Israelis united by fear

Uri Avnery writes:

On Saturday evening, two weeks ago, we returned by taxi from the annual memorial rally for Yitzhak Rabin, and as usual got into a conversation with our driver.

Generally, these conversations flow smoothly, with lots of laughs. Rachel loves them, because they bring us face-to-face with people we don’t normally meet. The conversations are necessarily short, the people express their views concisely, without choosing their words. They are of many kinds, and in the background we generally hear the radio news, talk shows or music chosen by the driver. And, of course, the soldier-son and the student-daughter are mentioned.

But this time, things were less smooth. Perhaps we were more provocative than usual, still depressed by the rally, which was devoid of political content, devoid of emotion, devoid of hope. The driver became more and more upset, and so did Rachel. We felt that if we had not been paying customers, it might have ended in a fight.

The views of our driver can be summed up as follows:

There will never be peace between us and the Arabs, because the Arabs don’t want it.

The Arabs want to slaughter us, always did and always will.

Every Arab learns from early childhood that the Jews must be killed.

The Koran preaches murder.

Fact, wherever there are Muslims, there is terrorism. Wherever there is terrorism, there are Muslims.

We must not give the Arabs one square inch of the country.

What did we get when we gave them Gaza back? We got Qassam rockets!

There’s nothing to be done about it. Only to hit them on the head and send them back to the countries they came from.

According to the Talmudic injunction: He who comes to kill you, kill him first.

This driver expressed in simple and unvarnished language the standard convictions of the great majority of Jews in the country.

It is not something that can be identified with any one part of society. It is common to all sectors.

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you,” Joseph Heller wrote and most Israelis believe.

In a way, whether this conviction in a Jewish island surrounded by a sea of enmity has a solid basis in reality is besides the point. If most Israelis believe in the impossibility of peace, that belief itself surely makes peace impossible. But it also begs the question of whether a Jewish state or any other state can have a solid foundation if that foundation is constructed from fear.

Paradoxically, the great demographic threat to Israel may turn out to result from too many Jews — Jews only capable of seeing themselves, their nation and the world through the prism of fear.

For an individual, if fear grows to a proportion where it shapes every feature of their life — if it colors their decisions, their perceptions and everything they think and feel — this is not a way of living but rather a condition that requires treatment. Why should a similar need not equally apply to a whole nation afflicted by the disease of fear?

Many Israelis might counter that so long as the Jewish state can retain its position of regional military supremacy, then it will retain the upper edge in a balance of fear and thus its only concern should be that Israel is able to engender more fear than it suffers. Yet this is the mindset of the survivalist whose fixation on danger has reduced life to the tremors of desperate isolation.

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3 thoughts on “Israelis united by fear

  1. Vince J

    Netanyahu is a facist pig. Obama and the US its subservient dogs.

    This is from Press TV:

    “Israel denies fuel to Gaza power plant
    Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:31PM
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    Gaza City’s main electricity stationIsrael has refused to supply fuel to the Gaza Strip’s main electricity plant as power outages have intensified in the besieged coastal sliver.

    There have been up to twelve hours of power outages in Gaza.

    Gaza’s main power plant has two turbine generators and only one of them works due to fuel shortages, a Press TV correspondent reported.

    Israel refuses to allow diesel into Gaza, which has been under an all-out Israeli blockade since 2007.

    Gazans use small electricity generators to meet their electricity needs.

    At least 15 people have been killed since last year using the dangerous generators, which produce a lot of noise and are unsafe for children. “

  2. Christopher Hoare

    The Israeli fear is engendered not by the expectation of the Palestinians and Arab states overrunning them, but by the very real fear that the Jews of the diaspora will one day cease to control the political dialogue in the countries that underwrite the Zionist theft of Palestine. The Arabs do not need to plan for the downfall of Israel, merely for the electorates of a supine America, a supine Germany, a supine Britain, a supine Canada, etc, to take back their rights to their own opinion on the nature of a just peace in the Middle East.
    As long as Israeli policies provide a zero sum benefit to the West, they are correct to fear for their futures.

  3. John Somebody

    I wish some arch zionasty would explain to me how Arabs could not want to drive them into the sea – without being rational enough to accept, that not all Jews, are to blame for invading and theiving, what was never invaded by Palestinians. If Arabs are required to be rational enough, to allow innocent Jews to live in peace, then zio – thugs require those same Arabs to be more reasonable, to have a higher morality, than the aggressive invaders.
    Why should a state that depends on racist motivated murder in order to exist, be allowed to defend itself, or anything?
    If Palestinians have enough grace to allow repentant aggressors to remain, that’s for them to decide on. Whether or not, they accept a one state,two state or no state solution, surely ought to be of only secondary interest, for the rest of the world, after ther matter of establishing a principle in the lesson for everyone : that a society which depends on injustice, has no right to exist. This should mean an end to all government that requires any diminishment of personal integrity. But the most blatant examples of dependance on injustice, like killing for racial reasons to create an exodus of refugees, who will be thieved from, to sustain the parasite invaders, must surely be amongst the first targets for change.

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