Eretz Yisrael Time

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Sometimes it takes an offhand comment by a third party to really let you put 2 and 2 together.

A commenter on
Jameel’s site asked (paraphrased), “And what are the (presumably selfish) Settler’s doing for residents of the south?”

While the ever uncompromising (I used a thesaurus to replace the word I originally had there) ‘Truth’ raised a valid response, Jameel intends to offer a much more comprehensive answer to the point.

But what does that have to do with basic math?

A few weeks ago, during one of my regular schmooze sessions with my leftist friends in Tel Aviv (where they all talk and I quietly listen – since I no longer waste my breath, where no matter how valid my point, they simply pooh-pooh anything from someone they disagree with, but back to the topic at hand…) we were discussing the missile attacks on Ashkelon.

At the time they were making the point that missile attacks are ineffective when it comes to killing people, and Kiryat Shmoneh citizens managed to go through the attacks for years, and Ashkelon will be able to handle it too, even Tel Aviv had 39 scud hits during the Gulf War for a few months and only 1 person died.

At the time, I understood the point to be that strategically, missile attacks are not very effective weapons, and it’s no big deal militarily that the Gazans are shooting them at Israel.

That was the first 2.

The second 2 was in a discussion with some Outpost Youth. One was ranting how the “Face to Face” campaign was mostly ineffective. Someone else said we “settled in the land and not in the hearts” and most Israeli’s didn’t care enough in the end about the Land of Israel.


It was the third party’s comment on Jameel’s site let me put it together.

When it comes down to it, the settlers did fail to “settle the hearts” of our fellow Israelis.

Or did we?

My friends in Tel Aviv are so blasé about the attacks on Ashkelon (Sderot isn’t even worth a comment) and how those on the periphery are used to it. They, in Tel Aviv are only analyzing how many people haven’t been killed from missile attacks (forget about the quality of life issues). During the expulsion they continued their lives as if nothing else was going on.

That says something very scary.

“Face to Face” didn’t fail to “settle in the hearts” the fate of the settlers.

The problem is much deeper. Those on the left, and perhaps even the average Israeli, have completely disengaged from everybody else as long as it doesn’t affect them directly, so of course the campaign failed.

Why should the average Israeli care about settlements or the Land of Israel when they don’t even care about the effect of missile attacks on Ashkelon, Sderot, or Kiryat Shmoneh.

Settler, take a number.

2 + 2 = 4.

17 comments:

Joe Settler said...

Discussing this with Jameel, he blames the NRP for failing to educate the Israeli public for all the years they had control of the education system. Their only concern was for state-religious schools, not for introducing Torah values to the entire Jewish population.
I’ll leave it for him to continue this comment.

tafka PP said...

Those on the left, and perhaps even the average Israeli, have completely disengaged from everybody else as long as it doesn’t affect them directly

Joe,

This is simply not true. Also, you have incorrectly paraphrased the commenter on Jameel's site who wasn't asking that question at all- perhaps because it fits in better with your bitter little hypothesis.

An alternative interpretation of what you suggest: During the disengagment and in the run-up, the "Orange" campaigning (including "Face-to-Face") was very alienating for the majority of Israelis, most of whom are neither Orange nor Blue but somewhere in between. It was all very "them and us", and perpetuated that way deliberately as the expulsion drew closer. So how would you expect your "average israeli" (whatever the hell you mean by that) to relate to, or empathise with, people proclaiming that anyone who doesn't protest the disengagement cannot call themselves a Jew- or an Israeli?

I remember how angry you got when on Zeev's site I said that the settler leadership needed to take some responsibility: I still don't see why you feel it is acceptable to lay all the blame at the door of the "Left". It clearly isn't as simple as that. And if you still choose to think it is, well, good luck to you. Who knows if you even care what anyone who even associated with the allegedly uncaring and heartless Left has to say as a response.

Joe Settler said...

The quote on Jameel’s site was:
“Zeh Sefer Toldot Adam said...
If only you guys cared so much for the poor in the southern development towns as you did for the land of Gaza... then you might see some miracles.”

This indicates to me that the author feels that the Settlers don’t care or do anywhere near enough for the development towns. A discussion that Jameel will be clearly disproving in a future post.

-

I find it interesting, that most (if not all) the left-wing rallies/protests before the hitnakut could not draw a crowd unless there was a big name entertainer involved. TA residents were clearly willing to go out and protest - as long as they got something directly out of it.

It was amusing to watch the over-hyped and over-advertised Dizengoff to Kikar Rabin march barely get a few hundred people (much less Ayalon’s various protests) and how the media then tried to spin it on live TV, but just add a free concert and the protests gets as jam-packed as a... free concert.


I have quite a number of secular, left, and far left friends. We meet nearly every week and I listen quite carefully to what they have to say. (We don’t meet to talk politics or religion, but the subjects tend to come up).

Half of them have no opinion on anything and don’t care about what is going on outside their own “daled amot’, the other half are quite rabid in their laying of blame for everything on the chareidim, religious, settler, rightist, etc.


I’ve had my fill of their blaming the settlers for everything (including not abandoning their homes when ordered too), and how the rocket attacks on Ashkelon are meaningless, and Sderot really doesn’t even deserve a mention.

As an amusing aside, one friend, when he heard it wasn’t going to be, was quite adamant that one of the under-attack southern towns should also be evacuated, until I pointed out to him that it wasn’t a post-67 settlement. He quickly stopped that rant.

I can blame the left, because it is they (some with EU financial support) who are pushing their policies that are purposely backing us into “irreversible” positions to guarantee that their world-view triumphs.

But as all the Oslo deaths repeatedly proved, this path is a dead end.

So while not as “irreversible” as the left hoped, the cost to take back our high ground has proved to be extraordinarily expensive and difficult, but it won’t be impossible.

And back to your statement, whatever the subject, the average Israeli is no longer willing to get involved in or protest anything (not just the disengagement) if he isn’t directly affected by or benefiting from it.
I’m sorry to say that, but this is a serious change in Israeli society that has evolved as of late - in part because the average Israeli seems to see himself as disconnected from all/most others societal sectors.

The only major exceptions I see are the Chareidim and their incredible non-sectorial charity works, and the Settlers for Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael.


You seem to be taking my comments personally. Don’t. Perhaps you are the exception to the rule – which would be very nice.


And as a final point, my post was not bitter. It was an epiphany that explained why all my Tel Aviv friends quite explicitly (and until then, inexplicably) don’t give a damn that missiles are falling on us from Gaza.

Soccer Dad said...

Joe,
I agree 100%.
The NY Times this week featured ten experts to talk about Ariel Sharon. One of them was Hirsch Goodman. I really don't care what he said except to note that a few years ago he wrote that if Ariel Sharon had any honor he would do what Japanese politicians do when they are disgraced and commit Hari Kiri. Now try to imagine Caroline Glick or Sarah Honig writing those same words post disengagement (and pre-stroke). We'd hear about how horrible it was to say such things and the Right is being divisive and hateful.

Rabbi Blau in the most recent Jewish Action wrote that American Jews may well have been turned off by Rabbis telling soldiers to refuse orders to expel residents of Azza. But I don't recall him ever criticizing leftists for refusing orders. (Nor did he have anything to say about the way the government painted residents of Azza as extremists. Where was the promised violence?)

Perhaps Rabbi Blau "expected more" from a population who's largely religious. The problems is that when you set standards for your own; you often don't set any for the other side, leading to a moral imbalance.

But in the end the most powerful reason behind this kind of moral inversion is the sacredness of the Palestinian claims. It's incredible that a nationalist movement whose sole defining characteristic has been destruction should be what defines Israel's legitimacy. But that's the way the world views it.

So anyone who furthers Palestinian aspirations is good. Anyone who questions them is bad and beyond the pale. Thus there's nothing wrong with demonizing those who stand in the way of those aspirations.

tafka PP said...

Ok. I'm not about to attempt to overthrow your reasoning (your TA friends aren't doing me any favours either) but can I stress again that what you said about how nobody gives a crap about each other here isn't true: In case you weren't aware, the growing non-profit sector is filled with Israelis trying to improve society in whatever way they see possible or deem important. And of the hundreds of thousands involved in such work, most don't get paid very much, or anything at all in fact. And as an interesting aside, most social change organizations do not have overtly politicised mandates (outside of struggles for recognition, funds or changes in legislation.) So, on one foot- there is a wealth of evidence to
prove that plenty of Israelis on the "Left" of the sectors you cite care about what happens somewhere beyond their Daled Amot, and are involving themselves in making things better.

But ZSTA was within his rights to throw that (somewhat provocative, perhaps) comment in: Regardless of Jameel's blog, Arutz Sheva's entire journalism focusses around a neverending axis of Heroic/ Religious/Gush-Katif vs Evil-Government/Leftists. So how on earth would the uninformed know that settlers care about anything else?

Joe Settler said...

pp: I just want to note that I don't know ZSTA and am not familiar with his views, nor was this post about him or even my interpretation of what he said.

Merely that his comment caused two seemingly unrelated conversations to click together thus providing me with an answer to something that was bothering me.

Joe Settler said...

I certainly would have expected that someone in the (informed) government would have examined the symbiotic relationship that existed between the Gush Katif settlements and the southern towns, and the further negative impact the expulsion would have on the southern towns as a result.

(Shopping, teaching, jobs, charity, social support, etc.)

Ezzie said...

Excellent post, and more than a bit scary. Are so many Israelis so selfish? Sadly, this is not limited to the left - the Charedim look out for their own interests, the Religious Zionists for theirs. (Another reason to go to votetorah.org...) There's just not enough money to go around, and each looks out for their own community first - and that me-first attitude is transmitted to the entire population.

Joe Settler said...

Actually, many Chareidi charitable institutions help Israelis nationwide regardless of affiliation and belief.

Personally I hope that PP is correct and more secular people are getting out there and helping gratis.

Truth said...

PP,

Would you kindly enumerate [at least some of] these growing number of wonderful 'secular' non-profit organisations doing these important works to improve whatever they deem needing improvement?

The reasons I need this enumeration are:

1) It has become abundantly clear what blatant liars or at best selfish self-centered [but at the same time, blind citizen-servants of the non-sovereign 'protectorate' Israel is unfortunately becoming] morons many of the 'secular' are. Therefore, show us some proof of your pride.

2) If what you say is true, I want to strengthen their hands and deeds [by donating some money to them].


Thanks.


Truth.

Anonymous said...

There was the organization that helped the cats and dogs the evil settlers abandoned In Gush Katif and the Thai workers didn't get a chance to eat.

PP said...

Truth, JS, everyone else- go crazy!


http://www.givingwisely.org.il/

http://directory.beesites.co.il/english/

http://www.matanisrael.org.il/SITE/EN/HOMEPAGE.ASP

http://www.zavit3.co.il/

Joe Settler said...

Excellent links.

Truth said...

PP,

Thanks very much, sister.

Can anyone tell me if that 'Matan' organisation gets any 'media time'? Why is something like that so obscured [unless it's just me who was unaware]?

Truth.

Ben-David said...

Ezzie - this is not so much about Israelis being selfish as it is about them being bewildered and shell-shocked.

The average secular Israeli has had almost every one of his/her major assumptions and values challenged or overturned - either by the explosive expansion of media and material wealth, or by the geopolitical situation.

One of the emblematic moments of this past summer was when my sister found herself in Sderot as part of the protests - and observed the citizens of that city going about their business as if the settler's problems were totally unrelated to their own future security. Part of this is simply that many Israelis have had any expectations of a truly responsive/representative government wrung out of them. Look how many times right-of-center governments have been voted in by substantial majorities, only to be subverted by the leftist elites. After a while in such a corrupt environment, you give up caring and start looking out for yourself.

In a way, the Soviet immigrants are better prepared for Israeli political culture than we westerners.

tafka PP said...

Truth, I think Keren Matan do have a lot of TV advertising. They used to, at least.

Anonymous said...

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