Kudos to young Israelis who won’t fight the stupid, bloody wars of their parents and grandparents!
There’s a new age-cohort of refuseniks in Israel. These young people won’t join the army while the occupation continues. Good on them!
They take their place in a long proud tradition of war resistors who in times past withstood enormous public pressure to defend their right not to be conscripted for evil purposes.
Here’s Omer Goldman, the extremely photogenic daughter of an ex-Deputy head of Mossad. She’s a young woman with brains and guts. Perhaps she should stand for the Knesset and leap stright into the Prime Minister’s job, like a latter-day William Pitt the Younger. Then she could employ her dad to dismantle the Zionist military industrial complex
Ah well, it’s a nice idea. This is what Ms Goldman said:
As a young girl, I wanted to be a soldier. The military was such a part of my life that I never even questioned it.
Earlier this year, I went to a peace demonstration in Palestine. I had always been told that the Israeli army was there to defend me, but during that demonstration Israeli soldiers opened fire on me and my friends with rubber bullets and tear-gas grenades. I was shocked and scared. I saw the truth. I saw the reality. I saw for the first time that the most dangerous thing in Palestine is the Israeli soldiers, the very people who are supposed to be on my side.
When I came back to Israel, I knew I had changed. And so, I have joined with a number of other young people who are refusing to serve – they call us the Shministim.
You can support the Shministim online via Jewish Voices for Peace website.
But a word of caution.
The sacrifices these young people are making, while praiseworthy, are quite small compared with sacrifices others have made – and continue to make. They pale by comparison with the suffering of Palestinians, within Israeli jails or imposed ghettoes.
It will take a lot of flexibility and good will on all sides for the people of the world to dig ouselves out this self-generated hell that Zionism had created for the people of Palestine and beyond.
The fundamental problems of post-Zionist Palestine reduce to a few basics
- The Land has been artificially divided into two electorates
- One self-defined subset enjoy superior rights and overwhelming military power
- The society is managed on the discredited and immoral apartheid model
A ‘One State Solution’ is clearly the ideal for the whole area once covered by the British Mandate in Palestine.
The land cannot be divided in a rational and fair way into two States. It is inextricably inter-connected. Within the one State, there’s plenty of scope for pluralism, decentralization and multiculturalism. Maintaining the separation of two jurisdictions, on the other hand, would be an endless nightmare.
Jews who live in Palestine face a crucial decision: end apartheid and enjoy the prospect of long-term peace and prosperity – or maintain (until your luck runs out) an increasingly paranoid, sectarian Jewish supremacist State.
It’s a no-brainer really. End apartheid and choose peace!
But choosing peace entails dumping some baggage. In particular, it entails rejecting Zionist ideology in a fundamental way.
Jonathan Cook, the brilliant independent journalist wrote in Counterpunch last year:
The obstacle to a solution, then, is not about dividing the land but about Zionism itself, the ideology of ethnic supremacism that is the current orthodoxy in Israel. As long as Israel is a Zionist state, its leaders will allow neither one state nor two real states.
The solution, therefore, reduces to the question of how to defeat Zionism.
It just so happens that the best way this can be achieved is by confronting the illusions of the two-state dreamers and explaining why Israel is in permanent bad faith about seeking peace.In other words, if we stopped distracting ourselves with the Holy Grail of the two-state solution, we might channel our energies into something more useful: discrediting Israel as a Jewish state, and the ideology of Zionism that upholds it.
Eventually the respectable façade of Zionism might crumble.Without Zionism, the obstacle to creating either one or two states will finally be removed. And if that is the case, then why not also campaign for the solution that will best bring justice to both Israelis and Palestinians?