In Israel, advocates of peace are viewed as extremists

Outside Israel, Shlomi Eldar is best known as the TV broadcaster who spoke to Gaza doctor, Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish, moments after al-Aish’s three daughters had been killed in an Israeli strike during Operation Cast Lead in 2009.

In an interview with Haaretz, Eldar says:

A few days after the end of Operation Pillar of Defense [November, 2012], I gave a talk at a Herzliya high school. The children, who said they came from good homes, told me we have to kill all the Arabs, including the Israeli Arabs, because where do they get off thinking they will get control of the country. Their ideal is to go into the army and kill as many Arabs as possible. That’s one side of the picture, Israeli youth, the new generation, living in an atmosphere of demonizing the Palestinians − which is something the Israeli media are responsible for in no small measure. The other side of the picture is the young generation in Gaza, a child of five or nine. Let’s say he is not wounded, but a four-ton bomb landed next to his house. Do you know that in Operation Pillar of Defense, not one pane of glass remained intact in the whole of Gaza? It’s a tactic of creating sonic booms to frighten people without hurting them. A child who has a bomb like that land next to him can’t hear anything for the next three days. What does he think about the Jews afterward? And where will we end up, if this is how Jewish youngsters think about Arabs?

Nowhere good.

We are on a nothing-to-lose track. Which is why I say there is no future. When I told the high school class that we have to look at them as human beings, one boy jumped up and said, “Who do you vote for? You’re extreme left, no?” I replied, “It would surprise you to know who I vote for.” But that’s not the point. The point is that we in Israel have reached a situation in which if someone says we have to talk peace, he’s considered extreme left.

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4 thoughts on “In Israel, advocates of peace are viewed as extremists

  1. rosemerry

    The terrible thing is that, besides being told they are “chosen” and special, and that all others hate them and wish to exterminate them-all untrue- Israeli children grow up to have no social contact with “Arabs” except as dominant, powerful controllers of the underclass. Never do they hear the real history of their “homeland” or the truth about the crimes committed to ensure their “security”. Fear is drilled into them that any concessions or humanitaian behaviour will ensure the terrorists drive them all into the sea. Good people like Shir Hever or Matti Peled or Uri Avnery are so rare, and the US support for the political actions Israel takes so extreme, that it is hard to see any improvement. This will not help Israel to survive and thrive.

  2. josephus

    Recently, I read that Settler children now comprise 30 percent of the school age children in Israel/Palestine. Now we see that these children, apparently not even from the West Bank, have been indoctrinated – accidentally or otherwise – with very similar views. 30 years hence they will comprise the largest political bloc in the state.

    Unfortunately, it seems clear that Israel has passed the tipping point. I hope not, but there it is.

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