Israeli broadcaster Shlomi Eldar gave Ha'aretz an important interview, in which he talked about some things that Americans are not allowed to discuss
A few days after the end of Operation Pillar of Defense, I gave a talk at a Herzliya high school. The children, who said they came from good homes, told me we have to kill all the Arabs, including the Israeli Arabs, because where do they get off thinking they will get control of the country. Their ideal is to go into the army and kill as many Arabs as possible. That’s one side of the picture, Israeli youth, the new generation, living in an atmosphere of demonizing the Palestinians − which is something the Israeli media are responsible for in no small measure. The other side of the picture is the young generation in Gaza, a child of five or nine. Let’s say he is not wounded, but a four-ton bomb landed next to his house. Do you know that in Operation Pillar of Defense, not one pane of glass remained intact in the whole of Gaza? It’s a tactic of creating sonic booms to frighten people without hurting them. A child who has a bomb like that land next to him can’t hear anything for the next three days. What does he think about the Jews afterward? And where will we end up, if this is how Jewish youngsters think about Arabs?
We are on a nothing-to-lose track. Which is why I say there is no future. When I told the high school class that we have to look at them as human beings, one boy jumped up and said, “Who do you vote for? You’re extreme left, no?” I replied, “It would surprise you to know who I vote for.” But that’s not the point. The point is that we in Israel have reached a situation in which if someone says we have to talk peace, he’s considered extreme left.
Lately, I've been reading the work of Gershom Scholem, the brilliant historian of Jewish mysticism. Born in Germany in 1897 to parents who were very
assimilated Jews, young Gershom -- then called Gerhardt -- rebelled against his father by becoming an ardent Zionist at the age of 14. He signaled his conversion to Zionism by hanging a picture of Theodore Herzl on the family Christmas tree, an image which I find amusing.
His brothers also rebelled -- one by becoming a far right thug, the other by becoming a Marxist.
Scholem moved to the land now called Israel, where his academic pursuits gained him an international following. Despite his expertise in Kabbalah (and, as many now forget, Gnosticism), he never became an observant Jew and seems to have held no personal belief in the supernatural. His meticulous, logical approach to fundamentally irrational material may explain my interest in his work.
Professor Scholem always favored equal rights for the native Arabs. He always favored peace. If he were alive today, many in Israel would label him "extreme left."
I doubt that he would continue to live there. I doubt that he would consider Zionism a success.