It's not too much of a mystery why liberals have a hard time with Israel. And it only has a little bit to do with what Israel actually does. Because, if actual actions are the measure, why don't we unload this mount of vituperation on Syria, China, Myanmar, Sudan and the entire list of other countries who freely do to their own citizens ten or a hundred times more than Israel does? After all Israel has an active opposition, an active press, a peace movement, everything that none of these other countries allow.
Liberals are disappointed because 'their guys' actually turned out to have a mind of their own and their own ideas on how to survive. After WW II, the Jews were pitied for the effects of the Holocaust and they became sort of an example of people who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps after being treated horribly. Israel was enormously successful as a country and a society – and of course Jews were prominent in virtually every area of American culture as avatars for the smart and the successful. And their image was clean and bright and peace-loving and – sort of harmless. After all, what kind of people let themselves be killed by the millions without responding.
So far, so good. The honeymoon period persisted through several wars and the David continually bested against the Goliath – and the Israelis were still 'the good guys.' Gradually, Israel took on the trappings of a real nation, an actual democratic country and began to pursue policies that would ensure their own survival – and another pitiable minority began to emerge, the Palestinian refugees. (Why the 500,000 Palestinians were puposefully left to fester in refugee camps while an equal number of Jews expelled, property-less, from the Arab countries were absorbed into Israeli society is a question that doesn't seem to come up.)
So Liberals became upset that their 'good guys', their exemplars,the people who suffered a lot and still carried on, actually became adults with minds of their own. Somehow they should have just persevered and let us figure out how to act - after all, aren't we the big brother who saved them?
I think that liberals feel rejected because Israel didn't do what the liberals would have wanted them to do, although, what the Israelis should actually have done is very much undefined. In a previous comment, I asked anyone to tell me , with due consideration of the statements of the Palestinian governments, what Israel should actually have done – at any stage to make teh situation better and still ensure their survival.
The behavior of the Israelis in some situations has not been good. How does it compare with the actions of other governments with the same degree of power of their occupied territories? For just one example, how has China acted toward the Tibetans? In point of fact, how does it compare with the actions of the US, the French in Vietnam, the Belgians in the Congo and damn near everyone else. The reality is that, throughout history, most countries who could exercise power did so, often brutally.
Why does the actions of the Israeli government attract so much anger from liberals. These, remember, are the same liberals who would go to court to explain why a teenager should be excused from bad acts because he grew up in a tough neighborhood and hostile surroundings.
Besides the internalized anger at being rejected, there is also a non-subtle racism here. Liberals have traditionally excused the rantings of Palestinian leaders as just that, talk. The kind of tolerance we give towards those who don't know better. But of course the Israelis should. And they should be perfect. And they should tolerate everything. And they shouldn't worry about their own survival. And they should not be affected by sixty years of being surrounded by hostile adversaries who, to this day, preach that they should be driven into the sea.
Would anyone here care to predict what would have happened if the power balance had tilted the other way?
Instead of sending people to convence the Israelis abut peace, perhaps the churches of the US should send demonstrators to convince the various Palestinian parties that they shouldwork towards peace. Ot are the churches concerned about the reception tehy would get from that side of the table.
Before anyone starts frothing I am a realist, Israel has done some bad things from my viewpoint and I wish that there was peace in the middle East but I don't think that 3 million more Jews have to die to make that happen.
(If you're going to make remarks about financial aid, new Nazis or other silly ranting, don't bother. I erase spam and have no tolerance of babbling morons either.)
My life is photography and, with every post, I try to include an appropriate picture that I've taken. This is a work gang on the roads of central Myanmar - probably unpaid civilians working as slave laborers. The soldier on the right coming into the frame got very angry I had my camera out. My guide assured him I hadn't taken any pictures and bought him off with some dollars and cigarettes.