|Independent Media Center, Israel |
Yes, but ......
I sympathise with your plight and comments, and acknowledge the many good points in them. But ...
What helped bring about, and certainly expedited, the dismantlement of the appalling apartheid system in South Africa? Was it not in large part due to the distaste shown by the free world, in the form of sanctions, media coverage etc. against apartheid? And is it not equally true that many decent, liberal white (and Jewish and black) South Africans were negatively impacted by said actions through no fault of their own as individuals.
The whole issue of 'punishment' of a group of people (in this case, Jewish Israeli's) because of the sins of a few individuals (i.e. your government & military apparatus) is fraught with moral difficulty, and is certainly distasteful. But what better example of this exists today than the actions of the state of Israel against both it's Arab citizens, and the people of Palestine- once again, for the sins of a few. Add to this is the fact that Palestine has been illegally and brutally occupied by Israel for over 35 years! Further add to this the fact that the brutality and injustice of the collective punishment system being employed by your government is a fundamental cause of the ever increasing supply of volunteer terrorists and suicide bombers, and perhaps I have given you your best argument against the whole ethos of collective punishment.
I can genuinely symapthise with the situation of the many decent people of Israel who, whilst appalled by the policies and actions of their own government, also have to seemingly suffer the scorn and distaste of most of the rest of the liberal world for something they too oppose deeply. All of this in the midst of a seemingly never ending cycle of violence.
What certainly does not help and in the long term can only damage the Israeli cause, is the deep hypocrisy being exhibited by your fair weather friends, the good ole' US of A. Like myself and the Government of all Western nations, they support the existence of the state of Israel. Unlike me and most western governments, they seem content to throw money and arms at Israel without linking that aid to any form of commitment to address the many human rights abuses being committed by your government, to say nothing of the long standing,illegal and brutal occupation of Palestine. And it is from this fact that your terrorism problems arise- let's face it the majority of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims are not radicals or terrorists, and would be delighted to arive at a conclusion in which Palestinians and Israeli's could peacefully co-exist as citizens of neighbouring, viable nation states. Since the PLO recognised the state of Israel in the mid to late 80's (from memory), the distance between reasonable people on both sides is not as large as the Mass Media puppets would have us believe. I repeat, the stance of the USA in this regard helps nobody, including the state of Israel.
Unfortunately, we no longer have the benefit of a truly free and independent mass media to disseminate this message to the ignorant American public. Actually, as an Israeli citizen you probably have more freedom of speech in real terms than a US citizen, who is both faced with the litigiousness of the American legal system, a willingness to use it to repress free speech, and a cost basis designed to favour the rich, white establishment. Use it. Honestly, I taste vomit in the back of my throat when I hear the American media describing other people as being brainwashed, to say nothing of when I hear the US President invoke the name of God! It is a fact that the Intifatida- which, until it started resorting to terrorism, I have to say I supported- would bite even more deeply were it not for the foreign aid (actually, military aid) and loan guarantees provided both above and below the table by the US. It is also a fact that in spite of this the Intifatida is causing Israel economic problems, and this is ultimately most effective- (so please, eliminate murder and emphasize economic sabotage).
As intelligent people surely we have to ask ourselves- what does the U.S. administration (or their puppet-masters) think they stand to gain by encouraging the present situation to be propagated?
Do they think that their own people need to see the world in terms of black and white, goodies and baddies etc- then they will be more pliable in the hands of a manipulative government. (Witness current US foreign policy elsewhere in the Middle East).
Is this the reason for the constant, biased American media propaganda bombardment?
Most worrying of all, are they right?
I hope not.
Back to your dilemma- what an unfortunate situation. From my point of view, if you were willing to state in writing that you are opposed to the policies and practices of your government in these regards, I would unequivocably support your application to study anywhere in the world (subject to merit, of course). If you were a bigot that supported the current actions of your government, I too would oppose your application to study abroad on moral and ethical grounds.
My real question to you is what other non-violent options are available to decent, liberal people around the world to express their outrage? The USA, as a member of the Security Council, has largely emasculated the United Nations in this regard. I long ago lost patience with the whole situation, and therefore support economic and travel sanctions against Israel. But it is all ultimately so unnecessary- were it not for the USA, I believe we could and would be much closer to an equitable resolution (yes, this involves a viable state of Palestine). So much for your fair weather friends.
Yours truly, and with Sympathy
A Retired WASP
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