Saturday, March 12, 2011


The Dutch VPRO television is broadcasting what seems to be a series on zionism, how it operates and the impact.
The first episode I saw was last week, when they showed how young jews from the UK, Canada and the US where taken to the israeli territories to get "educated" on israeli history (israeli version). They managed in a few weeks to convert a pacifist to become a fanatic warrior! At the end of the month all of the young people were intensely involved in the israeli army, after which they all returned to their respective countries, as allies of the israelis and to follow their path to universities like Harvard and the most influential positions in society.
This week showed how the young israelis by thousands go to Goa in India after they have finished their service in the army. They massively go on drugs and are completely derailed.

In the sixties there were scientific studies on how far people would go when told by an instructor to give others (whom they could not see, but hear) in another room an electric shock by pulling a handle. They were told about the thresholds of pain and when a shock could be lethal. It turned out that many people just went on and on, despite hearing the other person screaming. Somehow the perceived idea of a "superior" has a very strong hold on many people.

I had to think about this experiment in relation to the young israeli people who are forced to go into the army. In reality there is no real threat to them, the arabs just have stones and no army of any significance. If the isrealis would just abstain from all their warfare, they would be left in peace by all neighbors. Yet the israeli youth gets a completely different message from their authorities. They are forced to commit horrible crimes against innocent Palestinian people. But to stand up against the pressure of society takes a hero. The few people who have refused to go in the army are not only jailed, but the entire community around them sees them as traitors and spits them out. A very tough fate, which not many people dare to risk.

Yet, with the Arab Spring in mind, wouldn't it be great if the israeli youth found the courage to step up against their authorities and demand a life in peace and justice?
Spring is in the air!

1 comment:

nobu said...

Wonderful spring image!