Why Israel Is Different

In no other Middle Eastern parliament or public square could such a speech be given and such truths told to power – by an eloquent, unveiled, unafraid woman. That’s one reason Israel is worth saving from its currently unhinged leaders. The quote that leaped out at me from this member of a long Zionist dynasty was the following:

Israel the strong continues to fight with the Palestinians for the title of victim.

Booming Israel with close to 200 nuclear warheads is also fighting Iran, with a collapsed economy and no nukes, for the title of victim. And the victim, of course, in what the speaker calls an “upside-down world”, is the one who starts a pre-emptive war. That’s what victims do, of course: attack. Some are prepared to speak a truth in Israel that would never be allowed at AIPAC. Which means something has gone horribly wrong with our discourse on this question. It has been bullied away from seeing any balance or nuance in the region, any option of containment, any option but maintaining Israel’s nuclear monopoly and continued aggressive ethnic re-population of territory conquered in wartime.

The full speech from Merav Michaeli is below. I found it moving beyond words, proof of hope in the state of Israel, from a woman intent on rediscovering the healing of the world that the Jewish religious tradition is rightly honored for.

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