Life and death, the difference between Israelis and Palestinians, Re: Israel aims to be space superpower, Jerusalem Post, August 13, 2010

Israel is one of a small number of nations that can independently develop, manufacture and launch satellites. Prime Minister Netanyahu is about to approve a plan to add to Israel’s already impressive capabilities through large increases in research and development, effectively turning the country into a “space superpower”. This comes on the heels of Israel’s acceptance into the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a most formidable accomplishment which affirms her place as one of the most advanced and developed countries on earth, not only in science and technology but in economics, social justice and a myriad of other areas as well. These achievements and many others are remarkable in themselves. They are even more so since Israel is only sixty two years old, has a small population of only seven million people and has had to spend the whole of it’s life in a state of war with neighbors who refuse to recognize it’s legitimate right to exist, who constantly try to murder and maim it’s citizens and who would like nothing better than to obliterate it, to wipe it off the map.

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The point is, despite it’s many warts and despite the incredibly difficult conditions that Israelis have to constantly live with the country is progressive, vibrant, alive and forward thinking. Joy, happiness, music, literature, theater and vigorous debate on any and all subjects abound and democracy and freedom flourish. Israel is an outward looking country that has made enormous contributions to humanity in her short life span and promises to make many more as time goes by. Society and culture there glorify life and revel in it, as opposed to glorifying and reveling in death.

This is in sharp contrast to Palestinian society and culture, to Palestinian’s daily lives. To quote from an earlier piece, “Their standard of living is nowhere near Israeli’s, their accomplishments in the international arena are miniscule in comparison, their society is beset by hatred, violence, anger, misogyny and a misplaced sense of victimhood, their institutions are riddled with corruption and incompetence, they are not in control of their own destiny and are dependent on the outside world for virtually everything they need to live and they are a stateless, badly educated, poverty stricken people.” They are under the thumbs of thugs and villains, are not free to think and speak as they wish, are denied many of the small pleasures of life and have to worry about being spirited away in the middle of the night to be beaten up or killed because of some real or imagined transgression. Their lives are strictly controlled and the rest of the Arab world sees them as nothing more than pawns and useful idiots. Their religion, Islam, is all pervasive and glorifies and revels in death, as opposed to glorifying and reveling in life.

Life and death. Two polar opposite visions. That’s the difference between Israelis and Palestinians.

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