Sunday, February 10, 2008
Years ago I read some words of Edward Said that seemed at the time rather innocuous but which I think, in retrospect, really lie at the heart of the I/P conflict and help to explain why it has remained unresolved so long: "Until the time comes when Israel assumes moral responsibility for what it has done to the Palestinian people, there can be no end to the conflict".
The Zionist vision is based, among other things, on the assumption that its fulfillment need not cause injustice to anyone: If only the Arabs would relinquish their nationalist yearnings and agree to the fulfillment of our dream, it would be good for everyone, including them.
This historical fiction is very harmful because as long as we convince ourselves that we have no part in the responsibility for the creation of the Palestinian tragedy, we have no real reason to try to correct the injustice. This is the importance of acknowledging our responsibility.
This really goes to the heart of the cultural unpleasantness of Israel and of a great many Jews today, particularly those in the public eye.
Leaving aside that the state of denial serves notice that the zionists don't intend that any of their wrongs be righted, a culture of deceipt pervades Israeli Jewish society and dominates organised Jewish communal life.