Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: Back in November 2010, I briefly attended a One State Conference in Stuttgart. In my address, I pointed out that unless we elaborate on Jewish culture within the context of Israeli politics, any discussion on ‘reconciliation’ or ‘One State’ would be a complete waste of time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlvaN2c-Oto
A few days after the conference, I learned that Palestinian activist Ali Abunimah was outraged by my comment. He denounced me suggesting that political actions 'have nothing to do with culture or heritage.
Apparently, today’s Haaretz editorial is in full agreement with me. “Israel Must Undergo a Cultural Revolution,” it suggests. I genuinely want to believe that since 2010, Abunimah and his friends within the Jewish 'Left' (Mondoweiss & Co) have matured a bit and are now ready to grasp the real meaning of the conflict within the appropriate cultural context.
Haaretz Editorial - informationclearinghouse.info
Without a revolution based on humanist values, the Jewish tribe will not be worthy of its own state.
The Israel Police was quick to label the murderers “Jewish extremists,” meaning they aren’t part of the herd, they are outliers, “wild weeds.” This is the police’s way of trying to justify a sin, to “make the vermin kosher.” But the vermin is huge, and many-legged. It has embraced the soldiers and other young Israelis who overran the social media networks with calls for revenge and with hatred for Arabs. The vermin was welcomed by Knesset members, rabbis and public figures who demanded revenge. Nor did it skip over the prime minister, who declared “Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created.”
Abu Khdeir’s murderers are not “Jewish extremists.” They are the descendants and builders of a culture of hate and vengeance that is nurtured and fertilized by the guides of “the Jewish state": Those for whom every Arab is a bitter enemy, simply because they are Arab; those who were silent at the Beitar Jerusalem games when the team’s fans shouted “death to Arabs” at Arab players; those who call for cleansing the state of its Arab minority, or at least to drive them out of the homes and cities of the Jews.
No less responsible for the murder are those who did not halt, with an iron hand, violence by Israeli soldiers against Palestinian civilians, and who failed to investigate complaints “due to lack of public interest.” The term “Jewish extremists” actually seems more appropriate for the small Jewish minority that is still horrified by these acts of violence and murder. But they too recognize, unfortunately, that they belong to a vengeful, vindictive Jewish tribe whose license to perpetrate horrors is based on the horrors that were done to it.
Prosecuting the murderers is no longer sufficient. There must be a cultural revolution in Israel. Its political leaders and military officers must recognize this injustice and right it. They must begin raising the next generation, at least, on humanist values, and foster a tolerant public discourse. Without these, the Jewish tribe will not be worthy of its own state.