By Philip Weiss November 2, 2014
Total silence in the US in response to one of the most amazing confessions you’ll hear from a leader of a state.
Did you hear that the president of Israel said Israel is a “sick society”? Reuven Rivlin, a Likudnik, said in late October. There’s been lots of coverage in Israel, but as AndrewSullivan points out, the declaration hasn’t gotten much attention stateside. I should think it would be viral.
TheJewish Telegraphic Agency’s report:
“It is time to honestly admit that Israeli society is ill – and it is our duty to treat this disease,” Rivlin told the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities on Sunday at a conference titled “From Xenophobia to Accepting the Other.”
“The tension between Jews and Arabs within the State of Israel has risen to record heights, and the relationship between all parties has reached a new low,” he said. “We have all witnessed the shocking sequence of incidents and violence taking place by both sides. The epidemic of violence is not limited to one sector or another, it permeates every area and doesn’t skip any arena. There is violence in soccer stadiums as well as in the academia. There is violence in the social media and in everyday discourse, in hospitals and in schools.”
From the Jerusalem Post:
The time has come to admit that Israel is a sick society, with an illness that demands treatment, President Reuven Rivlin said at the opening session on Sunday of a conference on From Hatred of the Stranger to Acceptance of the Other.
Rivlin wondered aloud whether Jews and Arabs had abandoned the secret of dialogue.
With regard to Jews he said: “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings. Have they forgotten how to converse?” In Rivlin’s eyes, the academy has a vital task to reduce violence in Israeli society by encouraging dialogue and the study of different cultures and languages with the aim of promoting mutual understanding, so that there can be civilized meetings between the sectors of society.
JTA says that Rivlin spoke of abuse he’s received on his Facebook page. Presumably from the right, not the left. This is a country where a settler extremist assassinated a prime minister who was saying he wanted to compromise with Palestinians, 19 years ago.
What do the US Military think about the Israeli attacks on Gaza – “The only possible reason for doing that is to kill a lot of people in as short a period of time as possible … It’s not mowing the lawn. It’s removing the topsoil.”