A triple loss for Israel?

By failing so ostentatiously to meet its objectives (destroying Hezbollah or at least reducing the rocket attacks), Israel has already lost this war by its own military estimates (which doesn't mean the other side has "won"; Hezbollah's goals are equally unrealizable, but they are at least surviving this battle). Israel has also lost world-wide support in its public relations campaign, sustained now for over half a century at enormous cost, depicting the country as the victim rather than victimizer; outside of the U.S. (where the current administration seems to think it needs Israel, no matter what the cost, and where the pro-Israel lobby is strongest), hardly anybody still buys into that argument (well, except Blair, to the disgust of most of his constituents).

This article by Oren Ben-Dor seems to argue that there is another loss: Israel's "soul," if you will permit the metaphor, the state's whole reason and justification for being.

"What exactly is being defended by the violence in Gaza and Lebanon?" he asks in London's Independent.
Is it the citizens of Israel or the nature of the Israeli state? I suggest the latter. Israel's statehood is based on an unjust ideology which causes indignity and suffering for those who are classified as non-Jewish by either a religious or ethnic test. To hide this primordial immorality, Israel fosters an image of victimhood. Provoking violence, consciously or unconsciously, against which one must defend oneself is a key feature of the victim-mentality. By perpetuating such a tragic cycle, Israel is a terrorist state like no other. (...)

In Hebrew, the word elem (a stunned silence resulting from oppression or shock) is etymologically linked to the word almut (violence). Silence about the immoral core of Israeli statehood makes us all complicit in breeding the terrorism that threatens a catastrophe which could tear the world apart.
Independent Online Edition > Commentators: "Oren Ben-Dor"

And who is Oren Ben-Dor, who speaks so authoritatively of Israeli history and Hebrew etymology? He has been in the news before, for attempting to organize a UK boycott of Israeli scholars. (See Counterpunch.) He describes himself as an "ex-Israeli" (he grew up in Israel), and currently teaches law at the University of Southampton. For more info and a photo, see his U. of Southampton web page.

1 comment:

Kurt Thompson said...

Gef, nice to see you on my blog, though I assure you a closer inspection of the first lecture in Varieties shows James arguing that if the followers follow it doesn't matter if the seer had a religious experience or merely a neurological malfunction. It's the perfect segway from Christian domination of matters of the mind into a reasonable discussion of psychology. Nonetheless, good to interact with intelligent human beings. Here is a grim addition to your post: http://fromisraeltolebanon.org/