One of the more annoying arguments commonly used by right-wingers against “the White Tel-Avivian lefties” is that “all you’re interested in is your espresso,” meaning your navels and nothing else, not the Land of Israel or the People of Israel, not peace or democracy or any such nonsense.
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And lo and behold, as if to confirm this attitude, the comic artist and caricaturist at Yedioth Ahronoth, Daniella London-Dekel, suddenly steps out of her usual confines and publishes a pointed personal grievance: “Last weekend my son, a combatant in the Nahal paratroop brigade, was called on to safeguard the ‘run of the forefathers,’ an event held by settlers in Hebron. Due to the ‘important’ nature of this event my son did not come home for the weekend.”
A short Google search shows that this event has been held in Hebron for eight consecutive years. For the first seven it didn’t bother London-Dekel that soldiers miss out on spending a weekend with their families due to this event. Only this year, when her precious son was called for guard duty there, did she suddenly remember how awful and terrible this is. Why, actually? Who is supposed to watch over settlers running through the city of our forefathers? Other soldiers? Darker ones? Those who aren’t the sons of “White Tel Avivian lefties”?
It’s not only that. Of all the things being done by her son and his companions in Hebron and the territories, it’s not the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people, God forbid, that riled her. The issue that caused London-Dekel to cry out was but a trivial meaningless event such as this race.
London-Dekel, in her soft and delicate whimper, is only echoing the malignant disease suffered by Israelis who see themselves as leftists or liberals or peace advocates. Just like her, the vast majority of these people continue to “send” their sons and daughters to fill the ranks of the IDF, taking photos of themselves and their “children” at the tribal initiation ceremony held at the entrance to the army’s induction center, with hugs and tears and joy all around. They hurry to post these photos on Facebook, telling everyone how proud and moved they are.
But where exactly are you “sending” your sons and daughters after they are inducted, your pride and joy, into military service? What do you think they do there, in that army? Don’t you read newspapers? Don’t you watch TV? Haven’t you been living here for the last 50 years?
So here’s a tiny hint: For the last 50 years the IDF has been investing most of its resources, time, effort and soldiers in almost only one project – the maintenance and preservation of the oppression of the Palestinian people in Judea and Samaria, as well as in Gaza. This vast oppressive system also includes the protection of Jewish settlers who serve as the spearhead of this oppression. They indeed hold runs, supposedly in the name of our forefathers, comprising the vanguard of the People of Israel while dragging the rest of us behind them.
How convenient it is to imagine that others, or the sons and daughters of others, are implementing this oppression. Then we can pretend that we don’t see or know anything about it. Maybe there even isn’t such a beast as the oppression of the Palestinians. After all, it’s the hands of others, not those of our pure and unsullied children, who are perpetrating this evil.
However, from time to time the truth pops up, as in London-Dekel’s case. It hits us square in our smug faces. It’s not others or the children of others. It’s us, all of us, our sons and daughters. The responsibility, or blame, is all on us.