Op-Ed: Self-Lacerating Israeli Authors
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He is at work on a book about the Vatican and Israel.
In a long article published by the UK anti-Israel newspaper The Guardian, David Grossman writes that the Jewish State must be saved not from Iran’s nuclear rockets, but from its own paranoia.
“It is Israel’s fears, not a nuclear Iran, that we must tame”, states Grossman in his new shrill self-condemnation. According to Israel’s literary icon, a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities “would be a wild bet, likely to disfigure our future in ways I dare not even imagine. No, I can imagine it, but my hand refuses to write it”.
One should begin to suspect that the international success of Grossman and other Israeli self-lacerating writers has more to do with their talent for Israel bashing than their literary gifts. The sycophancy, abasement, and degradation of these writers’ exercise in moral equivalence are not only a repugnant insult to the truth, but an affront to all Israelis.
There is a growing chasm between the pretension of the “good conscience” of Israel’s writers, as shapers of popular opinion, and the realism of Jewish history. A psychological sickness is driving the Israeli writers to toe the line with the worst emotions of global public opinion (it's now the turn of Iran).
These writers are victims of an “Oslo Syndrome” in which hostages come to identify with their captors.
As the Guardian’s article shows, the gap between these authors and the guillotine threatening Israel grows larger every day. They have adopted self-disgust as a passport to world recognition and respectability.
The late Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz, the left’s guru, referred to Israelis as Judeo-Nazis. This promptly made him a widely quoted celebrity throughout the world.
The desire to curry favor with the gentile world is not a new phenomenon in Jewish life. Through many centuries of exile it was an integral part of the Jews’ survival technique.
But it is a humiliating trait which life in a sovereign Israel was supposed to eradicate.
Amos Oz got in touch with Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian terrorist leader convicted of murdering five Israelis and planning several terrorist attacks. The Israel Prize recipient sent the murderous, unrepentant terrorist one of his books with a personal inscription wishing him a speedy release from prison: “This story is our story. I hope you read it and understand us better, as we attempt to understand you. Hoping to meet soon in peace and freedom”.
The sanctimonious Oz and Grossman, whose son Uri, sadly, was killed in the Second Lebanon War, have been able to create a kind of paradigm: Israel must end its role of “occupier”, “striker” and “oppressor” if the siege is to end.
It seems as though their conscience as intellectuals hasn’t been shaken by the Twin Towers’ attacks, by the 1,800 Israeli civilians slaughtered in terror attacks, by a decade of rockets on southern Israeli cities, by Iran’s atomic death cult and its apocalyptic anti-Semitism.
Shortly after the IDF Gaza operation, Grossman called for an independent inquiry into the conduct of the IDF, paving the way for the biased Goldstone’s report. He then urged dialogue with Hamas.
After the flotilla incident, Grossman charged that Israel behaves like “a band of pirates”. He said the blockade on Gaza was “despicable”, attacking the Israeli government “which is prepared to embitter the lives of a million innocent people in the Gaza Strip, in order to obtain the release of one imprisoned soldier”.
The so called morality of these Jewish writers is not longer in tune with Israel’s security, very existence, identity and memory. Their publications attract so much attention abroad because of the baleful influence they have on Israel’s reputation, as they promulgate the most vicious distortions about their people and state.
Like Amos Oz, who has compared Gush Emunim members to Khomeini killers, or Abraham Yehoshua, who likened the Israeli public’s “silence” about the “oppression of the Palestinians” to the silence of Germans during the Holocaust.
Israel’s secular leftist intellectual community, to which Grossman and Oz belong, developed an enmity toward anything it conceived as representing Judaism or the Jewishness of Zionism. This came to include the Bible, Jewish history, the history of the Land of Israel and the classical Hebrew literature.
They join with those who “debunked” Zionism, which is, to them, not one of the most pristine and just movements of national liberation in history, but a colonialism uglier than anything perpetrated by the British, French or Spanish.
Astonishingly, these writers express only alienation, suicidal temptations, and self-hatred to the point of automatic identification with Israel’s enemies in their writings.
When Ariel Sharon sent back the IDF into Judea and Samaria to defeat the terrorists, both Grossman and Oz went to help the Palestinians with their olive harvest.
It didn’t stop Hamas from slaughtering two Jewish girls in a nearby “settlement”, Linoy Sarussi and Hadas Turgeman.
There is much more truth and honor in one of their classmates’ eulogy than in all Grossman’s ruminations: “You had many plans and hopes for the future, but you will remain 14 for ever. We’ll go on to have families of our own, but you'll never grow”.