I do consider myself a “friend of Israel” (as if any Israeli would care) as I do not find any other meaningful way for a European born in the 1960s to relate to the Jewish state. It’s not that anyone in my family has participated in the killing or even the persecution of Jews in the 1930s/1940s (none has, as far as I know…but then, few if any of them had any chance to do bad, or good at the time).
So it’s not a matter of atonement as much as a point of decency: if the culture I was born in as European killed itself and six million Jews in the process (plus a lot of Russians, homosexuals, roma etc etc), it has to be beyond me to make any judgement against the right of the Jews to live in the one state where they would not feel persecuted.
That said, it is as a friend of Israel that I feel great sadness in seeing a country built upon such an ideal, to end up persecuting a people. Something has gone very wrong, as it is obvious when the main reason for a war and 1,000 dead are two democratic elections: the one bringing Obama to the White House, and the one taking place in a few weeks in Israel itself. The former, providing the Olmert Government with the incentive of doing something before the new US President vetoes anything; and the latter, providing it with the incenting of doing something in order not to appear weak next to the fiery intentions of Bibi Netanyahu.
I do not believe your sanity can survive your willing brutalization of somebody living next door. Such a blatant show as these days’, of electoral prowess built upon hundreds and hundreds of corpses, is for me the most recent evidence that, if the state of Israel were a person, it would have been long diagnosed with a plethora of neuroses.
I am ware of the fact that peace may be dangerous for the very existence of Israel as the one State for the Jews, as it would “call the bluff” on many contradictions of the Israeli society. Still, with all its collective mental illness Israel is a democratic nation: as such, it’s the only place where a sane solution to the Palestine problem could surface without any divine intervention (=miracle).
Somebody, please, rise to the challenge, before the brutalization bite back. If you keep teaching your guys how to kill their neighbors physically and politically, you run a very high risk that some of them will start killing their own people, physically and politically.