Gideon Levy is the angry leftist of Haaretz, meaning he’s pushing the envelope leftward in a newspaper that’s already kind of over the precipice. And Gideon Levy has an agenda which he pushes relentlessly, to vilify Israelis who live in Judea and Samaria and to usher in a Palestinian State, God forbid.
The Israeli left has had a relatively easy time vilifying settlements. In Israel’s leftist vernacular, the settlers have a similar status to that of American welfare mothers in Republican politics: it’s all their fault. Every morsel of food given to the settlers is stolen directly from the mouths of babes in Sderot. Every road paved, every electric line added to Judea and Samaria communities are booty from the poor neighborhoods of south Tel Aviv.
In Israel’s leftist culture those are axioms that no longer require proof, such as the fact that the settlers pay a higher per capita tax rate, and put in many more reserve duty days than Israelis in “Israel proper.” And so, the issue of “thinning out” the settlements, or deporting all of them, has been received with less resistance than one might imagine, and it’s still being pushed by the media, day in and day out.
The part of the anticipated peace deal that’s been less easy to market to Israelis, even if they live in Ramat Aviv, the Labor-enclave in affluent north Tel Aviv, is the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Gideon Levy on Sunday set out to mock this sentiment, calling it an obsession. He writes that Israel’s inane demand to be recognized as Jewish reminds him of a neighbor he had as a child, a Holocaust survivor, who was obsessed with making sure her front door was locked when she left the house.
Levy compares that lady’s obsession with Israel’s insistence on the Jewish identity thing, concluding that both are equally sick. Israel, he argues, is basing its entire political process on this obsessive need to be Jewish, be it the peace deal, the treatment of illegal African migrants, the drive to change the demographic imbalance in the Galilee region.
In a world in which there are no more ethnically pure countries, Levy argues, Israel stands out with its wish to maintain its Jewish supremacy. Even, he says, at the cost of remaining a democracy.
Does the notion of Israel remaining a Jewish State offend you? Probably not, seeing as you’re reading a strongly pro-Zionist website. Having been born and grown up in this Jewish State, I suppose asking this question would be like asking a fish if he’s troubled by living in water. It’s a fact of life.
But I can certainly understand and support the demand on the part of Israel’s peace negotiators (while not wishing them any success at all, God willing) that a new Palestinian State officially recognize and uphold the Jewish character of Israel.
So far, the best we got out of the Arabs on that count has been to recognize that Israel is a cancer in the body of the great Arab nation. The Arab view of history and geography, since the year 699, when Mohammed’s hordes began to fill up the vacuum left behind by the Roman Empire, has been that the world is comprised of two parts: the part conquered by Islam and the part yet to be conquered by Islam.
I don’t wish to go into whether this conquest is through warlike or peaceful means, the view is the same if you’re an Al Qaeda terrorist or a peaceful moderate, and I don’t begrudge them their point of view.