Mr. Burton and his plea - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Yaakov Sullivan
    • 20.05.05 | 15:30 (IDT)

    Mr. Burton says that over the years most Israelis have identified more with their revolutionary clan than with the nation as a whole. In other words, there seems to be no national consensus. I don't think there every was in the county's history a national consensus, a national ethos that transcended the demands of the clan. There was an objectified enemy, who at times of war and times of nonbelligerency acted as a catylist in holding together these diverse and competing segments of Israeli society. That was it. But even that apparent unity has been torn asunder over the past 37 years. There is no longer a consensus regarding the external enemy and the national mythology, for years sacrosanct, has now been brought into question. Humpty dumpty has fallen and cannot be put back together again. Each of the diverse clans will coalesce into even tighter, more cohesive units becoming in the process more alienated from each other What is happening is that the chickens are coming home to roost. Mr. Burton says that "passion is vastly more seductive than compassion, assault much more instinctive that understanding, demonization than dialogue." This is precisely the point. These are three essential national character traits that have been missing in the equation and there is no evidence that they are about to be engendered as a result of the disengagement. The opposite is true. Entrenchment over sould searching or questioning. One phrase struck me since it is so very current in all discussions regarding this impending disengagement. Buton writes: "the settlers pain is already profound, their trauma likely to last for years. I guess this is where his plea for the need of compassion comes in. Now, I know that I would be defined by Burton as a member of the leftist, liberal clan, but my question is this: does anyone else, from any of the various Israeli clans, upon reading these statements regarding the pain of the settlers (which I accept as a statement of fact)ask themselves about the pain that must have been felt by the palestinian refugees in 1948 who were driven from their homes without regret or kid gloves and who were never, unlike these newly arrived Gazans, compensated for their property. Empathy. Where is it? Now, don't go into one of these, yes but it was war and they were hostile and we asked them to stay defensive arguments. Burton talks of compassion over passion. Just ask yourselves the question. It might lead to empathy which might led to soul change which might result in the national consensus Burton hopes for in all of this.

    from the article: Something for everyone - to hate
    First published 00:00 20.05.05 | Last updated 00:00 20.05.05
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