|Israeli nationalists attacking Israeli peace protesters|
This pathology, however, isn't part of the official discourse about Israel. No US president has talked about it nor have the members of congress who routinely voice their unanimous, unconditional support for Israel and its occupation and it massacres.
But now, Israel's recently elected president, Ruven Rivlin, is talking about it openly. The title of this post is a quote from him.
It's with Rivlin's thoughts about Israel's mental illness that The New Yorker's editor David Remnick begins one of the most honest and straightforward assessments of the situation in Israel you'll find in the American mainstream media, or anywhere else for that matter.
Remnick's piece is really part of a discussion now being taken up by some influential Israelis about whether the "two-state solution" is dead, and what a one-state solution might look like. It's almost all from an Israeli perspective, which in some ways makes it more convincing and in some ways reveals an ulterior motive to discussions like this.
Remnick talks to well connected Israelis, some of whom have given up on the two state solution and some who have not, and some of whom, significantly, are honest about the importance played in this discussion by Zionism's original fatal flaw, which is that despite the holocaust and the discrimination and mistreatment Jews have suffered in many places and times, Zionism, starting a Jewish only state in Palestine, wasn't the remedy for that. Because the Palestinians were already there, it wasn't right to take their land, and they would never stop trying to get it back.
I recommend the article for anyone wanting a better understanding of the current situation and of the prospects for a just settlement to the problem. Remnick isn't optimistic. He ends the piece by drawing a parallel between what finally did South African apartheid in and what Israel is facing -- which is the effect isolation, disrespect, and being shunned eventually has on a country's elites. They eventually want it to end.
Here's he's referring to the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in support of Palestine and the beginning of the fraying of support for Israel in high places and more widely among the general public worldwide. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, really has some Israelis and Israel supporters worried. Some in Israel's leadership have called it the most serious threat to Israel's existence there is. It's possible that people like Remnick, and like Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman, who I consider to be "soft Zionists," are being honest about Israel and having this discussion more from a desire to save Zionism from itself than a desire for justice for the Palestinians.
If that's the case, so much the better if it prompts them to be more honest about Israel. People like that, however, who want to decide on a solution and impose it on the Palestinians, instead of letting Palestinians say what justice means to them, know in the back of the minds that although there seems to be no way out of the current situation, there's always the "status quo," that is, plugging along for another generation or more as things are, and just dealing with the problems it creates.
Even at that, the more honest these people are about Israel the better. But better still is that because world opinion might be getting away from opinionators like them, Israel's future may not be determined by them, or by the US congress, or Israel.