Marty Peretz, grandmaster of American traditional liberalism (meaning true to basic principles of reason, logic and support for just causes) and former editor, now emeritus, of The New Republic, has settled down in Tel Aviv, as this Jerusalem Post interview informs us:
I hope he doesn''t mind that "settle down" usage. As if someone might think him a "settler", although there are persons who think Tel Aviv, founded in 1909, was built on the remains of an Arab village (see here and also see here for some wild fantasies).
"Peretz seems to enjoy the cultural distractions and comforts of Tel Aviv.
“I’ve made Tel Aviv my locale now because in Jerusalem you wake up in the morning with the Jewish problem, and you go to sleep with the Palestinian problem," he said. “I don’t like my life to be about politics, about religion, or about conflict.
Jerusalem is a very dour city and it doesn’t suit me. It’s a nasty place – the religious politics suffuses it, the corrupt politics suffuses it and the ideological politics suffuses it.”
Peretz added that while he hasn’t attended the Sheikh Jarrah protests in East Jerusalem, as has been reported, he does plan on going just to see for himself."
If Mr. Peretz is contemplating a bit of political tourism, besides going to Jerusalem and seeing what goes on at the former Jewish neighborhood of Shimon HaTzaddik (founded in the 1870s and whose Jewish residents were ethnically cleansed from the area as a result of Arab aggression launched against Jews to thwart a UN recommendation of territorial compromise, the Partition Plan of November 29, 1947, which the Jews actually had accepted) then I do hope he''ll accept my invitation to see Shiloh, my home village, and other pioneering Jewish communities in the portions of the Jewish national homeland not as yet under full Israel sovereignty.
We are referred to, unfortunately disparagingly, as "settlements", as if we are intrusive, foreign, temporary and plain bothersome. But we do belong to this land and we have done much to prove that. There''s scientific archaeological proof, historical proof, religious and cultural proof, there''s international law proof and more. And there''s the proof of our accomplishments and achievements: our schools, our agriiculture, our institutions of social welfare, indeed, our children and grandchildren and more. Lots to see.
I am sure Peretz would be surprised. We certainly are not.
Marty, you coming?