Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ahmad Humeid's misplaced idealism!

Anyone who read Ahmad Humeid article (A question for the Israeli Blogsphere!!) must have been as dismayed as me by the quality of comments that this post generated, , it went from the Israeli apologist for the occupation's crimes to Arab absolutists who espouse blatant anti-Semitism. Needless to say I don't care for neither.

Now Ahmad Humeid is one of my closest friends, and I admire him for his ability to have the highest hopes in Homo Sapiens and generally have a positive outlook on humanity, and unlike me, he has not one iota of prejudice in his body. Hence, he had the mistaken notion that it is possible to have a rational and objective discussion about what is happening in Palestine, and actually invited Israelis to share their opinions. The result he got was predictable, of people seeing the world from their side of the Wall, and no one dares venture into "unsafe" territory.

Unlike Ahmad, I lived in Palestine for several years and experienced the first 3 years of the 2nd Intifada, what I have seen in those years have killed any hope of being able to communicate with the other side without emotional issues and flag waving sabotaging the argument. Before the start of the Intifada, I used to socialize with many Israelis, and called some of them my friends, and in many ways, I am not proud to say, I was culturally closer to them than to the majority of my countrymen.

The Intifada changed all of that, while anybody who read my posts know how critical I am of those in my society who propagate hate and murder of innocent Israeli civilians, what I saw of my Israeli "friends" in that period was a total withdrawal to traditional stance, accepting the official line of propaganda, and totally justifying all action by the occupation army, regardless how vile. There were always explanations of clearly intentional murder of civilians, the prized Tsahal is above targeting civilians, even when I saw tank gunners with my own eyes doing just that during the invasion of Ramallah in 2001. I proudly say that I tried my best to attend the funeral of Smadar El-Hanan, an Israeli teenager (and daughter of an acquaintance) murdered with several other innocent Israelis in West Jerusalem by a Palestinian suicide bomber, I was stopped by the same roadblocks that failed to stop him.

I simply lost hope that there can be an objective and dispassionate discussion with the other side, and unlike Ahmad, I no longer venture out of my own way to engage with Israelis, and I guess that I will probably never again sit to dinner with one, or have any view of Israelis other than the soldiers who man the roadblock who take special pleasure in humiliating Palestinians like me.

So Ahmad, it is far better for us to keep observing, analyzing and criticizing our own society and governments, there is a good chance of inducing change there, and some of it is happening already because of people like you. As for the "other side", I abandoned all hope, and I regretfully advise you to do the same.


At 1:13 PM, Blogger agger said...

What about people like Uri Avnery, Amina Hass, Gideon Levy and the refuseniks (as in Courage to Refuse)?

I'm not not saying they're representative but they are actually there - wish there were more of them and less settlers.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

what I saw of my Israeli "friends" in that period was a total withdrawal to traditional stance, accepting the official line of propaganda, and totally justifying all action by the occupation army, regardless how vile.

Same with US public opinion. The US stands with Israel now. No questions asked. Now, and forever onward. Palestinians dancing in the streets on September 11th were the final nail in the coffin.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger Desert Pundit said...


I am full of admiration for brave Israelis like them, but as you said, they are removed from the mainstream, and most Israelis ignore them or worse.


I agree completely, those idiots in East Jerusalem has tainted a whole nation with terror brush, not that we needed it to start with.

At 2:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Double dimension:politically I think we have to put attention on both sides,Israel and Palestine.
We have to criticyze and analyse the internal political and ideological life of Occupied Palestine.For sure.There are people loosing power,and other factions who build their consense and obtained power.So we are obliged to analyse with lot of attention this change.
But we are obliged not to switch off the light on Israeli side.I think they continue to be politically "a-typical" for theese reasons:
-They created with a totalitarian support (in the sense of Hannah Arendt) an ethnic-State.
-They practice a totalitarian control on the Occupyed Territoties(again in the sense of Hannah Arendt totalitarism:totalitarism is based on the USE OF TERROR, terror every day, controlling the bodies of someone), as we saw confirmed in the last weeks Gaza and West Bank "defensive operation"
-They joined the vocabulary of war against terrorism, and they are non-stop producers of new semantic strategies, approved by our public opinions.
Qais, I comprehend your feelings but don't switch off the light on Israel.There are many orrible things to be discovered about the formation of this "a-typical" state.Probably what we know about their political and ideological history is just a part, but not the whole.So even with the precious analytical support of people as Hannah Arendt, jewsh woman and philosopher, we have to continue to turn on the light of reflections and analysis of the ideological and political past and present of the occupier.



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