I am the child of east European Jews who fled hatred, discrimination, and possible death from anti-Semites in Poland and Russia. From an early age, the ideals of Socialism were embedded in my mind. I was raised to believe that Jews could not be free until ALL persecuted people were free. The very concept that JEWS would inflict oppression on others had no place in my mine or thoughts. We were JEWS and thus, above all people of the world, we understood the consequences of hatred gone wild against those unable to defend themselves. Gideon Levy writes for the Israel newspaper, Haaretz. These days when he enters a restaurant, people move away from his table. It is common for Levy to be cursed when he walks in the streets of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. A member of the Israel Parliament, Yariv Levin, told Israelis that “It is time that we stop regarding despicable phenomena like this with tolerance” He was referring to columns written by Levy in which he attacks the method by which the invasion of Gaza occurred. In the Israel of 2014, if one disagrees with any action taken against Palestinians then one is a comrade of terrorists and should be regarded as a traitor to the state of Israel.
According to Gideon Levy what is different this time in Israel from other crisis situations, “is the anti-democratic spirit.” There is zero tolerance for any dissident voice. “The very young people are the worst. More ignorant. MOre brainwashed.” The young no longer convey a spirit of cooperation with Palestinians their age, now, if you are one of “them” then you are a terrorist who must be hunted down and killed. Few young Jewish Israelis have friends among non-Jew Israelis, let along among Palestinians. As the famous Israel writer, Amos Oz notes, life for them has become “black and white.” Naturally, Jews are the guys in white hats!
These are not the Jews I grew up with.