The link above will take you to an article at the CounterPunch website that describes, in some detail, a tragic atrocity that occurred in Israel 24 years ago. Please read it.
People who constantly defend “Israel’s Right To Exist” may react indignantly that “re-hashing old news” is just stirring up trouble. They may say that this is simply fueling the “endless cycle of revenge” that is supposed to be the bane of the Middle East. Better, they will say, that we should address current problems, and forget the past — it is too complicated.
I agree that it is better, in the great majority of events, even criminal events, to try to find a way forward through “forgiving and forgetting” than to get stuck in the cycle of crime-and-revenge that begins with “an eye for an eye” and progresses to “ten Arab eyes for one Jewish eye” and on into the endless “war against Amalek, unto all generations” — Amalek, of course being always re-defined as whomever the Jews happen to despise at any given time. Yes, it would be well if we, and they, could get beyond all this.
A reading of the above link will show, however, that the Israel government authorities, both secular and religious, are deeply implicated in the crime that occurred. If either of these parties, secular or religious, had changed their ways in the intervening quarter of a century, perhaps we could afford to “move on” and “let the tragic past remain in the tragic past,” and acknowledge that “mistakes were made.” But they haven’t changed their ways. The police state abuses, the new settlement policies, the wars on Gaza, and the “existential insecurity” — actually their arrogant disregard for any viewpoints other than their own — govern their policies right into the present and the foreseeable future.
Furthermore, a reading of the above link will show that the Jewish “man in the street” is all-too-often as complicit in this criminal behavior as his governing authorities are. What his government is selling at the wholesale level, he is more than willing to sell at the retail level — completely irresponsible criminal violence. Polls show, and events like this bear out, that the vast majority of the Jewish citizens of the nation of Israel are completely supportive of this. The trauma of the Holocaust which was perpetrated on a large part (though not all) of the Jewish community in Europe, mostly by white Europeans, is held to justify an enduring contempt by the Jewish community in Israel against the common people of Palestine and surrounding countries who basically had nothing to do with what happened in Eastern Europe. In the name of justice, the Jews of Israel steal, kill, and destroy with perfect self-righteousness.
There is a small segment among the Israeli Jews that, with great personal bravery, are consistent and outspoken dissenters against this terrible mindset — men like Israel Shahak, Uri Avnery, Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir, Gideon Levy, Matti Peled, and others. When they speak out against these crimes, and the underlying criminal mindset, they are called “traitors” and vilified as “self-loathing Jews.” Read what they say, watch what they do, and judge for yourself whether this is true or not.
My judgment is that they, these courageous dissenters, and not the general Jewish community in Israel, are the truly righteous remnant.
You may also want to consider how things have turned out for the original criminal, Ami Popper, and his subsequent relations with the Israeli government, the Israeli right-wing rabbis, and his wife. A Wikipedia account can be read here. I think it is safe to say that the Israeli society has very serious problems.
Maybe you should pass this on to your Christian-Zionist friends. It will probably be new news to them.
Your comments are most welcome.