I just reread what I wrote. Pretty discouraging…..should I make it more hopeful? ……should I explain a bit more? ……..am I really so gloomy? …… On second thought, perhaps I'm only slightly exposing the festering distress in the pit of my stomach……oyyyy……
I need to babble a bit……it helps anesthetize some of my national frustrations…….temporarily.
We're in deep trouble. My government is leading us closer and closer to disaster. Netanyahu and his most right-wing coalition are pulling us down into……down into…..down into…….
The world has moved a few paces, while we stand stubbornly still, especially during these last two years. An Arab League peace initiative has been laying on our doorstep for almost a decade. We refuse to even look at it. The first and probably the last Palestinian leadership insistent on negotiating through peaceful means has had our backs consistently turned on it. Should we put a freeze on our further expansion into the West Bank in order to promote negotiations ? Not a chance ! Regardless of the talk about two States, the West Bank real-estate is ours. Our ploy is to drag on talking one thing while promoting another.
We said "no talk till terror is put down by the PA". OK, after a number of years of less terror by West Bank Palestinians than by West Bank Jewish settlers, our expansion drive continues. We used to say talks can begin once they recognize and accept the legitimacy of the State of Israel. So they did, therefore our language changed…no longer accept us as the "State of Israel", now first acclaim us as the "Jewish State", (e.g. not really meant for the 20% Arab citizens of our country)….and our expansion drive continues. We said large Jewish settlement areas in the West Bank must remain with us, in exchange for alternate land. They accepted. We backed out …..and our expansion drive continues. We claim they can't unilaterally ask of the U.N. to declare their Statehood. It can only be done through mutual negotiation with us. Yet we have settled and taken land from them for 44 years without any mutual negotiation..…and we continue doing so to this very day…..as our expansion drive continues. Yes, there are other difficult issues. East Jerusalem and environs are at the top of the list. But, not to worry! Our expansion there is at full speed so that soon it won't be a relevant issue…..And our expansion drive marches on.
Positive things did happen over the years: Peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, both based also on the premise that we resolve our Palestinian issues through negotiations bringing to an independent Palestinian State. Our ties with Turkey greatly strengthened in the wake of the Oslo agreements. Even Saudi Arabia spearheaded a comprehensive Arab League peace initiative. All was predicated on the assumption that we are really looking for a way to resolve the creation of a separate and independent Palestinian entity. But our expansion drive keeps marching on…and on…and on………..until none of the above believe us any longer and are once more convinced that our real intentions are not what we sometimes say, but in what we often say and actually do. And this revelation is today tearing asunder and destroying every one of those positive accomplishments listed above……and our expansion drive keeps marching on.
Our political (and social) standing within the Western world has all but disintegrated. Germany still officially backs us (evidently their guilt goes a long way). The U.S. is still in our palms…..sort of, but with tremendous misgivings at having to lose points around the world because of the internal political necessity to back us, right or wrong. Almost all the rest in the West ? …….forget it…..we've become the bad guys.
(O.K., so the cards didn't deal us a Nelson Mandela as a negotiating partner… but neither have we made any efforts to nurture our very own Mandela…..)
The last couple of decades have seen incredible changes in our world. The Cold War is hardly remembered. China joined in. South Africa turned 180 degrees. American world leadership has dimmed. The Arab and Muslim crescent from North Africa to Afghanistan has totally captured the attention of our Western world. And more….and more.
But we stay firm. We don't budge. We stay in one place and watch the parade go by. We don't join or enjoin. We stay by our principles. We know justice is totally on our side, and will certainly always triumph……..as always…..as long as we stick to our guns…….and live by them…..for as long as we can…..
Oh yes, our fellow Jews around the world ? ……. They back us no matter what we do……even if we're bringing a disaster onto ourselves (and them?). Perhaps it's our Jewish guilt trip for staying in the Diaspora. Therefore the U.S. needs to accept a slap in the face from us time and again for suggesting we change our intentions, otherwise the Jewish voter will be unhappy….. And our expansion drive continues.
(Parenthetically: I have never understood why the majority of American liberal Jews have not stood up as a group to demand and pressure our government in Israel to freeze expansionism. Of course, I say this from my "comfortable" position in my Israeli home.)
Once upon a time, our purpose was a homeland for Jews. Today our purpose is establishing God's promise of a Greater Israel. Erdowan, the Turkish leader, has recently called us "the spoiled child of the Middle East", wanting everything. I think he's wrong. We are not spoiled…..we've simply adopted the traits of those in the Middle East poisoned by fundamentalist and extreme ideologies (mostly religious). These traits are driving us into a corner of no return……..a corner inviting disaster.
What will hindsight say once disaster arrives ? ("We did all the right things….its just that everyone hates us.....oyyyy....")