Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Monday, 28 March 2011

When Hatred Triumphs Wisdom

For such a small country, Israel has never had trouble producing excellent literature, both fictional and otherwise.  Like other Western countries, however, the literary gliterati are often given over to feelings of loathing for the society that gave them the opportunity to become well-known and successful.  Just as one can find plenty of writers in Western Europe and North America who despise capitalism, freedom of speech and traditional liberal values, one can easily learn that Israel has its own share of writers that hate the Jewish state's existence and see making common cause with the enemy as a standard of personal virtue.
The major difference, of course, is that in North America the enemy is not at the border waiting for a chance to come across and destroy the country.  In Israel, this is the daily reality which the post-Zionist crowd prefers to ignore.
When I was in high school, a friend of my parents gave me a book to read on the Zionist history of Israel by Amos Oz.  Raised in a home in which the State of Israel was often presented in an almost mythical fashion and with a father who was well educated as to the truth of the so-called Palestinian hoax, it was quite a shock to come across left-wing Zionist literature.  Mind you, in those days post-Zionist self-loathing was much more muted.  Stuff like the trash that comes out of Israel nowadays about the false origins of the Jewish people or narrative histories that show only the inaccurate Arab side of events weren't yet acceptable in those days.  Despite the limitations of the times, Oz still managed to convey his view that Zionism had been a mostly negative event.  The usual canards were all present, such as the early settlers not knowing about the indigenous population or not caring, the explusions of locals and all the other lies that the Arab propaganda machine has inserted into history since then.  It was quite a sobering view for a formerly naive Zionist and had I not already received a decent history education from my father I might have not stayed a firm Zionist much longer after that.
Time has passed and as with all things, the situation has clarified itself from its previous mannered murkiness.  Israeli "intellectuals" now no longer bother wrapping themselves in the flag before criticizing their country for crimes imagined and invented.  Nowadays they straight out stomp all over it.  In their assimilated desire to show they are good members of the Western liberal secular crowd they rush to be more Jew-hating than their non-Jewish counterparts.  In their desperation to be welcomed into the salons of those who despite us, they in turn do what they can to strengthen the will of our enemies.  And what better example of this than good ol' Amos Oz?
Israeli authors have never been shy. They have always commented on their governments and always speak about politics in their novels. But the best-selling Israeli writers are now captives of a dangerous syndrome. One can legitimately criticize Israeli governments, their errors and deafness. But a dark malaise is now driving these authors to toe the line with the worst emotions of global public opinion. 
This is the same public opinion that in essence boycotted the tragic news about a large, beautiful and caring Jewish family destroyed in a minute, when terrorists burst into their home in Itamar with one aim in mind: To murder as many Israelis as possible.
There is now a deep chasm between the pretension of the "good conscience" of these writers and the crude realism of history. This is even sander and more significant because we are not talking about writers who hate Israel or novelists who pontificate against the Jewish State from abroad, but rather, about locals.
Amos Oz and David Grossman, Israel’s most popular authors, have a track record of genuine Zionist endeavor. But Oz just got in touch with Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian terrorist leader convicted of murdering five Israelis and planning several terrorist attacks. The Israel Prize recipient sent the Palestinian prisoner one of his books with a personal inscription wishing him a speedy release from prison: “This story is our story. I hope you read it and understand us better, as we attempt to understand you. Hoping to meet soon in peace and freedom.”
Sometimes intellectuals, convinced of their personal superiority, are the stupidest people in room.  In this case, they are also dangerous.  It is one thing to criticize Israel on legitimate grounds, quite another to lionize those whose careers are built on the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel.  Oz and his ilk cannot be part of Zionist project any longer and the sooner Israeli society rejects them for the Jew-haters they are, the better.

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