Palestine or Sudetenland?

 Okay. So we did it. We passed the law that everybody (almost) has been waiting for.  A lot of commotion around the world, but that will pass. Tomorrow, or the day after, something else will catch the very short attention span of our opponents. Maybe in Europe it will take a bit longer but, since all this time nothing more than weak opposition was voiced from there, and no actions were taken, there is no reason to expect that this time it will be different.

After all, what is the problem here?  We (the Jewish people under the name of the State of Israel), choose as our leader a strong man who is able to get things done. And he does. He visits the world’s leaders and tells them that Israel wants peace, he wants peace, “PEACE FOR OUR TIME”.

And then he comes home and tells us that the land of our forefathers is ours and we have the right to settle the land of Israel and he passes this big law that allows us to take the lands even if there are others that claim it is theirs.

Of course it is very different, and it is inappropriate to even think of making a comparison, but why do I keep being reminded of Sudetenland?

They had a strong leader, we have a strong leader. They felt superior to anyone and everyone, we feel superior to anyone and everyone. They claimed ownership to their neighbor’s land, we claim ownership to our neighbor’s land. (Ok here it is different, they went to take it, we did so fifty years ago already).  Their strong leader met with other world leaders and promised that he wants peace, our great leader all the time says he wants peace. (I am not sure if their great leader smoked Cuban cigars, but that is not really relevant is it?).

So where is the difference? They started building concentration camps for people they considered inferior?  Just last week, one of the humble assistants of our great leader, Minister Yoav Galant, proposed to “concentrate” the Bedouin into “permitted areas”. True, it is not yet a concentration camp, but it looks to me the intentions are not so different.

There is one important difference. They from almost the beginning, lost the possibility to stop it. Their great leader turned into a dictator who ruled with iron fist and made resistance dangerous and difficult. (Of course this is no excuse…….). And despite that, many did voice opposition and many paid with their lives.  But maybe most of them simply liked what was happening?.  

We are still in a phase where we are dealing within the framework of a more or less democratic system (you can argue about this also but for now this is still the case).  So are we resisting? Or maybe we like what our great leader is doing? Maybe being told we are superior makes us feel good about ourselves? Maybe showing how strong we are improves our self-image? Maybe we also like what is happening. Maybe we are pleased with what our great leader has in store for us.

Everybody likes what our great leader is doing? Within the democratic process, objections in parliament are minimal at best and even those sometimes make you wonder what is really meant. Our largest opposition party talks against the law discussed above, but they do believe the “Settlement Centers” are legitimate and will remain in Israeli hands forever? How come? There is a Statute of Limitations on land theft? Or are they just like the rest but intelligent enough to be ashamed of it?

The number of peace organizations is growing constantly but none of them has succeeded in making serious inroads and some of them have managed to raise the irk and suspicion of our great leader and his minions and they are being harassed and vilified.

And peace is what is required here to solve an issue of theft? The fact that there is no peace between us and “them” is justification for what Israel is doing in the Occupied Territories today?

Maybe then, the reason there is no peace is because we do not want to give up what we stole and do not want to run the risk that with the onset of peace, the theft will become unacceptable?

What we need is much more basic. If our great leader is behaving as he does, doing what he does and saying what he says, apparently this is what we want to have him behave, want him to do, want him to say. The reason our great leader can continue is because we let him continue.

How come we aren’t ashamed? How come we don’t feel revulsion? Only the answers to questions like that will provide us with the insight into our behavior as a nation that will be the trigger to put a stop to it.

The question of comparison is irrelevant. Both if it is comparable and if it isn’t, we cannot continue like this. We cannot continue to rob a whole nation of its aspirations, its pride and its land. And anybody saying it is our land is either a liar or a fanatic and most likely both.

There is no reason that in due time, a reasonable solution which leaves the pride and aspirations of both sides intact cannot be reached. All that is needed is the will to get there. And don’t say “there is no partner”. Beside it being untrue, let’s get started by becoming a partner ourselves. And this does not mean saying we want negotiations, but doing it. Doing it while taking into account the other side as well. I believe we will find a partner in no time.


So what is next? Without looking back at history, and of course not making comparisons, will one of my next blogs be titled “Jordan or Poland”?