Monday, June 28, 2004

Retrospect

Ok, I've gotten some response to a post I've put up here (the angry lefty one).

And, even though I didn't wanna do this, I feel like I should set the record straight. Hoping this isn't going to sound like I'm taking anything back or apologizing for my views. Just seems I haven't been entirely clear in saying what I mean.

Just as anything else, my political views are complex, largely emotionally motivated, and not at all static.
In that post I've presented one side of that big mess.

That is not to say I'm not aware of the fact that any real change would require shit loads of moderate left.

I just get rather tired of bending over backwards to sound moderate and express realistic suggestions.

Yes, when you're negotiating a peace agreement or running in elections, you need to be realistic. But I really don't see what's the problem with just saying what's on my mind.

I do sometimes feel guilty for living here. I do hurt when we build walls and tear down homes and shoot at people. I also have plenty of sympathy for settlers who had good intentions and now have to watch their dream burst. Just as I feel for innocent people who've been hurt in terror acts, of any nationality.
I don't see how those things should contradict.

I don't see why it's wrong if I'm a modern liberal Zionist who supports the Palestinian people.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Pullout

I naturally often come across the issue of disengagement (oh no, we can't call it withdrawal, that'd hurt our ego), and I must say I am not completely 100% set in my opinion on it.

I know it's not at all the best solution. Far from it.
It perpetuates our (Israelis) sense of superiority over the Palestinian people. In this plan, this idea, we don't treat them as an equal counter-part. We actually don't really view them as a side to this at all. We pull out settlements, we seal all entries and exits, we throw some Egyptians and such in there, and we don't negotiate or talk to anyone. Oh, we do talk to W. Bush. Well, I'm not even gonna go into that one.

So on the one hand we pull out of Gaza, we take out settlements. That's all good.

But we do everything on our own. We take complete control over this. We shift blame and take control.

Gaza will be locked down and sealed shut. Can that be good? Can Gaza be rebuilt? Will the people get a chance to recover?

It's far from perfect. It's even far from acceptable.

I don't believe that's the best we can do.

But to come back to reality, that is the best we have now. And it might just create a small opening. And maybe we'll all take advantage of that and manage to get the process into place.

This plan doesn't evoke feelings of hope and anticipation to what's to come. But with no choice at the moment, I'd say yes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Time for hard left.

It's time.

It's time to stand up and say what we're thinking.

Hell, it's time to stand up and say what I'm thinking.

The wall is wrong. The occupation is wrong. Ariel Sharon should have been jailed after Sabra and Shatila. Shimon Peres is not nearly hard enough. The settlers do not deserve any special treatment (not positive, anyway).

We have the right to defend ourselves, when we're living within our borders.

We are living on stolen lands.

We should never have come here.

We are cruel and unjust.

Our army's actions are far worse than the Hamas'.




Those are things I often think. A lot of the time I'm a little more practical. Not much practical, just a tad... Most of the time, I don't say those things out loud.
Maybe I should start.
Maybe if many more people start talking like that, the "sane center" will get used to those ideas. The right has been successful at that; if you say it enough, it'll stop sounding delusional and people will accept it. But then again, I guess it's easier to convince people in insane hateful ideas than it is to convince people of peaceful humanist ideas.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Left in Prague

So I'm still in Prague.
It's all very calm.
It's slowly driving me crazy in a way.
I spend the whole day walking around the centre of Prague, which is beautiful and interesting and yet the minute we sit down to have a cup of coffee the conversation naturally at some point turns to Israeli politics. I think, in a way, it soothes me. And I don't think it's just me.

Whilst wandering around Prague, I've encountered several people of arab origin and it seems that when an arab and an Israeli meet in Europe, there's none of the hostility. Some would say it's because the guy was trying to make a sale and didn't care, but I don't think that's all there is to it. I think at some point, we just realize we have more in common with eachother than with europeans.

It's amazing how, still, the first thing I do when I come to the appartment after a long day of hanging out in Prague is check the Israeli news sites.
Really unhealthy.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Getting away

Peace at last.

No, not in the middle east. Just for me, in my head.
I'm in Prague right now, visiting my dad. 2 weeks with no helicopters over my house, no news on tv (well, Czech news doesn't count, it's about silly things like economy and weather), no news papers... Peace.

Only every morning I surf to about 3 or 4 news websites with my morning coffee as well as when I get back to the apartment in the evening.

And yet, I feel peaceful.
I feel almost guilty for feeling so calm. I start thinking I should do more when I get back home. But then again, I always think that.

There's no getting away from it, not really. If it's not around me on tv and in what people talk about and in the papers, it's still in my head. Somewhere on my mind.

And yet, for quite a few hours every day, peace.

Maybe someone should raise money to send refugees on vacation in Prague...

Or perhaps just stop tearing down their homes.

Whichever way is fine.