Naivety - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Remco in Jaffa
    • 24.03.11 | 18:22 (IST)

    Gideon Levy, you are proving that you really have no idea about the Western mind. You really haven't got the faintest. Let me start by saying that I strongly condemned the one-sided investigations into the funding of that handful of NGOs. The reason I condemned the Yisrael Beitenu-led move was that it sprang from toothless populism (it is not actually illegal to receive foreign funding so what was the Knesset going to do with the results anyway? i.e. absolutely useless electorate-appeasing nonsense). However, I think you really have no idea about the nature of feelings towards Israel in the West. You might have been to Trinity and the LSE or wherever you've been. You might have met "European and American intellectuals". But you really have no idea about the rest. I do, I really do. I grew up in Europe and America, live in Israel now and am not Jewish. I'll tell you. Western (non-Muslim) popular criticism towards Israel can be divided into two categories: 1. The hardcore - A group which finds the existence of Israel a disgrace - some individual members of this group hide this disgust and only sprout criticism on whatever makes the news at any one time. Example: settlements (which I abhor) are a hot item right now. The members of this group are very influenced by the media, but delude themselves by claiming they're not. Most Europeans on the traditional social democratic left belong to this group. These are the people who hate Israel because Jews "should know better" - these are the people who view everything which happens in the world in terms of "us filthy rich Westerners suppressing poor people" (Jews are these Westerners). They are not necessarily anti-semitic. Their hatred goes much deeper than that. They hate themselves more than anything. And Jews are a representation of themselves. 2. The casual - This group consists of average Joes and Jolinas who only follow the news from the Levant sparingly. They see arrogant Israelis bomb Gaza and feel genuinely bad for Gazans (as they should). Now, Mr Levy, neither group's opinion of Israel is influenced positively by these organisations you mention. I support these organisations' right to exist and even read their findings and reports once in a blue moon, but both of the above groups will not be impressed by Israel's active civic society. What I am saying is that you are naive, I am afraid.

    from the article: Israel's dissidents are saving the country
    First published 02:53 24.03.11 | Last updated 02:53 24.03.11
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