Zeev Raphael, a retiree I know in Haifa, who is passionate about peace, draws these points from Akiva Eldar’s latest Haaretz column:
* We did not take to the streets when Golda Meir turned her back on Anwar Sadat and King Hussein [Before the Yom Kippur War! zr ].
* We stayed at home when Yitzhak Shamir fended off the London Agreement with the Jordanians and the Palestinians.
* Most of us submitted to Ehud Barak’s lie of “there is no partner”
* and bought willingly Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, without an agreement with the Palestinians.
* We passed when the historic Arab peace initiative was proposed – nearly 10 years ago.
* For the past 44 years we have sent our children, and soon our grandchildren, to protect with their bodies a piece of land that is not our own.
* In the 1970s we turned the newspaper’s pages indifferently, showing the photograph of Defense Minister Shimon Peres planting the first tree in Ofra.
* We listened with apathy to his decision to stick the settlement of Ariel in the Palestinians’ throats like a bone.
* Because Israel holds on to Yitzhar and Kiryat Arba, at the heart of the occupied territories, it spends more money on security, roads and public relations than it does on housing, education and health.
Akiva Eldar has summed it up nicely:
Our parents … established an admirable Jewish democratic state. Their grandparents built cities, paved roads and shaped institutions of government, education, health and welfare. They absorbed immigrants (yes, they also made mistakes ), and bolstered our defense against external threats. With the help of military power and moral strength given us by our fathers and mothers — many of them survivors of the inferno — Israel won in six days a military campaign on three fronts.
The day after the victory they told us that they were waiting for a telephone call from the Arabs. They promised us that when our neighbors offered their hand in peace, we would give them back the land. Since then we have stood aside while they sell peace for land. …
And today our grandchildren protect with their bodies a piece of land that is not our own.
Indifference to politics is a growing trend in the world, or at least in America. Israel may not be America or the West, but in my opinion, the attitudes and actions (or lack thereof) of said politicians has contributed to the decline. That’s why movements like the Tea Party, or Israel Beitenu, have their bases; they offer to listen and channel their constituents viewpoints in a unreconstructed manner.