Friday, August 04, 2006

I Love to Hate you

Funny, i started this blog out of frustration, i wanted people in the world to know so many people in Israel don't agree with all of this and speak it up but the more i read Lebanese bloggers and the more i try to write, all my school years of Zionist breeding bursts out of me. in Hebrew blogs i attack my country and in English blogs i defend it like hell. i hear it happens to more people, i mean, we are what we are, after all. the good news is we are open minded. so, although this is the most Zionist post I'll ever write (i promise to get back to my doubtful self), i hope you'll live through it:
Israel doesn’t start wars but it usually wins them. It always starts with a legitimate defense but pretty soon you can't tell the difference between reacting and over-reacting. Army officials would of course explain they're doing only the minimum necessary to create a "safety belt". I would so very much want to believe them, because I served in this strong and moral army, I know soldiers who really shoot and cry. But this IDF entity seems bigger than its sum of individual soldiers and in foreign reports or in the Lebanese blogs I read, it sounds pretty scary. I would like to condemn and defend my army in the same sentence. I'm lost.

In the second season of "Lost" we meet the ex-cop Ana-Lucia who abuses the wrong people and kills some by mistake while trying to protect the group from "the others". When people question her actions she asks: "have I not kept you alive so far?" somehow, as you follow those episodes you come to understand she's doing her best, but no one follows us that closely and somehow we end up being hated again. Being hated is what we do best. It seems Israel is going to conquer the south of Lebanon and "clean" it off Hezbollah. We'll be an occupation army again, convincing ourselves, as usual, that we have no other choice and it's the only way to protect ourselves. Pretty soon the world will forget who started this and why, and we will be condemned, because the world is always for the underdog and we would rather die than broadcast our weakness.

I think Jewish people are so sick and tired of being victims that they will do anything not to appear weak again. Half of Israel is refugees, running south; only yesterday 210 rockets were fired at us and people die on daily basis, but somehow this is not what the world sees on TV. As part of some stupid psychological war against Hezbollah, Israel wants to appear strong and the price is that the whole world sees us as the aggressor. I need you (hence, the world) to know we suffer too. And we are on the same side, because the border doesn't fall between Lebanon and Israel to me, but between two ideologies trying to shoot each other pointlessly and the people caught in the fire between them.

The absurd is that the only reason we're going to war is in order to refrain from hurting Lebanese citizens. I don't know if people realize how easy it is for the Israeli air force to wipe out all those villages in one night. The only reason our soldiers die on daily basis fighting door to door, is because Israel tries to involve as less civilians as possible. It frustrates me so much that people judge IDF's actions without realizing this basic fact.

I hate this war in its macro level, I think it's vicious and pointless and I long for anything from the UN to gray aliens to put an end to it. But on the micro level, I trust the soldiers. The newly drafted reserve forces are my friends and neighbors and I know they'll do their best when it comes to sparing civilians. Although there are problematic ideological pockets in this country, the majority of soldiers don’t fight from deep hate or a sacred cause, they just want to get back home to their families and high tech jobs. So how do you deal with an enemy that destroying you is his main reason for living?

On my last post I wondered about those soldiers dying for my sake, but the truth is they're dying for Lebanese people's sake. I bet you that if the Americans lived here, they would have finished this from the air, justifying the killing of civilians with a good PR system, like they did in Afghanistan and Iraq that didn’t even threaten them directly. I'm wondering if any other country would have acted differently if it had to live in this place. Remember how the British freaked out after one terror attack and started shooting everyone who looked Muslim in the train? Being the only democracy around here is why we even bother to listen to the rest of the world, but please, people, cut us some slack. (I'm trying to do this as well today)


Anonymous SimonM said...

Hi Lee,
Odd that this entry has no comments yet. :-? Your description of the Israeli dilemma is sadly apt: weakness invites exploitation while strength, certainly as described in current newsbites, invites condemnation.

I also found your conversation with Rick very moving and would point out that, from an integral or SDi perspective, fanaticism is a characteristic of a particular level of development and, sadly, one which we all must transcend and include as we grow. From this perspective, fighting fanaticism (however spelled, and I did like "fanatacism" as an alternative) is a bit Canute-ish: the tide will ebb and flow with the proportion of us in the stages for which fanaticism is a rational position. Fighting fanaticism is, IMO, like fighting crime: you don't look for final victory, you aim to keep the thing down to tolerable levels. Levels which allow society/societies to continue with a normal life for most of their population(s).

That's pretty vague but, again IMO, creating a new enemy to fight, however abstract, does not move us along very much. Recognising the problem is one or two steps forward, reifying it is a step backward.

Where do I stand in this mess? As Israel is a liberal society and instantiates many of the characteristics which I value in societies (representative government, equal rights, personal freedom consistent with the rights of others, etc.), I want you all to survive. I'm painfully aware of the ambivalence concerning the limits on the means acceptable to ensure that survival and of the difficulties of the IDF, as a unit and as individuals doing the fighting, in resolving that ambivalence in ways which do not abbrogate the values of the society they are defending or of the individuals themselves.

I've stood on the Golan and looked down on Galilee and (almost) seen the Med from Tel Aviv. Y'all don't have the option of defence in depth and your margin for error is horribly small, which most commentators simply don't get.

Please keep posting.


9:16 AM  
Blogger Carmel said...

there is a funny mix up between all of us, Rick responded to MY post on Lee's post and she answered him in relation to her post. there are 3 different writers here so far, just check the bottom of the post to see who it is since we'll have more soon and it'll become very confusing :-)

Poor Lee, she probably even doesn't know what SDI is... a link for the perplexed:

and thanks for the support, Simon and Rick! Last night i barely slept and every loud motorbike seemed like a potential zilzal rocket... none in tel aviv so far, thank God.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous lee said...

Oh! thankyou... :))

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing. Like others, I very much hope this blog continues. As for the post, I think you very powerfully convey the ambivalence many of us feel. I've tried to reflect on similar themes:


9:54 PM  

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