I am sad to say that Israelis are becoming less and less interested in U.S. involvement. The feeling as of late is something along the lines of, “Why should we determine our defense policies based on what the U.S. says? We’ve always taken care of ourselves” and goes hand in hand with a fear among many that Obama is anti-Israel and that we should already give up hope that the U.S. will support us.
Besides the fact that everyone here is convinced that peace is practically pretty much impossible and that there’s no point in try to take any steps towards it (”Shiranne, you are so naive, no matter what we do they will always want to kill us”) or that in the last 10 years Israelis have built a brand new scale on the right side of the board (what was once a moderate view is now considered irrelevant radical liberalism), the thing that worries me the most is the amount of racist and fascist remarks coming out of people’s mouths. Who is Lieberman? Why are more people voting for him than for the Labor party? My grandparents survived the holocaust just like everybody else’s grandparents, but when I hear my roommate say that killing children in Gaza is okay, because it will keep us safer later when they would have eventually turned into terrorists, the little bit of vomit that comes up tastes like Zyklon B.
I study at the Technion, a very mixed campus with plenty of brilliant Jewish and Arab-Israeli students. And even here the Jewish Israeli students parade through campus shouting “For Shame! No Terrorists at the Technion!” when some Arab-Israelis (and non-Arab-Israelis) protested the operation in Gaza (an operation that may have been justified on principle, but not at the level of destruction it ultimately caused.)
So yes, absolutely, Israel isn’t close to ready for peace with the Palestinians. But it’s not ready for peace with Syria either. It’s not even ready for peace with the Arabs that have had citizenship for decades. Part of the reason the elections next week are tilting so far to the right is because Israelis are paranoid (to put it mildly) about the possibility of giving up the Golan Heights, and many believe that ridding Israel of the Arab-Israelis is the real solution (see “Yisrael Beiteinu” platform).
Obama has to step in while some people still believe in the U.S., and he has to show that “tough love”. No more building roads so that we can build police stations so that we can build houses so that we can build huge settlements that make the two-state map we’ll have to draw eventually a technical nightmare. No more brothers sitting in tanks on a hill in the middle of nowhere guarding two and a half families and their cows because they decided to live on lands that never belonged to them. No more discrimination and no more ignoring the humanitarian crises we create.
But I’ve lost hope, and I don’t really think it’s going to end up working out that way.
Posted here in response to this.
What do you guys think about it?