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No Majority for Human Rights; No Majority for Giving Up the Territories - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
May 21st, 2004
05:18 pm


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No Majority for Human Rights; No Majority for Giving Up the Territories
Here's a poignant article in Ha'aretz (Hebrew) on the misperceived "problem of the left-wing" in Israel. I found it inspiring. Perhaps teaching democracy is the right course of action for me to influence, however slightly, the ongoing hell in my country?

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: Eli Bar-Yahalom -- Lo Ratsiti Lidros et Hakelev

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:May 21st, 2004 04:39 pm (UTC)


Where's the novelty here?
[User Picture]
Date:May 21st, 2004 08:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Inspiring?

Novelty is not the only cause of inspiration.

I was inspired to apply myself to spreading the values of liberal democracy, as it strikes me as one of the only things that would have any effect on this people, albeit a long-term one.
[User Picture]
Date:May 22nd, 2004 05:03 pm (UTC)
'Teaching democracy' is a meaningless phrase unless you define what you mean by it. For most people (including, I think, most of us), democracy is a means, not an end.
[User Picture]
Date:May 22nd, 2004 06:51 pm (UTC)
How do you mean, exactly, "teaching democracy"? in what capacity, exactly? at schools?
[User Picture]
Date:May 23rd, 2004 07:28 am (UTC)
poignant, indeed.

על רבן יוחנן בן זכאי מסופר שנמלט מירושלים הקנאית הנצורה. כשנתפס בידי הרומאים ביקש מהם את יבנה וחכמיה. ירושלים חרבה אך מיבנה צמחה שוב תשועתו של העם היהודי. ז'נווה היא אולי יבנה של דורנו; הסיכוי הכמעט יחיד, במתכונתו זו או במתכונת דומה לו, להציל את מדינת ישראל מידי הקנאים ותומכיהם. אם ימשיכו ויסרבו, הבה נקים את יבנה מחדש.

The article serves wonderfully to refute itself. The main problem of the left is the total lack of elementary PR. I can't get it really - it's something you can buy, and EU will fund everything. Why not, oh why?

Now reread the above paragraph. The first two sentences are OK, they are purely informational. And then - "Jerusalem was ruined but.. ". Even I (atheist, etc.) was stricken by the ease of this "Jerusalem was ruined", without even a comma after it to signify a respectful pause. As if this was something momentary and painless, not involving thousands of deaths, destruction, rape, then more murder and more destruction.

And then, as if this wasn't enough, Geneve. I mean, take a look at a poll sometime. To some 80 to 90 percent of Israelis "Geneve" is like "Baruch the hero" to you and the author of the article. So why mention it? It was a colossal failure, BTW, in spite of being basically a good idea. And it was a failure mostly because of the bad PR of Beilin, and excellent work of his opponents' PR advisors. I've spoken to someone, who went to Geneve, totally supported the initiative, and is an experienced journalist(!), trying to explain that they fail because they totally lack PR. He didn't get it, I think; their concept was that their offer is so good, they don't have to sell it. Pity, actually.

But back to the article and it's final words: "Let us found Yavneh again". But just a sentence ago you've carefully explained this means "Let us destroy Jerusalem again" and "Let us be well-intentioned traitors"!!!

This "Head of blah-blah institute" lacks basic writing skills, but she thinks this is not her problem. She likes the word "democracy", but her message is 'if the majority "goes on with denial (ימשיכו ויסרבו)", to hell with the majority'. Until the left learn to read what they write, they'll remain in deep trouble.

P.S. I've been told by a mutual friend that you sometimes take my comments too personally. Please don't.
[User Picture]
Date:May 25th, 2004 11:26 am (UTC)
do you know whether there is an English version of the article?
[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2004 06:01 pm (UTC)

The article in English -- not (?)

I didn't succeed in finding any article by Zvia Greenfield in the Haaretz English-language print edition of Friday June 4 (there is no print edition on Saturdays), nor in today's Haaretz English online. An annoying site to navigate, I must say. Seems not everything in the Hebrew edition gets translated. If I'm wrong on this one, I'll happily delete this Comment!

Haven't read the article, but you can count me as an American Israeli (since 1984) who actively promotes* not only the values, but the practice of democracy and its freedoms, in the belief that the State and society of Israel need this encouragement.

*(As a kibbutznik, citizen of a rural regional council, worker, parent of schoolaged children, member of a leftwing party with a peace and social justice agenda, and activist in a grassroots political organization dedicated to ending the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territories.)
[User Picture]
Date:June 6th, 2004 10:15 am (UTC)

Re: The article in English -- not (?)

As far as I know, roughly half of the Hebrew original is translated. Some people wonder about the wisdom of the editors' choices ;-)

In my experience (I live in Germany), Israelis are about the most self-critical people in the world. Most of my countrymen are quite happy to exclude large portions of population by ethnic, religious, cultural, etc. criteria and compete in inventing well-formulated explanations on why it should be this way :-/
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