Monday, December 01, 2003

Mary sent me the link to the excellent Julie Burchill farewell column yesterday, but I didn’t have time to blog about it. Thank you, Mary. I see it has been dealt with. And this is a very, very interesting article, also in the Guardian (I saw it at Allison's and at Meryl's). I love reading that paper (albeit selectively, for my mental health), even if it is written by, and caters for, people who, on the whole, don’t particularly love me. If Haaretz were anywhere near as interesting and fun to read as the Guardian, as Julie Burchill rightly points out, I would still be subscribed to Haaretz, despite my strong reservations about its journalistic integrity.

Having read the very, very interesting article, I have something to say (for a change), maybe another angle, as an Israeli:

Israel exists. Its inhabitants are Israelis. We are more than just a group of Jews who decided we are a nation. We are a people who live together and belong together. Ask Israeli Jews you meet in the street what they are first: Jews or Israelis. I believe a very large proportion of them will say: Israelis.

I don’t like getting into the anti-Zionism=anti-Semitism argument. I get that old fuzzy brain sensation coming over me when the question comes up. But this I know: Israel exists. Good idea, bad idea. Right, wrong. Irrelevant. Israel exists and is inhabited by Israelis. True, there were no Israelis sixty years ago, just as there were no Americans a few hundred years ago. But now there are. It’s about time people started adjusting their mindsets to this fact.