"I believe it is about time for the "Arab Spring" to reach the Israeli shores. It is time for the Israelis to rid themselves of the bondage of occupation and be free again. It is time to stop zealots and messianic leadership from gradually bringing Israel to the brink of national disaster....It is time for the Israelis to rise up before it is too late and demand an end to the conflict with the Palestinians."How will we do this? Not by such an archaic system as voting, no sir! You see, if there is an election than people Ben-Meir doesn't like might win the election, and he isn't particularly willing to take that chance. He begins by talking about the economic protests last year, and can't understand why "the occupation" wasn't a part of the issue:
"If the Israelis are not conscious of their internal socio-economic malaise, how can they possibly be conscious of the Palestinian plight?"Now, I don't pretend to know what the average Israeli is thinking, but based on what I have read, they have realized that the Palestinians don't want peace, and have simply moved on. That sucks from the Palestinian perspective because they can't ignore "the conflict," but the Israelis can and the Palestinians have only themselves to blame for their apathy. If the Israelis actually thought making peace was possible, sure they might be out there protesting for it. But just a quick look at the recent history shows that there is no one to make peace with, and even if there were, the Palestinians would just lynch them the next day. But hey, let's give Ben-Meir a chance to convince me otherwise. But instead, we just get a strawman:
"Equating the settlement enterprise with national security is not only illusionary [sic], but it robs impoverished Israelis of a dignified living while allowing the conflict with the Palestinians to simmer."The only people to my knowledge who equated settlements with national security were Labor politicians, but to be honest that's besides the point. People aren't equating expanded settlements with security now, and at least not as far as I can see. And as I said before, the Palestinians fight whether there are settlements or not so why not keep building them? After this Ben-Meir points out that expanded settlements and blockades haven't stopped Hamas from terrorizing tens of thousands of Israelis. What he fails to point out is that territorial concessions and the election of left-wing politicians have also not stopped Hamas from terrorizing tens of thousands of Israelis. In fact the departure from Gaza, what you might call the "end of occupation" there, made them stronger and the people there more radicalized. But anyway, time to get back to the calls for the glorious revolution:
"The Israeli public [must] rise by the hundreds of thousands, day in and day out, to put an end to the occupation....It is time for the public to rise, as it takes a short time for preparation -- especially when the timing is right and a window of opportunity presents itself....Young and old Israelis must reclaim these noble values that have sustained the Jews throughout history and will now provide the ultimate security guarantees for Israel."I guess somebody must have really, really liked "Les Miserables." Let me try to break this to you as gently as I can, Alon: That isn't going to happen. Israelis just don't care about the occupation or about the Palestinians. They aren't going to turn out in the "hundreds of thousands" to help people who have killed their friends and family and continue to try to every day. I know that it's easy for you living in New York City to demand that other people fight their battles for you, but maybe if you lived there you might see that others have different priorities. Even I can tell that "security" is just one issue among many, and as long as Abbas remains intransigent and Hamas remains in power, the Israelis aren't going to be running to make concessions to them. Sorry, but that's just how it works.
Let me quote from Ben-Meir a little more just to demonstrate to you that he is being serious, and he isn't speaking in metaphor:
"It cannot be over-emphasized the importance of keeping the uprising non-violent at all costs....The uprising must be en masse, with hundreds of thousands pouring into the streets -- especially in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem -- to demand a change in the status quo....Public relentlessness must be the hallmark of the uprising. The protesters should use symbols and banners to convey their indignations such as: Down With Occupation, We are Against Moral Decadence, Only Peace Provides Safety, Must End Illegal Detention, Democracy cannot be Part of Militarism and Racism, End the Expansion of Settlements, and so on. Some of these slogans should be accompanied by drawings, creating unforgettable images that can make injustices visible and stir strong public emotions."Thank Vishnu for Alon Ben-Meir. Those stupid Israelis aren't even capable of coming up with their own slogans without his saintly help. There's only so much ridiculous pandering that I can take, so let's get out of Alon's dream world and back to reality. Polls! That's one way to do it:
"The message to the Palestinians will be loud and clear. Repeated polls reveal that a majority of Israelis ranging between 65 and 70 percent want a two-state solution to end the conflict, which will disabuse many Palestinians of the notion that Israel does not want peace."Great! And where are the polls that say the Palestinians want peace, that we can use to convince those righties that they are wrong to continue the occupation? Oh wait, there aren't any, because the Palestinians want more war. Ben-Meir dismisses this with a wave of his hand, admitting that the Palestinians have a role to play and a responsibility, but then immediately turns it back on Israel:
"We must start with Israel only because the whole world, including the United States, places the onus on Israel, accusing it of intransigence, defiance and committed more to the settlement enterprise than to peace."Ah yes, the classic "whole wide world" talking point, that we hear so often from the anti-Israel brigade. Again, Israelis know that repeating the mistakes of the past is the definition of insanity. Making concessions and giving a leg up to the Palestinians because they thought it would make them better liked on the world stage is exactly what led to Oslo, which in turn is what led to suicide bombings and more fighting. Which in turn led to Israel being even more disliked.
I must ask him again: What evidence do you have that this time the left-wing approach will turn out any different from the last four attempts? Oh wait, you don't have any? Isn't that the classic political approach: Put us in power and trust us not to make things worse than they already are. And if elections don't work, we'll call for a revolution!
Every time I think the Huffington Post blogger stable can't become more brazen or ridiculous, they surprise me yet again.