patriotism - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Arieh Zimmerman
    • 20.06.10 | 11:44 (IDT)

    The term "patriotism" has become loaded when connected to current events. Everyone knows Samuel Johnson's phrase, ""Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.". Fewer know that Johnson viewed English supporters of the American Revolution as "Traitors to this country", meaning of course, The British Isles. The apparent inconsistency between the two positions is explained by his distinction between "false patriotism" and "true patriotism". Israeli "patriots" of the right wing are like Johnson in that they reserve for themselves the right to choose who is a "true Patriot", and who is not. With the use of hindsight, it seems that English pro-Americans were gifted with a better sense of realpolitik and a truer view of ethical basis of the American demand, "No taxation without representation". At the simplest level, without referring to matters of ethical and moral importance, Israel's collection of taxes belonging to Palestinians on both the West Bank and Gaza, and its subsequent refusal to quickly turn over those taxes to whom they belong is one reason for the inability of the Palestinian authorities to adequately provide vital services for their populations. The resulting poverty of means is surely a major cause for the increasing enmity of normal Palestinian citizens to Israeli and Israelis, and is of advantage only to Palestinian extremists. Closer tot home,It does not seem to me that it is stretching the point to note that Israel's Bedouin, Druze, and Palestinians are well taxed but do not have fair representation in the local and governmental bodies which determine their slice of tax monies. What percentage of taxes spent on education, roads and other municipal services are devoted to Israel's minorities? What percentage in fairness should be devoted to those minorities?

    from the article: The patriot
    First published 01:45 20.06.10 | Last updated 01:45 20.06.10
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