The events of this past week should be remembered. After the Qassam attacks on Sderot have become a natural law; after we got used to it, and thought that Gaza-region residents also got used to it; after we got accustomed to the fact there is no need to look for a motive for each and every Qassam, as they simply keep on pouring down one by one.
After our eyes were opened and we realized that Sderot is a price that the government of Israel is willing to pay; after all this, suddenly the IDF utilized high-level intelligence, coupled with impressive execution ability, and hit the enemy with a lethal and accurate blow. This time, it was done without impassioned speeches and silly words such as “Haniyeh will never forget etc. etc.”
And suddenly, Haniyeh proposed that we all sit down and talk. His Hamas emissaries were interviewed by Israeli media outlets and said that we must not forget abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, and that we can talk business.
The events of this past week should be remembered, because we tend to forget quickly. It is not nice to say that someone only understands force, particularly if that someone is Arab. Yet what can we do, this is how it is with enemies... They only understand force. Otherwise, they apparently would not be enemies.
Is this dated old thinking? Or is it good old straight up common sense that we used to think before we were blinded by new ideas?
Here is another couple of news items that I would like to link together:
Poll: One-third of Israeli youth want to live abroad
A poll carried out by the Smith Institute at the behest of the Israeli Zionism Institute found that 35% of Israeli youth would be interested in moving abroad if they had the opportunity compared with 48% who believe it is better to live in Israel.
And from Haaretz:
Immigration to Israel in 2007 down 6%, at its lowest since 1989
The number of new immigrants arriving in Israel in 2007 was 19,700 - a decline of 6 percent over last year, according to the Absorption Ministry end-of-the-year statistics released on Sunday. This is the lowest number of immigrants since 1989, after the wave of immigration following the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Forecasts for 2008 do not show an increase in newcomers.
35% of youth want to leave. few desire to come.
In short... Gentlemen! We have a problem!
In other words, it is time for Israel and Israelis to wake up. Israelis have lost faith in israel! If we do not invest more in educating people as to why they are here, if we fail to realise that post-Zionism in the Education system is like a cancer in our body eating away at society, then we are doomed to failure. If we fail to attack our basic problems in society - the integration of Israeli Arabs, Education, lawlessness and corruption, a lack of valued in public life - if we fail to make life worthwhile and meaningful here, then we are in BIG trouble.
When will our leaders realise that unless we are proud of Israel, of Judaism of our actions and achievements, unless we stop celebrating America and begin to celebrate Israel, we will have a constant state of Yerida bleeding our society.
We have just experienced a 50 day teacher strike. We are experiencing a deep University strike that threatens the semester in Israeli Higher education. Israeli academics are flocking abroad. Why? some say due to the lack of funds and prestige of Higher education in Israel. I do not know the solution. But I do know that education is essential to the national spirit. We cannot disenfranchise education from Israel, from Zionism, from Judaism. How can we not realise that education is key to a healthy society?
But a further point. society must be healthy, vibrant, empowered and proud. Sometimes we marginalise good and valuable groups in Israeli society like Settlers and people who share their views (15% of country) Haredim (15%) or Arabs (15%). There are those who feel that only the liberal-secular view is legitimate and that is the main persona of the Israeli media. How can we have a society with so many people feeling on the fringes? Can we alienate such wide sections of our loyal population without risking internal collapse?
When will our leaders stop putting out fires and begin to look ahead to the long term view? When will they realise that we have to educate and build Israeli society for a future together, and that is the most important thing or else there will be no society worth defending?
Back to Old thinking maybe? Maybe teach good old-time zionism? That we deserve to be here. Taht we are Jews. That we have a rich Jewish tradition. That we care deeply about books, education, higher cukture, morality, community, kindness, compassion, contribution, land, social Justice, etc. etc. Could that be a cure???
I have lots of things to post about and little time/energy. I am working pretty hard lately and am not always finding the extra hour to write an articulate posting. Nonetheless I do hope to be posting soon on
- the dangers or advantages of the Internet and in particular, the "anonymity" of the Internet.
- the dilemmas and tension between inclusivism vs. exclusivism in Israel/Judaism/and beyond.
- The Israeli Constitution which is being formed as we speak!