Saturday, April 17, 2004

No, I mean it. THANK YOU, MR. BUSH. It is an uplifting and rare experience, to be supported in this manner.

You know, the Palestinians said something about it being like the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Made me aware of two things: A. How unpleasant the Balfour Declaration must have been for local Arabs (Can’t call them Palestinians, because they weren’t at the time, just as the local Jews weren’t Israelis). B. How exciting the Balfour Declaration must have been for Zionist Jews. It was the first time they had received any sort of serious international recognition for their aspirations, and from the leading world power of the day, no less.

I am highly amused by some of the op-eds regarding this development. Apparently By blatantly backing Israel's Ariel Sharon, President Bush has given Arabs another target”. Huh? Oh yes. You see, luckily for the West, ”The people of the Arab countries have been remarkably patient as they watched their living standards decline under corrupt and oppressive governments backed by the West. They have been patient as Israel sat on the conquered Palestinian territories for 37 years, pushing Arabs off the land and planting their own settlements on it. They have been patient about a lot of things - but that dry, snapping sound you heard a moment ago may have been the camel's back breaking.” Beautifully put, so dramatic and moving.

How about this little gem? ”Many Palestinians saw Sheik Yassin's murder as a deliberate attempt by the Israeli government to stimulate terrorist attacks that would distract international attention from Sharon's land grab in the West Bank. The attacks have not yet come.”

This sounds like the Palestinians have been so sweet and decided to refrain from retaliating, unlike those evil Israelis who would have been completely responsible for anything that they would have brought on themselves. Hey, they were practically begging for it. Strange to hear about Sharon's land grab when he is actually planning a one-sided exit. The truth, of course, is that the Palestinians just can’t pull any attacks off, and not because they haven’t been trying. It’s the apartheid wall, it’s the evil checkpoints, it’s the illegal targeted killings (among them that of Ahmed Yassin himself) that are keeping the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem safe, and not the goodwill of Palestinians.

”What did come was a statement by Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Hamas' new leader in the Gaza Strip, that "America has declared war on Allah. Allah has declared war on America and Bush."”

What is this woman’s idea? To create panic on the streets of New York (Is she, perhaps, working as a PR agent for our pals the Pals)? See what that awful Bush has gone and done now? You’re all doomed. The all-powerful Arabs will come and get you, now that you foolishly dare not to dance to their tune. You should all start shaking in your beds. You’re their new target. And it’s all Israel’s fault, as usual.

Don’t bother with the rest of it. It makes just as much sense.

* * *

Do you know what I would really like? What would be such a welcome breath of fresh air, something that would go SO WELL with Bush’s supportive statement? To read some original thinking from the Media! They are so bloody repetitive, so tiresome in their inability to read the picture intelligently. Why are they so completely incapable of seeing things outside of their usual, habitually limited scope of vision (what do you call those things they put on horses so they can’t see either sides, but only straight forward?), of seeing things in anything other than the same old two-dimensional way ? Is there any wonder I hardly read them anymore? (I can hear some people murmuring under their breath that that was a clear description of ME. Hmmm.)

It’s like this evening course I’m doing. It’s a sort of creative art class one night a week. I absolutely love it. We are all the same sort of women, North Tel Aviv middle class working mothers in our late thirties, early forties, with artistic tendencies that most of us have little opportunity to develop or enjoy. We spend the evening in this cool, musky air-raid shelter, experimenting with shape and color, (in my case) splashing paint and ink all over the place. I wait for it all day and when I get there, I’m in bliss.

But something that I’ve noticed about the other women in our exclusive little gathering, and I say this at the risk of generalizing horribly and unfairly (and of being ostracized should any of them read this), is the rigid groupthink they are subject to with regard to all things political. It’s not that politics are discussed there very much, but when they are, I get the feeling we are living on parallel planets.

From the safety of their middle-class bourgeois lives, they feign an advanced strain of anti-establishmentarianism. They’re the hip ones who see things as they should be, and their way is the solution to plenty of society’s ills (okay, so I’m exaggerating just a little to make my point), while in actual fact they seem to me to be living in a world in which thought is far more regimented. While the rest of us are free to switch viewpoints five times a day, and often do, and, in accordance with our limited mental capacities, to see wisdom in all sides (and shortsighted stupidity too) - for them there seems to be a correct way of thinking and everyone aught to be thinking as they do. Any other way equals total wickedness, immorality and decadence. Any other way leads inevitably to destruction and devastation.

* * *

Hey all you open-minded self-professed supporters of Diversity and Free Will out there! Loosen up! You’ve been smelling the WRONG ROSES!

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