/ / /

haGalil onLine -


Spenden Sie mit PayPal - schnell, kostenlos und sicher!

Search haGalil


Newsletter abonnieren
Bücher / Morascha

Koscher leben...

Aktiv gegen Nazi-Propaganda!
Jüdische Weisheit

Translation of an article to be published
in Ma'ariv on August 22, 2000

Dear Michal!

by Uri Avnery / 19.o8.oo

Uri Avnerys Reaktion auf einen "Offenen Brief" von Michal Oren, in welchem sie auf die Situation der israelischen Gesellschaft reagiert - mit einem Aufruf das Land zu verlassen.

Dear Michal Oren,

When you published your decision to form a group in order to found a new State of Israel somewhere else, my first reaction was intense anger. Who does she think she is, this woman? We are in he middle of a tough struggle for the character of our state, and she wants to desert? And not only that, but she calls on others to do the same, turning desertion into an ideal?

Then I cooled down. I heard the cry. The warning that we are nearing breaking point. Many good people feel that our society is sinking and may soon lie at the bottom of the sea like a Russian submarine. There may be no place in it anymore for decent, civilized Israelis.

So you call for action. Desertion, too, is action. But the wrong action. The right action is, of course, to stand up, to raise your head and fight. Quite simply, to fight for your home.

Home is where 
you get angry

Paradoxically, your call proves that you are a true patriot. A friend of mine once said something that has remained with me: "Home is where you get angry." This friend, an Israeli living in Germany, is quite indifferent to anything happening there, but when he reads Israeli newspapers he gets angry about everything.

You are angry about Shas. About the boundless hutzpah of orthodox people. About the general beastliness spreading through the country, finding expression in the lack of consideration between people, in speech and behavior, in the general texture of Israeli society.

If I were to list the faults of Israeli society as I see them, the space allotted to me would not suffice. Your solution is to find an empty space somewhere in the world and to found the State of Israel II there. In other words, this experiment has not succeeded, so let's go and try again.

Well, first of all, there is no empty country left in the world where you can found a new state. (Actually, Palestine was not empty either, but a hundred years ago it seemed that you could do things which cannot be done today.) But it is possible to emigrate as individuals and join an existing society. To me, that looks like parasitism.

You seem to be saying something like this: Our state is dirty, so let's emigrate to clean Switzerland. Or: In our state the orthodox have taken over, so let's go to the US, where separation between state and religion prevails. But cleanliness was not given to the Swiss by God, and separation of State and religion was not bequeathed to the Americans as a gift. The Swiss and the Americans have struggled hard to achieve them. Now you want to enjoy the fruit of their struggles.

Believe me, it is always bad to be a stranger, a real stranger. We have experienced that. Only somebody born here who has not experienced being a stranger could offer such a solution.

What's special about your country is that even when you feel like a stranger, you know that you have the right and the ability to change things.

A human being is not a tree planted in the earth, he/she is a social animal. Transplantation into an alien society is always painful and frustrating. One does it only when one is uprooted by force from one's native soil, and mostly it ends in longing and return.

Dear Michal, the real question is: Is the battle for our society lost? Has the situation reached the point where we have no alternative but to become refugees? I answer this with a clear No.

There was a sin
and Shas is the punishment

It seems that most of your anger is directed against Shas, which many see as the epitome of alienation, rudeness, ignorance, impertinence and corruption. But Shas is only the symptom of the disease, not the disease itself. You know that after the founding of Israel a million Jews from the Islamic countries were brought here. We were thinking in terms of what is good for the state, as it seemed then, not in terms of what is good for the individual. They felt neglected and discriminated against. Instead of understanding that we were bringing human beings, we brought "aliya" and threw them into remote corners. The great majority in the country at the time did not understand, did not want to see, did not want to act. That was the sin, Shas is the punishment.

But the main social ills are not the fault of Shas or the Russian immigrants, but of society at large. The rudeness, the brutality in human relations, the incivility of social discourse, the belief in naked power as the solution for everything - the outcome of the ongoing war and occupation, the mother of all sin.

Against these ills we can and must fight. They can be vanquished. In many places nuclei of resistance have already been formed - acting to save the environment, to foster education, to create equality of opportunities, to end war and occupation, to safeguard human rights. Individuals and groups are organizing for change. Even your own initiative is, paradoxically, such a nucleus. But it is not those who emigrate who will win, nor those who are freaking out at home in indifference or elegant desperation. When the situation reaches breaking point, thousands and tens of thousands will join the battle.

Don't go, Michal. 
You can make a difference. 
You are needed here.

Get this article in Hebrew

Gush Shalom

Werben in haGalil?
Ihre Anzeige hier!

Advertize in haGalil?
Your Ad here! ist kostenlos! Trotzdem: haGalil kostet Geld!

Die bei haGalil onLine und den angeschlossenen Domains veröffentlichten Texte spiegeln Meinungen und Kenntnisstand der jeweiligen Autoren.
Sie geben nicht unbedingt die Meinung der Herausgeber bzw. der Gesamtredaktion wieder.
haGalil onLine

haGalil - Postfach 900504 - D-81505 München

1995-2006 © haGalil onLine® bzw. den angeg. Rechteinhabern
Munich - Tel Aviv - All Rights Reserved