The march to peace as disengagement from Israeli society
I want to raise the possibility that in the eyes of both sides, implementing peace is like a declaration of a basic status quo when it comes to the individual situation, in other words, the internal Israeli situation.
Veteran actress Hanna Meron also signed the new initiative supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. She participated in the reading of the Israeli Declaration of Independence at the launching event for the initiative on Thursday in Tel Aviv, and was condemned by right-wing demonstrators who disrupted the ceremony. Afterwards the Israel Prize-winning actress was interviewed on the subject in Haaretz (Head to head, April 22 , Hebrew edition). Meron has been around for 87 years, which enables her to say things without having to fear that the whip in the hands of the masses - on the right and on the left - will harm her livelihood or her good name.
That being the case, Meron wants to do everything in her power to "help bring about peace." Why? So that the two nations can "live together in one small, shitty place." Meron wants "only to enjoy myself, my family, my business, my piece of chocolate and that's it." To put it concisely, "simply to live in peace and quiet, everyone minding his own business."
The way Meron understands peace is interesting. What is especially blatant is the strong desire to separate from society and to seclude herself in the smallest possible compartment. The expressions "to enjoy myself," "my family," "everyone minding his own business" - and, in particular, the metaphor "to enjoy my piece of chocolate" - allude to that. I raise the possibility that Meron's "peace" is designed as a tunnel through which one can flee to what is private and personal.
But something is preventing this withdrawal from society. In the simple sense these are the right-wing demonstrators, who come to the event and cause a disturbance. In a broader sense, it is "all the racist laws that discriminate against Arabs and separate them," "our terrible religion" and "the power of the religious."
Now I would like to propose that in the eyes of those "right-wing demonstrators," in the eyes of those "legislators of religious laws," in the eyes of those "religious people" who believe in "our terrible religion," the return of Meron, and as a consequence of "leftists" like Meron, to their homes, to their private lives, is a worrisome possibility. Why does one person desire to live his life while another person does everything in his power to prevent him from doing so?
I would like to raise the possibility that Hanna Meron wants to return to her "piece of chocolate" because she is happy in the place where the chocolate is. She is happy in her home, with her family; she is happy with her life in the streets of her city. And at the same time, I would like suggest that those who are preventing her from returning to her home are afraid that they will have to return to their homes too. I want to raise the possibility that in the eyes of both sides - those who are happy and those who are disturbing those who are happy - implementing peace is like a declaration of a basic status quo when it comes to the individual situation, in other words, the internal Israeli situation.
In Meron's story the Arabs play an almost esoteric role. "We're more civilized, we're smarter, we have to stretch out a hand to them," she says. When she says "we," what does she mean? She means the Israelis. But not all the Israelis. Because there are those "right-wing demonstrators," "legislators of racist laws," "religious people" who believe "in our terrible religion." In other words, "we" is anyone who is not a Palestinian, not a rightist, does not "legislate racist laws" (Yisrael Beitenu, or in other words, Russians ) and is not religious. In other words, "we" is in effect a democratic, secular, left-wing Jewish Israeli.
In Meron's story, "we" are those who have a "piece of chocolate" waiting for them at home, whereas those who are "not us" are those who do not have a "piece of chocolate" waiting for them at home. In Meron's story "peace" is not a matter of justice and equality, but of perpetuating gaps. Hannah Meron is 87 years old: It's worth listening to her.