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Aktiv gegen Nazi-Propaganda!
Jüdische Weisheit

Mass Psychosis Calling to War:
Facing the Truth

Ami Isseroff


Kibbutz Afikim


When an individual cannot discern reality he or she should seek medical advice. When a society loses the ability to face the truth it is in danger of mass psychosis. Both Israeli and Palestinian societies are fast approaching that state. I will not go into the details of how Palestinians see the current situation, because I am not a Palestinian, except to say that no side has a monopoly on self-deception. Both sides are urgently in need of reality testing, and postponement is leading to disaster.

I am worried about the Israeli side, because I am an Israeli, and if my society loses touch with reality we are in big trouble. We have suffered a tiny fraction of the losses in life incurred by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs in these disturbances. However, beyond the bland assurance by the Israeli army that they are acting with maximum restraint, there has been practically no action taken to reduce the number of casualties. They are hardly discussed at all in Israeli media. 

The over 120 Palestinian casaulties together probably got less coverage then the two soldiers lynched in Ramallah. And every one of those deaths is hurting Israel. Not just because of the little boy shot to death in Netzarim who was filmed by French Television and give Israel bad press in the world, not even because every one of those deaths, are moving us further and further away from peace with our neighbors. They are hurting us where we live, in the substance of our society and our self respect. Some examples:

Asil Asli of Arabeh village was a teenager, a member of the Seeds of Peace group, known for his green Peace T-shirt and easy-going manner. When the troubles started, he went outside to watch one day from a hill overlooking the demonstration. When police broke up the demonstration they ran past the demonstrators striking right and left- and they killed him.

A 29 year old Palestinian man was shot down while he was trying to get demonstrators to stop throwing rocks. A 47 year old Palestinian lady with leukemia was badly beaten by settlers today while she was out picking olives. In Nazareth, two Arab citizens were gunned down by Israeli demonstrators on the day before Yom Kippur.

There are just a few examples. Not a single one of these people were endangering Israeli security. Most of them were not even demonstrating. None of these deaths should have occurred. But there has been hardly any questioning. Israeli TV Channel 2 ran a story about Asil Asli, but the other cases are not reported. All we see are the justifiably upset citizens of Gilo and other places that have suffered from Palestinian fire and all we hear are the cries of right-wing politicians for tough action now.

So, my fellow Israelis, the next time you are tempted to get self-righteous about Palestinian barbarism and the lynching of the two soldiers in Ramallah, think of Asil Asli please, and of all the others like Asil who wanted peace and coexistence as much as you or I, and what we are doing to them.

Ami Isseroff

haGalil onLine 25-10-2000

Ferienwohnung in Israel - Tel-Aviv

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