Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Well...everything's going to hell again. In other words, everything's back to normal. Amusing place this country. Never a dull moment. As I mentioned below, I am royally pissed about the Likud referendum and the attendent discord in the Israeli government (also very much the normal state of affairs). Why? Firstly, because Gaza is a useless chunk of rock chock-full with religious fanatics who want to hurl us all into the sea and which, contrary to Rightwing propaganda, is not and never has been a part of the Land of Israel or in any way significant to Jewish history (ok, Shabtai Tzvi, fine). Secondly, young Israeli soldiers are being foced to spend ridiculous amounts of miluim (reserve) time protecting three religious nuts and a dog in a hut on top of a cliff which, by fascinating coincidence, serves as a perfect target for said religious fanatics. Thirdly, said soldiers and said huts cost a shitload of money which this country can't afford. I want to make this clear: the fact that there are people in my neighborhood searching for food in garbage cans while the government spends millions of dollars on settlements which any reasonable person knows are someday going to have to be evacuated and demolished is insane. Nuff said.

Added to this is the bitter disillusionment of seeing that Nixon can't go to China. Or, more precisely, Arik can't get out of the territories. Now, my disillusionment here is not with Sharon. I think he understands the situation quite well and realizes the need for a unilateral withdrawal. However, it is now clear that he cannot bring his own party with him, as I had hoped he could. And is Arik can't bring the Likud, then it doesn't really matter what he understands or realizes. Even worse, there doesn't seem to be anyone else to turn to. Labor is still married to the idea of negotiations with Arafat. Meretz is suicidal. Shinui is the only party saying anything intelligent at the moment, but their ideas on the economy are basically Netanyahu's and I just can't hang with that. Sigh...

I'm beginning to understand why people say Israel is too democratic for its own good.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, i'm one of those 'young israeli soldiers forced to spend ridiculous amounts of time, etc.' in Gaza. i just want to say that your description of the settlements (three religious nuts, cliffs, huts, dogs) is pretty far from the reality. are you in Beer Sheva? why don't you take a trip down to Gush Katif just to see what it's really like?

love your blog.


10:52 AM  
Blogger benjamin said...

yes, you are right, my comments were grotesquely exagerrated. there are cities and very normal and very nice people living in the gaza settlements. and yes, many of the soldiers who serve there consider it their patriotic duty and are proud to do it. i still can't see the justification, economic, strategic, or otherwise for keeping them there. and, due to the demographic issues involved, i can see some very good reasons for removing them. the political paralysis is what frustrates me and causes me to fly off the handle rehetorically. i don't mean to demean anyone

and you're also right that i should go to check out the situation for myself. unfortunately, i'm scared shitless of the place so that probably wont happen anytime soon. (and yet i've walked around the old city of jerusalem without a second thought. interesting.)

thanks for the compliment, by the way. very much appreciated.

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