nail. And thats how we see the world.

Check out my weblog because coincidentally yesterday I wrote a whole piece on this subject. The more insight one has into where we are coming from, the more chance there is to make a connection.

Of course its a two way street and thats why I spend a lot of time on the blogs here.

Peace and love, lennybruce

www.thru-other-eyes.com

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 12:44:00 PM, Blogger Mirvat said...

i really value your opinion lennybruce but as a scientist i have to argue against the genetic factor. this is rather nurture and not nature.
i do believe in adaptation and evolution but racism does not span our genetic makeover

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 1:29:00 PM, Blogger Mirvat said...

Lennybruce, this is a selection from Alan Hart's article in the counterpunch, it responds to your Israel feels theatened argument. it shows you that as the people pf israel might indeed feel threatened because it's what their government wants them to think, the leaders are well aware that they're not threatened, never been and that it's merely a mirage to continue with the zionist agenda of expansion that's live and well (very similar to the war on terror pretext for the US expansion---Israel empowering in the region pushed of course by the neocons and their zionist buddies in office)

"Eisenhower was aware that Nasser did not want war with Israel, and that he would, when he could, make an accommodation with it. Eisenhower also knew that Israel's reprisal attacks were making it impossible for Nasser to prepare the ground on his side for peace with Israel.

In conversation with Israel's three most important ambassadors to the West, Dayan explained why he was totally opposed - whatever the pressure from the West - to the idea that Israel should abandon its policy of reprisal attacks. They were, he said, "a life drug." What he meant, he also explained, was that reprisal attacks enabled the Israeli government "to maintain a high degree of tension in the country and the army."

What, really, did that mean? Israel's standing or full-time army was (as it still is and must be) relatively small, not more than about 23,000 souls in all. The other quarter of a million fighting men and women who could be mobilised in 48 hours were reservists from every walk of Israel's civil society. The real point? Without Israeli reprisal attacks and all that they implied--that the Zionist state was in constant danger of being annihilated - there was a possibility that some and perhaps many reservists would not be motivated enough to respond to Zionism's calls to arms.

Put another way, what Dayan really feared was the truth. He knew, as all of Israel's leaders knew, that Israel's existence was not in danger from any combination of Arab forces. And that was the truth which had to be kept from the Jews of Israel. Dayan's fear was that if they became aware of it, they might insist on peace on terms the Arab regimes could accept but which were not acceptable to Zionism. Among those present when Dayan explained the need for Israeli reprisal attacks as a "life drug" was the Foreign Ministry's Gideon Rafael. He reported what Dayan told the ambassadors to Prime Minister Moshe Sharret-in my view, and with the arguable exception of Yitzhak Rabin, the only completely rational prime minister Israel has ever had. And we know from Sharret's diaries what Rafael then said to him: "This is how fascism began in Italy and Germany!"

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 1:35:00 PM, Blogger lennybruce said...

Mirvat,

Perhaps you misunderstood me. I dont see it as genetic DNA but rather 'cultural DNA'. Things which are learned over time and which become a part of our make-up, of how we see things and of how we react to things. Much as an organization has what we in the consulting business call 'organizational DNA.' Ways of thinking, ways of looking at the world, which have developed over time, and which influence how the organization acts and responds to events inside and in the outside world.

I would never subscribe to that idea as biological DNA since that would indeed be racist.

But this 'cultural DNA' if you will, is very strong in determining the looking glass thru which one sees the world and therefore how one reacts to events.

I hope that clears that up some.

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 3:26:00 PM, Blogger captain zanax said...

In the 1960s, when a computer in the home, a telephone in the pocket, and a television satellite in orbit were the outlandish stuff of cartoon fantasy, defense industries in the United States were hard at work preparing for the electronic battlefield of the 21st Century.

Sure enough, the real electronic battlefield of the 21st Century would prove to be the collective subconscious: the war for public opinion fought live via cell phones and satellite television and home computers - even when home is a camel-hair Bedouin tent.

The Lebanon war just past was a new model of warfare, just as the Hezbollah/Hamas model is a new model of governance.

The war was one of the first in history in which both sides began the war by concentrating their fire on the enemy's home front.

It was the first in history in which a force of irregulars fired thousands and thousands of surface-to-surface missiles into civilian areas deep within a sovereign nation, as many as 250 a day.

Predictably, in the electronic struggle for hearts and minds, there is no overlap between the way Hezbollah is pictured in Israel and in the Muslim world.

In Israeli media, even in ostensibly left-leaning outlets, Hezbollah men are with rare exceptions referred to as M'chablim, or terrorists. Hezbollah and Hamas are routinely described as Islamic terrorist organizations bent on Israel's destruction, just as they always have been - and which the Knee-Jerk Right insists they always must be.

In much of the foreign media - in particular among the acrobatic apologists of the Lawrence of Arabia Left - Hezbollah is identified variously as a guerrilla organization, a group of farmer-by-day resistance fighters, a political party and coalition partner in the ruling Lebanese cabinet, or a vast and vital social welfare network for the poorest of Lebanon's citizens.

All of this is true, and the terrorism as well. That is precisely the problem with the facile label. Hezbollah is all of these at once, and thus, no single one of these labels is accurate.

We don't know what to call them, because we don't really know what they are.

Because we dismissed them as terrorists, we didn't know how to fight them.

And because we didn't know how to fight them, we used sledgehammers instead of scalpels in areas where hundreds of thousands of Lebanese civilians lived.

And because we so entirely dismissed them, we helped Al Jazeera and much of the caricature-driven media of the cable-satellite West, transform them from killers to giant-killers.

This is the new model, the agent of the truly New Middle East, so new that we don't even have a workable name for it.

Just as Israel would do well to look with fresh eyes and new candor at itself in the light of the war, we would do well to try to divine what this creature called Hezbollah really is.

It is the world's best-armed and most dangerous NGO, a relief agency that does everything it can to kill maximum numbers of innocents across the border. It is the Corleone model of humanitarian aid work, winning gratitude and fealty with family packs of $12,000 in freshly wrapped currency.

It is our enemy. We don't know how to fight it. Not yet.

Does it want to destroy Israel? Of course it does. Did its rockets kill Israelis civilians indiscriminately, among them Arab citizens of the state? Did its apologists insists that the targets of its 3,700 rockets were really army bases? Of course they did.

Is it a terrorist organization? No. Not because it doesn't engage in terror, but because its real power in the world of radical Islam, Israel-hate and America-hate, comes from this new model of the Islamic super-state.

For the first time since Islam lost Spain, radical Islamists have begun to believe that the caliphate can be restored, that the empire of Allah can overcome and eventually supplant the West.

And we are helping them. By dismissing them as terrorists, and by playing directly into their hands, by undermining governments, like that of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, that actually want to see peace come between our peoples, before radical Islam rings down a curtain on all of us.

If the Israeli and Jewish fossil right are to be believed, all this talk about peace is self-destructive. All that matters is to hang onto all the land we have, and blast away at everything that moves across the border. To Finish the Job.

If the right are to be believed, all the Arabs want to see Israel dead, and despotic Islamic regimes reign supreme. If the fossil right is to be believed, then, there's no hope for any of us. If what we are facing 200 million terrorists, as the fossil right would have us believe, there's no hope for the right, either.

There is another possibility, of course. That is, that something about terrorists changes over time when they actually are faced with the real challenges of governance. When they are faced with actual constituents, with diverse needs and diverse belief systems, and little real taste for the iron fist and the religion of rifles and explosives.

It is too convenient for many of us, rightists here and abroad, to dismiss the Arabs as terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.

It is too convenient for many of us to decide that nothing changes, that they will all hate us until we are dead and/or gone.

The challenge now is to find the strength to believe that we, in fact, have a future with the people who live across the line.

The challenge we face is to respect our enemies enough to know how to hang onto what is ours. To be strong enough to fight them when they come to kill us. But to be strong enough, as well, to remain open to those who want to find a way to live and let us live as well.

In the end, the Lebanese people no more want a Hezbollah state than we want a Kahane state. The Lebanese people are not terrorists.

The label terrorist is much too simple. We love to use it, but it can blind us to the complexities of reality, and the fact that things, and even those we label terrorists, can change over time.

Think, for one brief moment, about Menachem Begin.

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 5:41:00 PM, Blogger lennybruce said...

I'll have what he's having.... well said Capt Zanax! (sounds like some super hero's name for the Prozac generation.

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 6:04:00 PM, Blogger Mirvat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 6:05:00 PM, Blogger Mirvat said...

lenny, we're on the same page.

zanax, chill the f*** out, you're gonna give urself a stroke.

 
At Monday, August 21, 2006 6:52:00 PM, Blogger Blacksmith Jade said...

Good post Captain Zanax

 
At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 2:46:00 AM, Blogger Jenny said...

It probably is a worthwhile article for 'use' in America, but unfortunately it has this general US assumption in it that what applies to Americans (Jews or otherwise) applies to everybody in the whole world...sigh...

It assumes so much about these 'Jewish' friends, and their motives. I don't really recognise myself in it.

If I freeze up when someone wants to talk to me about Israel, well, it's not because I lack in knowledge or I have been conditioned to see Israel in a certain way.
Usually it is because I hear the same arguments over and over again from people who are just 'discovering' this conflict, to whom it is absolutely nothing in their personal lives but an issue they've adopted (I would rather talk about Israel to a fanatical Palestinian any day then to a moderate Dutchman, as my god, the first will at least know what the size of the contested land we are talking about is, for instance)
It is awful to be confronted with an issue by people who want to make you see their viewpoint while actually they don't know s**** and don't listen to any new information either.
Because there is a lot more to be said. And it's easy to ridicule Israel's playing victim, but wouldn't most Arabs want to wipe Israel of the face of the earth? And, the question that these 'antizionists' never ever answer me is: Where are the millions of Jews that got chased out of the Arab countries in 1948 and their offspring supposed to go if their is no more Israel?
Were the Arab nations thinking of their brothers the Palestinians when they did that? Would they welcome them back? For a lot of anti-zionists that go into discussion with me, the very fact that not all Jews in Israel come from Europe or America is a novelty. How am I supposed to have a proper discussion with them?
For that means they do not realise that the most fanatical in the IDF, etc, are the Jews of Mizrahi descent. And why?
That is why I, and no Jew, will ever turn their back on Israel, not because they need it for themself, but out of solidarity with these people.

Anyway, I wasn't raised with the neurosis that the whole world is out to kill me and that's why I need Israel. My parents never felt they needed Israel at all, and didn't, and, unlike me, still don't support it either.

The main caution I was raised with, that I see as a direct result of being Jewish, and Dutch Jewish, not American Jewish, which is a big difference, and that is that I was raised very concious of propaganda against groups of people, races, religions. That if you are told a certain type of people are all in some kind of huge complot together to ruin the society you live in, you don't take that at face value, because accepting this kind of stuff leads to holocausts. That means that for years I felt very uncomfortable with this torrent of stuff in the media about muslims. Muslims this and that, Arabs this and that, blablabla. I could see how it radicalised muslims and I could understand that.
So fear of Arabs and islam is new to me,
But now, if I am fearful of Arabs and muslims as a Jew(ess) it is because of personal aggression towards me (in the street, or in reaction to my name), the assurance from, not others, but muslims/Arabs themselves that they cannot help 'hating Jews' and not specifically over israel, but in general, as an ingrown thing, that they assure me this is a general Arab thing, etc. etc.
This saddens me but also makes me look at Israel as a nessecity.

 
At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 12:04:00 PM, Blogger Mirvat said...

jenny i am very happy with your comment. this is what i see as a step forward in cyber land as opposed to the circular logic we've been experiencing here.

the thing you have to know is that arabs don't hate jews. not at all. i myself live and work at a yeshiva. i have a lot of jewish friends before and after the war. and the question you raise about anti-zionism is a very valid question. if we ask for israelis to go away now, as far as a lot of arabs are concerned, we would be doing to them what they did to us and we would justify it with their own logic that we criticize. that how the majority feels now.

the antizionism today is the anti-1996 reform put forth by netanyahu as one example that asks for the reinvention of zionism in terms of expansion in order to respond to israel's growth and it proposes waging wars on lebanon an neighboring countries ( the title started by "a clean break", check it out)

as for the palestinian issue, a long time ago the cause was for israel to leave the occupied land and go back to pre-1967 borders. meaning to leave gaza and the west bank which they keep failing to achieve. check another post i had, comparison between israeli occupation and the african apartheid. also the recent war on lebanon is what increases our rage.

throughout all this injustice, we are not racist people. we are not antijewish. islam embraces all religions. we are anti-our occupier, anti-the bombing of children and innocent civilians, anti-injustice, anti-bias and ruhlessness.

it has to start from israel, justice for the palestinians first. then things have to calm down.
your feeling of fear now is the fear of a reaction. that's an immediate reaction to israel's actions. israel's government makes it less and less safe for the israelis as well but saddly this is what drives expansion.

read this:

"In conversation with Israel's three most important ambassadors to the West, Dayan explained why he was totally opposed - whatever the pressure from the West - to the idea that Israel should abandon its policy of reprisal attacks. They were, he said, "a life drug." What he meant, he also explained, was that reprisal attacks enabled the Israeli government "to maintain a high degree of tension in the country and the army.

Put another way, what Dayan really feared was the truth. He knew, as all of Israel's leaders knew, that Israel's existence was not in danger from any combination of Arab forces. And that was the truth which had to be kept from the Jews of Israel. Dayan's fear was that if they became aware of it, they might insist on peace on terms the Arab regimes could accept but which were not acceptable to Zionism. Among those present when Dayan explained the need for Israeli reprisal attacks as a "life drug" was the Foreign Ministry's Gideon Rafael. He reported what Dayan told the ambassadors to Prime Minister Moshe Sharret-in my view, and with the arguable exception of Yitzhak Rabin, the only completely rational prime minister Israel has ever had. And we know from Sharret's diaries what Rafael then said to him: "This is how fascism began in Italy and Germany!"

 
At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 5:14:00 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Thanks so much Mirvat for your fast and extended answer I am at my father in laws birthday right now but will read it all intense when I come home tonight!

 

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