Sunday, December 30, 2007

When I read that yet another Hamas or Islamic Jihad terrorist was killed by Israel without any innocent bystander being seriously hurt, for a moment I feel some weird, nationalist kind of pride, excitement and satisfaction. Those feelings are very well expressed by Bradley Burston in this article, which has a conclusion that makes a lot of sense: "The Palestinians have a choice to make. They can be ruled by the mentality of the seventh grader, the kid with a heart full of fresh, unsullied ideals and a head full of hormones. Or they can begin to think about the future like adults.Thanks to the Jihad and to Hamas, the real martyr is no longer the poor kid who goes to kill himself for a few dinars and a passle of religious lies. At this point, thanks to the Jihad and to Hamas, the real martyr is the cause of Palestine itself. " It is true, lately the IAF has been highly successful in carrying out so-called targeted killings, with the only victims being terrorists who basically 'asked for it' and 'got what they deserved'. Still, even the air force itself admits that it does not take much for such an assassination to go terribly wrong. When I try to control my own hormones and think again, I find it hard not to agree with Meir Shalev. Shalev, who knows a thing or two about war ( he fought on the Golan Heights in the war of 1967 and shortly after the war was discharged from the army after he had been severely injured ), in fact rightly points out that the rate of success might blind us into believing that there is a military solution to the problems that we have with the Palestinians. Recently I bought a book by Meir Shalev. I only knew him through his children's books ( for our children I once bought a Dutch translation of his beautiful children's version of some Bible stories ) and his opinion articles. I admire his love for this country and the Hebrew language. Politically he and fellow-writers Grossman, Oz, and Yehoshua have a lot in common, and I often find myself nodding in agreement whenever I read one of their articles. As for Shalev, here are links to some very good articles that he wrote. Good, that is, I mostly or totally agree with his analysis of the reality that we find ourselves in. The articles appear here in random order:
  • In the end, it is the violin that wins ( December 2004 ) ( "Zionism asked of us to lay the violin aside for some time, to pick up the rifle instead "until things get better". The Territories and all that is involved in holding them have made this into a permanent situation. And here is the real danger. For in the end, it is the violin which wins." )
  • Not only in war you failed - also in peace-making ( May 2007 )
  • Rehabilitating the IDF ( March 2007 )
  • Israel's lost 40 years ( June 2007 ) ( The author turned out to be quite a prophet when at the end of the Six Day War he said that "We've bit off something that will choke us". He could also qualify as a national physician, since he concludes: "Israel cannot hear anymore, doesn't see well, can't really grasp matters or understand clearly. Worst of all, Israel refuses to undergo the operation that would return it to good health." )

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