This is an edited and expanded comment I wrote to a diary: As a Jew living in America, the past week has changed me forever. The diary moved me very much as it did many others judging from its rec list. My comment, on the other hand, got no response. I may have said it poorly so I'll try again.
As a Goy who lived in Israel from 1963-1965 I feel pain about what is happening there today. I went there to do my post doc withAharon Katzir-Katchalsky as my mentor. I also did some work with his brother Ephriam as well.
He was murdered in a terrorist attack at Ben Gurion International Airport in 1972 in which 26 people were killed and 80 injured. His younger brother, Ephraim Katzir, became the President of Israel in 1973.Aaron was, as many others around me were, a pacifist and wanted peace with his Palestinian brothers and sisters. When we commemorated his wonderful life in 1982 we arrived as Israel went to war on Lebanon. We gave homage to this peaceful man as planes loaded with bombs flew to bomb Lebanon.
Before I went to work in Israel in 1963 I read every piece of history I could. I have always thought the Palestinians were pawns and victims in a wider struggle where there were no honorable players. I will explain this further below the break.
It has only gotten worse and I see the Israelis and Palestinians as victims of the worst kind. Just as those deranged people in Europe who oppressed the Jews also made themselves victims of their own ugly hate the Israelis seem to be creating their own place in hell. The Palestinians are not helping matters but the relative might of the two groups is strikingly different. I have no interest in pointing fingers or blaming either group There is more than enough of that going on. But I do believe that what the Israelis are doing goes deeper for some very important psychological reasons.
Franz Fannon wrote about the psychology of oppression. He was the first to make it clear to me that using power to dominate and oppress and commit genocide has its effect on the perpetrators.
So I am hurting for people, both Israelis and Palestinians I loved in a region I fell in love with. Both sides are doomed to suffer the consequences of the colonial powers domination of the region. Like Iraq the situation has a history. Europe, the USSR, and the USA are the real villains here. Read on below and we can think about this hopeless situation.
The Wretched of the Earth presents thorough critiques of nationalism and of imperialism, a discussion of personal and societal mental health, a discussion of how the use of language (vocabulary) is applied to the establishment of imperialist identities, such as colonizer and colonized in order to teach and psychologically mold the native and the colonist into their respective roles as slave and master, and a discussion of role of the intellectual in a revolution.This was about the French middle class who had to serve to control Algeria in Colonial times. Clearly the situation in Palestine is more complex but there are important parallels.
The term Palestinian refugees
refers primarily to the patrilineal descendants of Arab refugees originating in the Mandate, as per the UNRWA definition. In 2012, the number of registered patrilineal descendants of the original Palestine refugees, based on the UNRWA registration requirements, is estimated to be 4,950,000. The number of original Palestine refugees has declined from 711,000 in 1950 to approximately 30 to 50,000 in 2012.There are many conflicting accounts of how these people
left their homes, either driven by force, by fear, or by instruction of Arab leadership.It seems well established that they were caught in the middle. Both sides made it impossible for them to stay.
Already when I lived in Israel in 1963-1965 it was clear that some bad things had been brewing since 1948. You do not allow generations of people to live in a situation like the world created for them. There is nothing more dangerous than someone you have deprived of everything. Someone who has nothing left to loose.
The legacy of colonialism and neocolonialism is replete with tragedy, war, and deep bitterness. To condemn people for their actions is one thing. To ignore the role of the world in creating the situation that led to those actions is another. The arrogance of the Europeans, the USA, and the USSR in carving up nations and inventing new ones is beyond words. Now we all are seeing an ironic outcome to this greedy desire to control and exploit oil rich and other countries as Global warming rewards us for our addiction to oil.
I see no answer. I see no hope. I want to avoid news about the horrors of the region. Jim Coffman and I wrote about "Global Insanity" in our book. Yet our words will never expose just how insane this species we call Homo sapiens really is.
Look at our own nation. Look at he massive genocide we carried out on the people we conquered. Is anyone surprised that we are complicit in this mess in the Middle East?
I really can't express the pain I feel about this. So many good people slaughtered all the time. How can we use the word "civilization?" How can we go on doing politics as if we had the capacity to put an end to this very human kind of visciousness? I know there are no answers to these questions. I just wanted to share these thoughts to see if anyone has any hope.