Stephane Hessel’s Time for Outrage and Israel
Reviewed by M. Eliany 2013
I identify with some aspects of Hessel’s call for outrage, especially in the case of the demand to a more fair distribution of resources, because I do believe that it is not fair for some to take a disproportionate share of resources while other get leftovers. I am more of a believer of a concept of society that is compatible with Rawl’s Theory of Justice in general terms.
This however is not the case of the Israeli/Palestinian situation, in light of the following:
1. the League of Nations established a New World Order in 1920 at the Treaty of Versailles,
2. In this treaty, the old empires were dismantled and new nation states were established.
Arab nations got many nations while the Jews were allocated Palestine on both sides of the Jordan.
3. The British took part of the land of Palestine allocated to Jews and gave it to Abdullah to make Jordan on the expense of the Jews,
4. Jews accepted the partition of the leftover of the land of Palestine (west of the Jordan river) between Jews and local Arab inhabitants in 1947/1948
5. Arab nations rejected the partition and launched a war, in which Jews led a successful defense campaign in 1948,
6. Arab nations made attempts to destabilize Israel (terrorism) or destroy it (several wars)
7. Nations such as Jordan and Egypt who agreed to a peace treaty with Israel were generously compensated.
8. The Palestinians were offered an independent state in 2000 (the Clinton Camp David agreement), which was rejected by Arafat, who used Israeli and international funds to build a private army (martyrs of al aktsa) to launch a murderous campaign against Israelis, killing civilians indiscriminately,
9. The Israeli Palestinians 1967 border was open until the year 2000, Palestinians were free to work on the Israeli side, as well as, get education and health services and much more…
10. Restrictions in the form of the wall, road locks and the Gaza blockade are in place as a response to Palestinian rejection of peace offers and their opting for violence,
11. If anyone should be outraged, it is Israelis and Jews who are always blamed for the misgivings of others, as if Jews have no right to defend themselves (this is just another form of racism/anti-Semitism deny Jews self defense)
12. Close to 1 million Jews left Arab countries as refugees (I am one of them) compared to about 750,000 Arabs who left Palestine (most of their own wish before the 1948 war even started because Arab armies asked them to do so, to allow bombardments on Jewish defenders). This population exchange has not been unheard of in the past, and Arab nations were better off because they got Jewish resources left behind compared to desert nothingness Palestinians left behind,
13. I, like other refugees who settled in Israel, rehabilitated myself, got education and rebuilt my life from scratch,
14. Jews and Israelis did not prevent Palestinians rebuilding their own life elsewhere? They are still teaching their children hate and suicide bombing in schools instead of opting for a constructive course, unlike the course we have taken.
15. Israelis built a new nation from scratch, which is now a leader in bio-tech and high-tech in spite of the necessity to invest disproportionate resources in military defense,
16. Arab nations remain unjust societies due to disproportionately unfair distribution of resources, leaving the majority of the population in poverty,
17. I am critical of the Israeli society for a whole bunch of reasons, mainly because I expect it to be a more just society, one that lives up to the highest moral standards, i.e., more equality of opportunities, a more egalitarian distribution of resources, more grassroots democracy, more balanced multi-culturalism, and more investment in peace making (last but not the least),
18. If anyone should express outrage, it should not be towards and Israel which does not live up to my/our high expectations, but towards Arab nations which are deeply unjust and overly aggressive towards other nations and one towards another.