not gonna be saying much about the israel/lebanon war. this is mostly tangential.
i was struggling with words to express how very much my attitude towards israel has changed between 1967 and now, how i was once a staunch, extremely loyal supporter, and am now a strong critic sometimes overwhelmed by sadness, and WTF happened?
except that somebody has done a much better job of that than i could, and luckily i came across a link to a very insightful editorial by tony judt in ha'aretz
that comes close to perfectly matching my own experience. (thanks to velochicdunord
for the link.)
i was very young in '67, and was filled with guilt about the holocaust, shame that my birth family did nothing to help jews, disgust at so many countries who turned down the refugees; the grand unfairness of it all, the persecution and move to eradicate an entire people. it took many years, two and a half more decades, for that to be worn down by israeli humanitarian violations.
but worn down it has been, ground down to small nubs. i don't want to see israel destroyed. i don't think its creation was a mistake (how it was done, that was filled with mistakes). i am not anti-semitic by a long shot, i am actually somewhat of a semitophile (though i realize that the wholesale appropriation of the term now bothers me; arabs are semites too, of whom i am negatively prejudiced) -- when i started to raise myself, a lot of what i read and appreciated was written by jewish thinkers, and before i lost my faith in god entirely, i was contemplating conversion to judaism. i still wish no ill to come to israel. i despise hizballah and hamas. i cringe when i think of iran. there is not even a comparison for me between a modern egalitarian democracy and a repressive islamic state. but i resent that i have to defend myself with lengthy disclaimers before i can say anything critical of israel. the take-over of the public sphere by the lobby who screams "anti-semitism" at the slightest negative word against israel is stifling. and you know what? i am done with it.
i can to some degree empathize with the siege mentality, based on my personal experience growing up as i did. but it must be broken. even against adversity, it must be broken, and human rights must be respected. israel has not grown up. it's been pissing away goodwill all this time, and it's showing no sign of waking up. what about auschwitz? yeah, what about it? some of us learned from it -- that we never again want to let anyone get away with that sort of thing. israel has apparently learned nothing from it but that might makes right.
sad. the world is filled with too many people who're doing so much less than humanity is capable of.