Monday, November 10, 2008

Next Week In Jerusalem

As we pack for the trip back to our Israeli home, I confess I found this remarkable film oddly reassuring--not for the crisis it depicts, of course, but for the spirit with which it was made. A fresh wind is blowing in Israel, too, quite different from the hamsin blowing from Judea during the past generation. I'll have much more to say about these cross-currents during the run-up to the Israeli election in February, which cannot but be shaped by America's changes. (Stick with the film at least until you get to Hebron, around minute 17.)


Shoded Yam said...

The concept of "Tohar HaNeshek" has become one of the cherished myths that American Jews(and many Israelis for that matter)love to trot out whenever comparisons are made between us and the cousins. Well heres a news flash. Vaudeville is dead and so is Tohar HaNeshek. That purity of arms crap was great when you're chasing shoeless felahhin from the back of half tracks through the desert. It was another story in Sidon, when some asshole in designer jeans fires an RPG rocket at your platoon from an apt block window, and yet another when 7 year olds are throwing pieces of cinder block on your head in Shchem

Because of these fantasies, everyone seems to always find themselves, in a state of cognitive dissonance when confronted with the reality of what Zahal has had to become, what it has had to do in order to pacify the territories sufficiently so as to build and secure such “neighborhoods” as Maale Adumim, Ariel, Ofra, Givat Zeev, etc, etc, and what inevitably has had to happen psychologically to the rank and file of the IDF. What kind of people do you think are produced when you expose them to the sort of systemic programming(high school trips to Auschwitz, Holocaust revenge fantasies, and transference techniques) that would be necessary in order to achieve the desired level of detachment in 18 and 19 year old recruits? If your going to allow facists to roam the countyside like packs of feral dogs, murdering, stealing land, attacking and terrorizing old men, women, and children at will, if your going to allow pseudo-political constructs such as the “Yesha Council” to “legitimize” their activities while running interference for them within the political and social establishment, then I guess you’re going to need an army of facists to protect them while they’re doing it, won’t you?

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