Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tel Aviv a Hebrew City

There was a documentary on Germany's "ARD" this evening, celebrating "100 years of Tel Aviv", "Die hebräische Stadt" (The Hebrew City).(1) A documentary, which appeals to our western "tastes", a city full of young people who just want to live their lives, a city with a "carpe diem" philosophy, a liberal city etc. etc. and there we have one young Israeli landscape artist, who likes to go into the woods and paint the trees and who explains to us the difference between a German wood and an Israeli wood, and doesn't he realise that the "Israeli" wood is, very probably, built on a Palestinian village and doesn't he realise that parts of Tel Aviv and most of his country are built on Palestinian land? He doesn't realise it, they don't realise it and they don't want to realise it and there they are, creating their own little realities in the "bubble" and telling us that it is their escape from a starker, not so pleasant, "reality" that accompanies their lives; the reality of the war and I am left asking myself the question, when did 1,200 Tel Avivians die because of Arab bombing? Tel Aviv a modern city, that just wants to enjoy life, a "liberal" city where "Gay Pride" has pride of place and its citizens are not proud enough to do everything they can to stop the ongoing ethnic cleansing just up the road, around the corner, next door, that is going on in their name.
No, I am sorry, it just doesn't wash; Tel Aviv is not London or New York or Paris or Sydney and it never will be and, perhaps, just perhaps, when this "hebrew city" opens its doors to everyone in the region and, perhaps, when the citizens of this city are aware of what is under Israeli woods and, perhaps, just perhaps, when the citizens of this city refuse to go to the military and, perhaps, just perhaps, when they realise the difference between Saadam's few scud rockets, the 'Hamas' ineffectual "Qassams" and the carnage that befell Gaza a few weeks ago, perhaps then Tel Aviv really will have earned its right to "carpe diem" it.
The picture is from the Tel Aviv "love parade" and love is all you need!

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