Saturday, February 3, 2001

Rational middle class Jew

Note to the careful reader: D. tells me that not everyone is capable of understanding the irony or sarcasm in some of my messages. However, if I state that what I am going to say is not simple and straightforward, I will lose most of the effect. Anyway, the following is ironic or sarcastic or something like that. RK

Press item: Fifty percent of Israeli Arab voters will boycott the coming elections. Another twenty five percent are expected to cast a blank ballot. This same public granted Ehud Barak 96% of its votes in the May 1999 elections.

Ethnic Rationalism and Ethnic Emotionalism

I guess that I am sort of lucky. No one in my family or in the family of any of my friends was killed during the Intifada. No one became a permanent invalid. No one was even injured. No one was stopped at a check post. No one suffered from the blockade, the curfew. It’s amazing, isn’t it. Even here, on this side of the Green Line, none of my friends or none of their families were killed or wounded or jailed.Maybe it is because I am a middle-class Israeli Jew.

Fortunately, being a member of this particular socio-economic category and this particular ethnic group helps me to maintain a cool, analytical outlook. We are a highly educated group with a large percentage of academics and as a group we have done pretty well during this last decade of economic expansion. Our children grow and prosper and we are relieved if they are not totally infected by the prevailing chauvinist hysteria. We do not have many friends who have seen their children run, day after day, into the maw of death to throw a stone at heavily armed soldiers..

Since we are in full possession of our analytical and rational faculties we can also understand the emotions of Israeli Palestinians and the reasons that they are unable to vote rationally. We, a bit above the fray, can weigh, analyze, differentiate, calculate, and on the basis of all this, conclude that we must vote for Barak, even though he is immediately and directly responsible for launching and conducting a ‘low-intensity’ war against the Palestinian people. We can also see that this choice is unaffected by our [social economic and ethnic] status, but is a result of the application of pure wisdom.

Therefore, we are going to act rationally and go and vote for the man who is responsible for the descent of our society into racism and chauvinism, we are going tovote for the very same man who has succeeded in disgracing the name of peace, who pushed the two peoples even further apart. We won’t actually say this to the Palestinian citizens in Israel, but we hope that they will ‘get the message:’ Please, be so kind as to overcome your emotions and act as we do with sharp and incisive logic.

* * * *
End of Irony – No more Sarcasm

Sharon is going to win and I am not to blame!

Sharon and Barak are two stages of a single disease. Sharon may represent the worse stage. However once you are infected with the Barak virus, you are going to get the Sharon reaction. You must be careful and alert. The Sharon phase, inevitable after the Barak infection, is dangerous and demands vigilant response. In order to render proper treatment, you must understand the source of the disease and that any attempt to counter it with more Barak is senseless if not dangerous. The chances of an organism to survive and overcome the Sharon stage depends on the number of anti-bodies it has developed in the Barak stage. We must be vigilant and concerned. The dangers are real. However, irrational fear is like, trying to put out a fire with kerosene. Blind fear is the worst of all counselors. Start fighting Sharon and building a united front for peace today.

Who Is Really Concerned About Sharon

The Labor Party doesn’t fear Sharon. Otherwise they would have dumped Barak.Meretz doesn’t fear Sharon, otherwise they would have chosen Peres.Meretz was Barak’s only loyal supporter after the Labor Party had for all practical purposes disappeared from the election battle. Sarid and Co. could have pressured Barak to resign, but they did not fear Sharon that much.Barak doesn’t fear Sharon. He could have reduced Sharon’s chancing of winning. But he refused to resign.

The Left Must Criticize Itself

Meretz and most of the left extended unconditional support to Ehud Barak before and after he was elected. If Meretz had refused to agree to the inclusion of the MAFDAL (the settlers party) unless Barak disbanded a few notorious settlements such as Netzerim, Itamar, Hebron, we might have blocked his abject surrender to the right. Our sad contribution to the present crisis is really our unconditional support. Barak had every right to believe that whatever he did, the peace movement would have to vote for him, for lack of any viable alternative. Once again, we are asked to render unconditional support….

Back to Sarcasm

In summary, rational middle-class Israeli Jews will vote en masse for Barak.Irrational, emotional, childish Israeli Palestinians will give vent to their frustrations and boycott the elections or vote with a blank ballot. There will be a few Jews who will betray their class interests and social obligations and vote as if they were Arabs.