Middle East problems Recent blog posts

Middle East problems

I am including here extracts from a piece I wrote for TreboilPress


at http://trebolpress.com/2013/10/alon-serpers-review-of-a-terrible-case-of-beauty-by-lynn-cohen/


It is relevant to this day and the escalation that now includes my own city of Tel-Aviv-Jaffa and my family and friends

The Palestinians are being denied their most basic freedom of movement and freewill, because of the fear and traumas of the Israeli Jews who are living the traumas of their collective history. The Palestinians are forced to pay a collective price for the terrorism of the few.


The Jews are seeking their own piece of haven and their own self-determination in their biblical homeland. They do so after two thousand years of exile and diaspora, which entailed a complete and utter dependency on other nations and people, and suffering horrific persecution and systematic killing and butchery, the latest of which being the Shoah (holocaust). In their biblical homeland, they are met by the Palestinians who do not think they should pay the price for this ill justice that happened far away. 


This terrorism is becoming increasingly vicious as the despair and degradation grows. It leads to an endless cycle of an act of Palestinian terrorism which is followed by an act of retaliation by the Israeli defense forces who are eager to demonstrate that things have changed and Jews can no longer be harmed without retaliation and protection. The retaliation is usually harsh and swift and aims to serve as preventative deterrence. 


Nonetheless, this Israeli retaliation is followed by a Palestinian revenge attack in the form of another suicide attack which is retaliated by the Israeli defense forces, with great force that aims to deter even more, and the cycle continues and continues.


The Israeli Jews are collectivizing the Palestinian Arabs for the atrocious actions of the few. They are determined to prevent terrorism at all costs.


They let their desire for “security” dictate their interactions with their occupied and their actions. They see all means as legitimate for the purpose of preventing further killing of Jews in their homeland. They have their own extremists and religious fanatics who believe they are living and fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham and the other fathers of the Jewish nation and that the Arabs are the Amalek people who the Torah ordered to annihilate. The Palestinians, on their part, perceive all Jews and Israelis as evil tormentors.


The Israelis view themselves as a small island of civilization and an enlightened and superior culture among a sea of barbaric, blood-thirsty sub-cultures of subhuman beasts. The Palestinians perceive the Israelis as a short episode of foreign invaders that will be spat out of the region, much like the Crusaders were. The two sides do not trust each other even though they are forced to co-exist somehow together in the same land.


In that reality, individuals are being swallowed by the system and structures of Occupation and Terrorism that become more and more cruel, collectivizing, tormenting and dehumanizing as times goes by and finding the solution gives its way to the status quo of a cycle of bloodshed, degradation, and feelings of indifference and hatred.


Each side stubbornly and angrily shouts its linguistic assertions at the world and the other side and a true dialogue of reaching and understanding the other side is distancing away. It sees individuals and the other side through the lenses of these abstract clichés and this absurd context. The solution becomes more and more complex as realities are formed on the ground that coincide with these clichés.

The Druze people constitute a third party caught in the middle of this absurdity. They are torn between their loyalty to their Arab culture and home language, to the Israeli Jewish authorities, and to their distinction and sovereignty as a separate entity in the Middle East and Israel. The Palestinians see them as the cruelest among their occupiers and the Jews undermine their authority with the Palestinians.


Palestinians or Israelis, Americans, Swedish or Canadians, Jews, Muslims or Christians, we are all human beings wrestling with our conscious, collective national history, identity, culture, moral dilemmas, doubts and insecurities, personal history and psychology and wish to transcend them and better ourselves as individuals.


We are seeking our idiosyncratic happiness and a good future and present for ourselves, and carefully calculating the price for this and how much it is worth for us.  We are then taking actions or remaining idle. Perhaps if we all rebel against the absurd context and the abstract linguistic clichés in which we live and which form our collectivizing cultures, begin to question it and them, self-reflect, and co-enquire with the other side, we shall prevail against it and them, regain our individuality, with its moral and immoral human sides, and improve this world with its absurdities, conflicts and irrationalities.


The solution of individuals acting and living out and moving about and rebelling against the cultural, nationalistic, ethnic and social clichés and abstractions that fixate and imprison them and destroy them is in my opinion the right one. 


It worked in South Africa when the whites stopped perceiving the blacks and the ANC as Communist threats who are endangering their existence and the blacks stopped seeing the whites as aliens in Africa. And in my opinion it will work in the Middle East when Israelis and Palestinians will stop abstracting and objectifying each other to linguistic clichés and start seeing each other as complex human beings seeking to live a good life and construct a good future for themselves.

Posted by Alon Serper on 11 July 2014 12:36:02

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Alon Serper
Let us understand the other side, engage him or her, put ourselves in their shoes.

Let's stop yelling at the other side and dismiss his/her saying and pain.

Let's really dialogue.
14/07/2014 14:53:54
Alon Serper
Thank you Sameera,

Racism is inexcusable. There cannot be any other sentiments or anything that is not disgust and protest and hopefully, upon reflection, self-disgust.

I put another piece expressing my disgust at two girls' actions.

I understand that Israelis see the two young girls as a "few rotten apples" and I urge them to take these youngsters and their view seriously nevertheless.

The Afrikaners who protested against apartheid were much more brave than me for Israel is still a democracy that claims to value pluralism.

I am torn between my sympathy to the Gazans and my concern for my family and friends living in Israel.

I think both sides are to blame. And I think Israelis should see how strong they have become and the economic miracle they performed and stop seeing themselves as the eternal victims. This is part of the Israeli pathology.

I would have loved to form dialogues on this issue of co-existence in dignity, humanity, equality, wellbeing, empowerment and growth for all.

Looking forward to your active participation in the blog
14/07/2014 14:44:37
Sameera Patel
It is always heartening to come across a non-mainstream view. Very brave of you, and very inspiring for me.

I too, am sickened at my people, when they express racist views. I think (and I know it is a complex situation so perhaps this is oversimplifying it) that if the Palestinians perhaps tried non-violent resistance like Ghandi did, that it would help. It just seems to me that the poor civilians are suffering way too much. I can’t bare to watch it anymore.
14/07/2014 13:54:49

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Nic Wickens
THoughtful and interesting

Alon Serper
Let us understand the other side, engage him or her, put ou...

Alon Serper
Thank you Sameera, Racism is inexcusable. There canno...

Sameera Patel
It is always heartening to come across a non-mainstream vie...

Online Community Manager
These confessions pages are certainly a very interesting (i...


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