Demonising is bad for your health

Demonising comes in different colours and intensities. It is practised by Israelis against Palestinians, and by Palestinians against Israelis For some extreme Israeli, the only good Palestinian is a dead Palestinian. Here, the demonisation is so flagrant that most Israeli demonisers would still refuse to go to that extent. However, there are easy Palestinian targets who are demonised even by most moderate Israelis. The suicide-bombers, for instance. To condemn them, is only natural and just. To point at their disregard of innocent victims, is correct though it is not the only element of the equation. I do condemn their action without ifs and buts. Still, because I am not and do not want to be a demoniser, I also see in them, victims of the occupation, victims for having been made to endure the humiliation of the Israeli repression, and the despair of not being able to see any other way to advance their cause. Because I am not a dmeoniser, I do see the great amount of idealism which motivates them, though wrongly. Those suicide-bombers, were it not for the occupation, were they given the chance to be raised in a truly independent Palestine, would have probably become most useful citizen, full of courage and goodwill. Killing innocents, as they do, is criminal, and nothing can justify it. However, there are different ways of explaining their actions, one corresponds to the reality of their unhappy life, the other is the result of demonising. AN Israeli who buys into the demonised picture, is a loser. He loses a correct perspective of reality, he loses options to peace who are closed by the demonisation. In reality, while suicide bombing is criminal violence, it still is secondary violence, the primary violence being that of the occupation. Not to see that, is losing a chance to peace, and closing the doors to peace is the aim of the Israeli leadership. Do I demonise the Israeli leadership? In the measure in which I paint them all with one same brush, then yes I am demonising them, somewhat. However no one of the present and past leaders in power, were innocent from a desire to expand Israel at the expense of the Palestinian territories, and this is enough to pain them all in bad colours. I mean that the difference between them is only a matter of degree. I now will address the demonisation of Israelis by Palestinians. It has been said in our lists, that no Israeli is an Innocent civilian because he either is a soldier or a potential soldier of the Israeli army of occupation. The same Palestinians will tell you that any Zionist is a criminal in their eyes. This demonisation of the Israelis, performs the same task as the reciprocal demonisation. Each is closing doors to understanding, doors to peace. I have defended the suicide bomber against attempts of demonisation them. Now, I will defend the Israeli and the Zionist. I know some Zionist who, armed with the Bible and with a very particular interpretation of it, and against the so precious humanist Jewish traditions, are prepared to exterminate the whole Palestinian population, together with whatever Arab allies. And of course, they are Zionists. And I know some Zionists who would donate their kidney to a Palestinian who would otherwise die without it. It is therefore clear that the word Zionist is too lose a category. Though a great number of predators are mammals, there are still mammals who are herbivorous. Similarly, there are Zionists devoid of any feelings of humanity when they consider Palestinians, while the majority of Isreli, who consider themselves Zionists, are motivated by noble ideals. Let me describe an average Israeli. He is about thirty in age. He was born in Israel in 1972. He knows that his country was created by a decision of the United Nations. He has no personal recollection, no knowledge of the ethnic cleansing inflicted by the Israeli on the Palestinians in 1948. He has no reason to doubt what he has been told about the refugees. They left their homes following instructions from the Arab countries. The Jews too left their homes in the Arab countries. The difference is that these Jews were welcomed in Israel, while the Arab refugees were not welcome in the Arab countries Personally, I know how wrong is that perspective, but the average Israeli has little chances to uncover the truth. Sometimes, one of those average Israeli does discover the truth. He then revolts against the cover-up, proclaims the truth at personal risks, and remain thinking that he is a better zionist than the leaders because, in his understanding, a zionist is to respect truth, is to be humane and tolerant. This dissident Zionist will tell everyone that HE is the one who is a real Zionisr. while the other leaders, specially Sharon, are criminals and not Zionists. In the mind of these dissident Zionist, a Zionist has a noble code of honour that applies to Jews and to Palestinians, to all human beings. He has no reason to doubt that the Israeli army, as its name indicates, is an army vital for the defense of the country. He "knows" that the Arabs invaded Israel in order to destroy it. Israel therefore needs a strong defense army. Now this message is becoming too long. I cut it here and will continue in a later message. What should be kept from this message is that a proper strategy can only based on true knowledge, and demonisation clouds the truth clouds the vision. Clement Leibovitz #56, 3221-119 street Edmonton, Alberta Canada T6J 5K7 Phone: (780) 436 9883 e-mails: websites: