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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Avraham Burg on the survivability of Israel

I was at Yishay and Hadas late into the night a few days ago, delighted see them again after many months. We chatted about everything in our lives, Hadas and I played with the kids' toys. Yishay broke out a new bottle of Tawny Port brought with him from a recent trip to Lisbon. Hadas scolded him for yet another acquisition of liquor. "We are going back in two years!", turning to me she added "when we left Israel we had to give away sooo many bottles."

That comment jarred me. I hadn't thought that they would want to leave the relative calm of North London to return to what I saw as a burning land full of danger. “Israel is our home” Yishay said, adding “we always think of returning.”

I know this is probably not a revelation to anyone else. But to me it brought up all these fears I had stored away in my mind. What would happen to Israel, to the Palestinians? Is there any hope for real peace. I don't know. It's easier for me not to think about that. I don't live there, my closest links to Israel, my friends Yishay and Hadas and their delightful children no longer lived there. Not thinking about it, it was possible to think of crossing the Atlantic again for a party at the New Tayyab, or of my next meal at some starred restaurant in Paris, or of simply living. Not thinking about it, however, didn't stop reality from continuing. Not thinking about the violence and chaos and hate didn't cause them to cease to exist.

This morning, I found this on Salon.
Avraham Burg, former speaker of Israel's Knesset, talking about the future of Israel…

"The Zionist revolution has always rested on two pillars: a just path and an ethical leadership. Neither of these is operative any longer. The Israeli nation today rests on a scaffolding of corruption, and on foundations of oppression and injustice. As such, the end of the Zionist enterprise is already on our doorstep. There is a real chance that ours will be the last Zionist generation. There may yet be a Jewish state here, but it will be a different sort, strange and ugly..."

Not thinking about it has become not so easy...

[Read the full article here.]


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