notsokrates

a life of cheerful simplicity

Intractability

Perhaps the saddest thing about reading any website putting an Israeli perspective on world events is the vitriol of the hard-liners. Most of these are, fairly predictably, Israeli hardliners, right-wingers who believe only in force.

Consider this editorial in Ha’aretz:

Precisely at a time when Israel is drunk on power after Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, it should listen to Obama’s sober words: “Our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please … our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause.”

Israel should internalize Obama’s call for restraint as an attribute of security, as well as his approach that favors dialogue and seeking paths toward understanding with yesterday’s enemies. And Israeli voters would do well to remember Obama’s words when the time comes to decide for whom to cast their ballots.

These strike me as wise and humane words. Yet there is little attempt to engage with them constructively in the comments to this article, many of which are knee-jerk responses of the pseudo-cynical armchair warrior variety. And I find that every time I look at an Israeli-perspective site, it is not the ‘outsiders’ who make the most telling blows against the hawkish line, but its very proponents — they see criticism where there is none, flaring into anger and self-defence at the slightest hint of questioning, sweeping to one side any reasoned debate in what is too often a fury of self-justification.

Israel is condemning itself in the eyes of the international community and, even after all this time, it never fails to baffle me that they still see ruthless aggression as “the only things the Arabs understand”. It’s sad, and not a little ridiculous, that a people from whom one once expected so much can apparently be swayed so heavily by a mindless and incompetent bunch.

Fear kills thought. Israel emerges from the Gaza war belittled. And it has done nothing whatever to improve its own security, even assuming that one holds to the view of it being a state under siege, which seems perhaps questionable.

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This entry was posted on 23 January, 2009 by in Uncategorized and tagged .
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