Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Israel I

Just back from a short visit to Israel. Tel Aviv, a wonderful city to enjoy, has a vibrant cultural life, great beaches, restaurants and bars and is generally fun to be in. However, can one avoid the question whether it is morally right to enjoy life in Tel Aviv whilst at the same time one is responsible for the evils carried out as an occupying power? 

Years ago, during the first days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when it was not at all clear that we would manage to stop the Egyptian and Syrian attack, I was walking along the beach in Tel Aviv and I remember a feeling of envy. I envied the foreign diplomats, whose embassies dot the beach line. They were in the same physical danger as we were but I envied them for the fact that nobody wanted to attack them, nobody wanted to kill them, get rid of them, push them into the sea. It was not their shit. 

I now find myself in a similar position. Could it be that the way to enjoy life in Israel is not to be an Israeli? Foreigners can have the fun without the burden of responsibility.    


  1. Foreigners have fun in Tel-Aviv just as long as they avoid the taxi's :)

  2. lost you there :(

  3. This begs the other question:
    Is it morally wrong to to enjoy life in Tel Aviv whilst at the same time rockets are being lobbed into Israel from north und south, and annihilation is threatened from the east? (and that leaves aside the memory of a great many suicide attacks that were sustained until the building of the wall).

  4. I wanted to tell you that I do understand your feelings at the time on the beach of Tel Aviv.

  5. At least you use evil with a lower case initial letter and as such it compares favourably with the Evil visited on neighbours and even indigenous populations by many of the world's regimes -some of whom incidentally are not that far from the beaches of TA. Oh for some proportionality in your view of Israel's failings.