Thursday, June 09, 2005

Regarding "Getting killed wherever necessary" and "On values and settlers", Ha'aretz Opinion & Comment, June 9, 2005: Here we see two totally different - and apparently mutually exclusive - visions of what the Jewish state should be, and of what the army that is supposed to defend that state should do. If we have to believe Israel Harel, Yesha stands for the whole of Israel, and as long as we ( i.e. those true Israelis who are willing to sacrifice their lives for every illegal outpost and for every grain of sand between the Mediterranean and the river Jordan; the IDF can manage without the favors of the softies from Tel Aviv and the kibbutzim ) continue the occupation, the people in Ramat Aviv Gimmel do not have to worry about being able to continue their hedonist liefestyle. Dan Ben-David, on the other hand, believes that the occupation - together with some of the settlers who symbolize it and take a whole state hostage for the realization of their eschatological worldview - is at the root of most of the evils afflicting us these days. The keyphrase in this discussion - there is nothing new under the sun, compared with the days when this state was founded - is "Who, or rather what, is a Jew?", and the keyword - obviously I agree with Dr. Ben-David - is values, that is Jewish values. Who knows, maybe the occupation of Gaza will end soon. In any case, even if the disengagement plan is implemented we still will have to decide in the near future what kind of state we want the Jewish state to be. We can choose a state with clear and internationally recognized borders and with an army in which there is no discussion whatsoever about the legitimacy of its task ( the defense of the state's borders ), a state that is Jewish in spirit and with traditionally Jewish values leading it. Or we can continue on the way that seems to be so cherished by Mr Harel and his fellow believers in the values ot the occupation. In that case we should stop complaining - or at least stop being surprised - about the violence, the contempt for the law, the corruption and the poverty that are sweeping Israel. Dan Ben-David is absolutely right when he says: "Occupation corrupts."

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