Tuesday, February 26, 2008



It's about time.

Jews have always been leaders in political and social criticism. They've always been leaders in scientific and artistic work, work that absolutely requires independence of mind.

But on the subject of Israel, especially over the last decade or two, the lack of independent Jewish views is almost frightening.

Genuinely frightening is the sense one gets of a people who insist that up is down, black is white, and you are evil to question either assertion.

I believe this represents an unacknowledged awareness of how terribly wrong Israel has been in recent years, of how brutal its tactics have been, of how ruthless some of its leaders are.

There is wish to make these realities fade away and cling to the dream that inspired the creation of Israel originally.

But, of course, that is as unrealistic as it is immoral.

Reality eventually comes crashing back to all wishful thinkers, and just so to Jews who have worked to suppress the notion that there just might be something wrong with the way Israel has behaved.

One can only hope this eventually leads to peace, genuine peace with equal rights for all in the region.

Right now, it is impossible to distinguish any moral or ethical impulse in the policies of Israel towards its neighbors, much as it is impossible to distinguish any such impulse in the ugly behavior of the United States today towards much of the world.

American behavior today is sometimes described as the "Iraelization" of American foreign policy. That this can be said says a great deal about Israel.