Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Reading articles by Gideon Levy and Amira Hass often makes me uncomfortable for a number of reasons. One of them is that what they write contains so much of the ugly truth for which ( not only, but still ) Israel is responsible. That the two of them only shed light on one side of 'the' conflict is an irrelevant argument often used in discussions of what they do, because that is their very task and makes their work so important. No other Israeli reporters give us such an intense and compelling glimpse of what is going on on the 'other' side. That we have our own problems and suffer our own, real sufferings, that Palestinian terrorist kill us - men, women and children - whenever they can, all that is not an excuse for us to fail to recognize ( and do our best to stop ) the suffering of ordinary Palestinian men, women and children, as Gideon Levy wrote last year in October in an article on the Palestinian children as victims of the war in the territories.
To be honest, if I plead for an end to the occupation and for the establishment of a Palestinian state, and wish the Palestinians all the best, I do not do so because I care so much for them. What I feel towards them is probably a kind of compassion, but most of all I recognize that their wellbeing is my own personal interest, and that of the state where I chose to live. I believe that selfinterest - unlike altruism - can be a very healthy basis for an effective Realpolitik, from which almost all parties involved ( most of all the 'ordinary' Palestinians and Israelis ) can benefit. As I have written more than once before, if only our so-called leaders would choose their peoples' interests over their personal ones, or over those of their cronies and of the interest groups on whose support their political power is based.

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