The view from there

One person in Tel Aviv, one point of view, one heartache, this week in Table Talk.


Salon Staff
July 28, 2006 2:00PM (UTC)

White House

"No, it's MY land!" -- The battle continues...

Harrybbb18 - 07:13 am Pacific Time - Jul 24, 2006 - #4782 of 5044

Hi all, I'm in Tel Aviv now. Left Jerusalem because along with the war the stones, which I once so loved, seemed too harsh. And the people in Jerusalem have really changed since I left in '98. There used to be a cliché that the occupation would or was taking its toll on Israeli souls, and no doubt that was true in the hopeful, almost, on-the-verge '90s. BUT now there is no question. For you who are either Jewish or scholarly, all I could think about was Maimonides, the Rambam's "Guide to the Perplexed," which I first found at my grandfather's house. I can't tell you just how perplexed we are, that is when we aren't barking and rude. True, the younger Israelis, even those doing Millueeem (yearly 2-4 weeks in the army from age 22-45) are still, the boys I mean, sweethearts but very apolitical.

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The older Israelis are increasingly sure of their paranoid notions. And this Nasrullah has surely arrived in the guise of Hitler, is what Israel always finds in its enemies. This guy is something else, is determined.

My small take, this was coming. All because and All BECAUSE we never gave the Palestinians a chance, we were going to get it, in some form soon, and sorry all you other friends for sounding harsh but my take is that Israel will not exist, whether in 10 or 20 or 50 years. Everyone I know of all sorts is thinking this. From here it is obvious. We never made a single friend in the neighborhood, minus the wonderful Rabin at the end of his life. We never cared to. We are founded on the Holocaust and we as a people lived by that, and the lesson as I wrote somewhere wasn't, "Hey, people can be really cruel so let's make friends." No, the most terrrible legacy for Jews here was, "They all hate us; they always will," and so power is all we need. And that is beyond tragic. Beyond sad. This is not a country that is manic or fun anymore. There are many who are the living dead here. And it is not fear. No one south of the border, where all my journalist friends are, is afraid. Even if Nasrullah can reach Tel Aviv, there is not only no fear but no guards anywhere. "Live and Let Live" lives on here with regard to other Israelis. You never meet a Palestinian except in the oldest restaurants and hotels in Jerusalem and rarely in Tel Aviv. It's the sea. It's the cafe night life. It's not the Israel I loved in Jerusalem. And though the peaceniks have growing crowds, up to 5,000 last Saturday p.m., where is their power?

So, sorry to say, I think the time when we could have made a reasonable peace is over. Now we have bombs going both ways, a fence that is literally bone chilling if offering Jewish Israelis' safety of a sort, that is pure delusion because we are never going to be safe. And I'm not taking sides, I hope, when I say we co-created this mess. And so ontologically and soon psychically many will leave or die, and I write this, which I may have written already, with great heavy heart. I loved this country. I liked the Palestinians. I did so much time thinking that we two would be great allies. Now we are not allowed to see each other, and this Israeli hysteria is not attractive. Nor are Olmert's pronouncements indicating we are pure innocents. We never looked at ourselves -- Israelis used to be fun but always were apsychological, and the great majority seem like they want to re-create the trauma of the last Holocaust. I am so sorry to say all this, rushing as I do, because it's beautiful here, everywhere, oh so beautiful. How sad is that. I say, let Jerusalem be left to the donkeys. Everyone I know is sad, or torn up, or agrees with the above, whether they say it or not. No more peace activities feed hope. There is little hope in the land, the "light unto Nations"... or we f--ked up ? Anyone? ...

I am tired, as it is late. But I feel that Israel's actions in Gaza are loosely related to Hizbollah. Nasrullah is the man the crazed, for reasons or no, Arabs want. He is being incredibly stupid and careless and cruel FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW. I personally am not against fighting him. BUT, it's a lose-lose and diplomacy has become a joke. No one in the 'neighborhood' trusts Israel to be fair. They haven't been. To Palestinians. So, war will kill this economy unless there's a cease-fire within a month or two.

And when the Israeli economy goes, not to mean tragedy in Lebanon, which yes Nusrallah brought on, but not out of the blue, out of the feeling that we are, we in Israel, always using violence and never deigning to dialogue, it all connects ... But I said before and say again, it's too many decades, too many genius' and the reason this conflict was and imo will NEVER be resolved is that Israel has a hold on Israelis, of course, duh, and on Americans, Jews and non-Jews.

We have had this state for 59 or so years. We blew it. Like Humpdy Dumpkin, never to be repaired. No Tikkun Olam. No psychology. Not worse that Bush, not. But worse than our best leaders and all the best people wanted. Too late. Imo. Read Ury Avery who writes, as I've said, for Gush Shalom. I was at the rally here on Sat. PM and I was at the Film Festival and no one has any hope left no matter what they write. Everyone thinks we should have created the Jewish State not in Uganda as once Hertzl thought, but in Australia. This is not going to work, and that is a thought I never, ever allowed myself to fully entertain. I meet tomorrow with two other peace leaders. They work around the clock on this. I do not see the point. Do you? Really? If you do then, as ABYehusha always says, it's your duty to come here and live. I mean that. It's a wonderful people in a place that has the worst leaders and the Arabs have the worse leaders and the PEOPLE CANNOT EVEN MEET. dat's it. I really believe you have to be here to get some piece of truth. I got the worst news and I trust my intuitions. I'm no genius. I never have been what we could call a "hard thinker" but I did give almost 15 years to fighting and loving for peace. It ain't gonna happen. We kill the Palestinians all the time and we will sooner or later get killed and we'll probably take the Mideast out with us. That is the Israeli way. So, it's a place I love, it's my home and it's f--ked. Said this before. But that's all. Love to all, extreme exhaustion due to heat, worry and more worry. xxoo Wendy

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