I thought you might find this article of interest. It’s one of the more uplifting reports I’ve seen in an Israeli newspaper in quite some time. The author, Bradley Burston, broadly holding a democratic-left perspective, is an Israeli columnist in Ha’aretz. Originally from the U.S., he was active in the Jewish student movement of the late 1960s, early 1970s, and if I’m not mistaken involved in the U.S.’s Habonim Labor Zionist youth movement. >> Arieh
Think Israel’s a lost cause? Ten reasons to think again By Bradley Burston
I know you’re out there. I feel for you. The person with the good heart and the generous conscience, for whom Israel has become passion turned quiet shame. A person with genuine compassion for Palestinians, who may at this point seem more understandable, certainly more deserving of sympathy than these people, my friends, your cousins, the Israelis.
I have some idea what it feels like, a powerful, not easily comprehended fondness for Israel, a love which feels of late to have been stomped on, twisted, abused, manipulated, silenced, belittled, ridiculed, and, again and again, betrayed. A person who has begun to think that Israel, this Israel, is a lost cause.
You’re in luck. There was a time when, for Jews the world over, standing up for a democracy-minded Israel meant standing up for yourself, for what you, in your heart of hearts, believe. That time is back.
On Saturday night, the weather stone cold and threatening, Israelis who had no expectation that anyone would show up at an underpublicized Tel Aviv street march – a demonstration, believe it or not, in favor of democracy and groups working for social justice and Israeli-Palestinian peace – decided to show up anyway.
The turnout was shocking. Marchers filled the broad square by the Tel Aviv Museum and swelled into the adjacent Shaul Hamelech Blvd., a sea of flags and signs, Jews and Arabs, young and old, spilling over to and lining the long wall of the Kirya, Israel’s Pentagon. Well over 10,000 people, maybe as many as 20,000, blown away by the turnout, blown away, as well, by a sudden sense of hope. …