Sunday, August 2, 2009

Attack on Gay Centre in Tel Aviv

To some extent yesterday's attack on a Gay Centre in Tel Aviv, which left two dead, is a reflection of the fact that in an exclusive, racist, state you are bound to get little egoists who hate anything different from how they might perceive "their" inclusive, in the case of Israel, Jewish state should look. Of course, homophobic attacks can occur anywhere and they do. Nevertheless, what this attack demonstrates is that the "bubble" that is Tel Aviv, a supposed island of liberalism and tolerance, cannot be divorced from the country as a whole and that it is time for secular liberal Jews to stand up for what they really believe in. Or rather,"should believe in, but don't", for while opposition leader Tzipi Livni was quck to declare "This grave incident should awaken society to rid itself of prejudice. We must accept and recognize the right of every person to live safely and with dignity," it is a life in security and dignity that she is, of course, not willing to extend to Palestinians. The demons are out there and just as European nationalism went to bed as a sleeping beauty and awoke as an ugly demon, so too is the Zionist state beginning to appear very different from the one that was envisaged by the founding fathers. Of course, in the case of Zionism it was always inevitable and the misinformed, misled, idealism of the movement's founding fathers could, unlike nationalism, never have any basis in that liberal philosophy, which spawns tolerant societies, and which in Europe created that sleeping beauty that was only later to metamorphose into an ugly monster.

No comments: