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Caught Between Sobbing And War Chants

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Editor's Note:

Not all voices out of Israel are unreasonable. More and 
more sane voices are being raised. This is becoming more 
common as the Zionist ideology recedes into the dust bin 
of history. This ideology cannot survive and there will 
be peace once it disappears. 

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Caught Between Sobbing And War Chants – by Gilad Atzmon

Monitoring the current Israeli collective pornographic 
lament in the Hebrew press, I found, to my amazement, a 
critical editorial written by Dr. Mordechai Keidar, an 
Israeli rightwing academic. 

"Our enemies," says Keidar, "see in front of them a 
frenetic, emotional, weeping, corrupted, hedonistic, 
possessive and liberal nation. People who grab and eat, 
people who lack historical roots, people who are short 
of ideology, naked of values, lack a sense of solidarity. 
People who are only concerned with the 'here and now', 
people who are happy to pay any price without taking 
into account the grave consequences of their reckless 
behaviour." (Dr. Mordechai Keidar: 

It is slightly encouraging to find out that someone in 
Israel may realize how severely the Israeli reality is 
viewed. Keidar grasps how pitiable the current collective 
mourning festival appears to outsiders and Israel's 
neighbours in particular. As much as one can empathise 
with the pain of the soldiers' families, Regev and 
Goldwasser were IDF soldiers in uniform serving a very 
hostile army. When abducted they were in a military patrol 
on the disputed Lebanese border. For those who still didn't 
get the picture, they were soldiers rather than merely 
'innocent civilians'. They were theoretically capable of 
defending themselves. The case of Gilad Shalit is not very 
different. Shalit, who is presented in the world media as 
an 'innocent victim' was nothing less then a post guard in 
an Israeli concentration camp, namely Gaza. Shalit, like 
Goldwasser and Regev, was wearing an IDF uniform when 
captured. Neither Regev, Goldwasser nor Shalit were 
victims. They were all serving a state that employs some 
devastating genocidal tactics including starvation, ethnic 
cleansing and assassination of those it views as its 

However, it is rather astonishing to find out how short 
the Israeli collective memory is. The failed IDF rescue 
of Regev and Goldwasser, following Hezbollah's successful 
ambush evolved into Israel launching the Second Lebanon 
War. In an act of retaliation, retribution and vengeance 
Israel demolished Lebanon's infrastructure, it flattened 
southern Lebanon towns and villages as well as some 
neighbourhoods in Beirut. It killed more than a thousand 
Lebanese civilians. Somehow the Israelis managed to forget 
all of this. The only thing the Israelis see is two black 
coffins. They even managed to neglect the fact that in 
return they themselves traded 190 plain coffins containing 
the bodies of Hezbollah militants. 

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The Israelis are pretty gifted in seeing themselves only. 
In their eyes, their pain is somehow superior to the pain 
others feel. Yet something puzzles me. In the light of the 
Israeli collective necrophilic weeping event I find myself 
rather confused. If Israel and the Israelis can hardly get 
over two tragic Israeli military casualties, how will they 
be able to cope with the global war they insist upon 
launching against Iran. If the Israelis cannot cope with 
two coffins, how will they ever be able to cope with Tel 
Aviv turning into the site of a mass grave? Their war cries 
suggest that this is something they seem to insist upon 
involving themselves in. 

Funnily enough, Dr. Keidar suggests an answer, "Only a 
nation full with ideological conviction, a nation with 
a sense of a strong belief in its just way, a nation who 
feels part of an historical process, a nation that can 
take the pain and buy its survival with blood, sweat and 
tears, only such a nation can last in the Middle East. 
This region," says Keidar, "doesn't have room for Post 
Jewish Rugs who sooner or later will reveal their true 
face as post Zionists." 

I must admit that Keidar, the Israeli rightwing zealot 
has a point. People who collapse in front of two coffins 
better not initiate another international conflict. The 
Israelis are just not made of the right stuff. They are 
not exactly a nation of Spartan warriors. As much as 
they enjoy inflicting pain on others, they really can't 
abide the idea of suffering themselves, they are clearly 
not ready to sacrifice; actually, they are a bunch of 
defeated cowards. They better run away for their lives. 
As Keider pointed out, their chance to survive in the 
region is zilch. 

 Gilad is an Israeli peace activist who contributes the

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