The words in capitals in the title are drawn from Ran Greenstein’s comment copied below:
(Ran’s comment [& the other 2] are on Sol Salbe’s sharing of http://forward.com/opinion/352075/if-israel-lets-in-palestinian-refugees-will-it-lose-its-jewish-character/)
הערתו של רן (ו2 האחרות) הם מהלינק הראשון המסומן בתכלת לעיל. תרגום לעברית של הכתוב מטה מופיע מיד אחריו
Kudos to Ran Greenstein for expressing it so incisively. To my mind, there really can be no question that the determining cause for continuing the occupation is Israeli Jews basic fear of losing the access they have to power & to what it affords them (access that they have gained & continue to maintain & reinforce through brutal military force & with the support & complicity of the US, the “international community”, & proponents of Zionism in the Jewish diaspora). All the other “reasons” are stories the occupiers buy into & endeavor to sell to others.
& since the underlying determining cause is a basic fear, then the issue is more than political: it also has an emotional, psychological dimension, of what looks like a collective psychosis. In using this word I’m not suggesting that what is feared is a delusion. If the occupation ends, & a reconciliation brings about a just compromise acceptable to both sides,the Israeli Jews will lose their exclusive & exceptionalist control of access to power etc. The collective psychosis is in the delusion of privileged entitlement, which allows them to feel justified in continuing to be the real “Neigbborhood Bully” (Dylan really got that so wrong!) & treating their fellow countrymen as they do.
We need to talk about both the practical & the psychological dimensions of this fear. The majority of Israeli Jews have no other citizenship, or as they often say (& there’s even a popular song with this title & opening line) “I have no other country” (clip of Gali Atari’s rendition, & lyrics + my translation below; the darker & braver aspects of the late Ehud Manor’s lyrics are generally ignored).
One thing that would help allay this dimension of the fear would be for democratic countries where all citizens have equal rights to offer citizenship to Israeli Jews who choose to emigrate from Palestine. I would even argue that it is the responsibility to do so of all those countries that have given recognition to the unilaterally declared State of Israel since 1948 & that have continued, by their support &/or their default, to be complicit in the occupation . & the sooner they do so the better.
I don’t know how many Israeli Jews would take up the offer, immediately or later. I imagine there are many that won’t, because of the emotional, psychological dimension. Home is home, even if you’ve been a villain in it. & then there’s the collective psychosis, the whole Zionist meta-narrative. But then they will need to accept the alternative, to remain in a Palesrine where non-Jews too have full & equal rights, where they are no longer the masters. To talk about this, perhaps we need more input from psychologists, anthropologists & historians, especially social psychologists, anthropologists & historians, on how to “alleviate” or “cure” it.
I also think this basic fear of the Israeli Jews is not unique: surely it has existed & still exists in all settler-colonialist regimes. The experience of the transition in places like South Africa, if analyzed from this perspective, may be invaluable.
Thoughts on this will be welcomed.