Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gideon Levy: A lover of Israel

Sent: Monday, March 01, 2010 10:35 PM
Subject: A lover of Israel

A lover of Israel

By Gideon Levy

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m

Last update - 15:54 26/02/2010

A lover of Israel

It isn't Purim every day, so I'll allow myself this madness: to dress up as a lover of Israel. Not the kind I consider myself to be in any case - that is, no less a lover of Israel than my readers - but the sort that is the total opposite of a traitor and an Israel hater. When I was a child, my mother dressed me up as a girl, an Indian and a cowboy, all opposites of the little boy I was. Now I'll be - if only today, if only in memory of my mother - an Israel lover.

Cry, the beloved country. For one day, I'll take pleasure in all my country does. I'll wax enthusiastic over the assassination in Dubai, hang a giant picture of Mossad chief Meir Dagan in my study, paint horns on New Israel Fund president Naomi Chazan, worship Avigdor Lieberman and his ministry of terror and rage. I'll admire his deputy minister, Danny Ayalon, for how he showed the Turks who's the boss.

I'll shed a tear with Israel Defense Forces soldiers being sworn in at the Western Wall, and the blue-haired Hadassah ladies at Masada. I'll go wild with emotion over our field hospital in Haiti, and count the number of Jews who died in the earthquake, as well as how many there are in Hollywood. I'll take pride in the salutation "Good evening, Tel Aviv" by any aging visiting singer who loves us. I'll join public sing-alongs with Einat Sarouf and Yair Lapid at the Ganki Club - what could be more Israeli than that? - and I'll support the Jewish right of return to homes in Sheikh Jarrah, the shooting of Arab demonstrators and the citizenship law the prevents Palestinians from living with their Israeli spouses in Israel proper.

I'll take every foreign visitor straight to Sderot to see the collection of rusty pipe bombs, and from there to Yad Vashem. Of course I won't let him enter Gaza; that goes without saying. I'll convince him that the entire world is against us and that we are in constant existential danger.

I'll shake with fear from swine flu, bird flu, the Iranian nuclear bomb, the Pakistani nuclear bomb, weapons smuggled through tunnels from Egypt, the dropping water level of the Kinneret, Hezbollah, Nasrallah and Allah the Great. I'll believe that the yellow phosphorus bomb smoke that rose over Gaza was from fireworks to entertain children, imagine that efforts to warn Gaza residents that their homes are about to be bombed is a humanitarian gesture by the National Association for the Mentally Handicapped, and that "clearing" olive trees is an Environmental Protection Ministry campaign to improve the Gaza landscape.

I'll hungrily accept every response by the IDF spokesman, believe every politician and Channel 2 military reporter Roni Daniel, and be convinced beyond doubt that the Israeli army is the most ethical in the world - not third or second but No. 1.

In general, I'll believe we're No. 1 in everything, except for soccer. Tel Aviv is New York, the Galilee is Tuscany, and the People of the Book are truly the People of the Book. We are David and they are Goliath, we are Zion and they are Amalek; after all, we among all the nations were chosen.

I'll count how many Nobel Prizes Jews have produced for humanity. I'll talk about the Jewish brain, Jewish genius and of course, Jewish ethics. I'll cry out every time a Jew in Europe is robbed, and shout "anti-Semitism!" I'll compare Ahmadinejad to Hitler, Arafat to Eichmann, the 1967 borders to Auschwitz - just don't make any comparisons between IDF soldiers' behavior and the Holocaust. I'll believe that the Arabs fled on their own free will in 1948, that the 416 ruined villages never existed, that there was no ethnic cleansing here, no Nakba - all of that is just Arab propaganda.

I'll think we are forbidden to forgive Arabs for having forced us to kill their children, that now after the Holocaust, Jews may do whatever they like, that all the wars were imposed on us from above, and if there were no terror, there would be no occupation, and that all Israel wants is peace and two states. I'm even ready to believe there are no pre-conditions to negotiations: Let's build in the territories, oppose the Arab right of return, keep Jerusalem united forever, annex the Golan Heights, demilitarize the Palestinian state, keep Jewish settlement blocs, Ariel and the Bekaa.

What's wrong with that, just for one day?

I'll support turning every high school into a pre-army training center, with generals in the teachers' rooms and master sergeants instead of janitors. I'll paste a "Combat is coolest, Bro" sticker on my car. I'll click with disapproval when shoes are thrown at the Supreme Court president, but not comment when the army and the Jerusalem Municipality insult her. I'll believe that there's only one Gilad Shalit and not 11,000, and that values and good citizenship mean an ultra-light plane flyover with a banner in support of his release.

I'll cry at every memorial rally for Yitzhak Rabin, and believe that if he hadn't been murdered we'd have peace. I'll spit on Goldstone, boycott J Street, call Rahm Emanuel a self-hating Jew, censure Norway and threaten Sweden for anti-Semitism; of course it's anti-Semitism. I'll be proud of pilotless drones, Cast Lead and Iron Domes. And of course, of Bar Refaeli - she's so ours.

Ultimately, every day is Purim.


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