Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Israelis, Peace and the Time Magazine Piece

Now that I've read the whole Time Magazine article that claims Israelis don't care about peace and had some more time to think about it, I've changed my mind a bit. While I still think the article exaggerates the matter, it is true that Israelis care a lot less about peace and the conflict than they used to. It's a kind of defense mechanism against false hope. The word that describes Israelis best is "disillusioned" - not just by peace, but by politics and politicians in general. We've come to the realization that our leaders talk a lot but do very little to improve our situation.

Still, I'd say the phrasing that "Israelis don't care about peace" is untrue. Maybe Israelis won't keep up with the news about new negotiations as much as they did during the Oslo years, but most of them will hope for their success. Also, I predict that if the talks show significant progress (and, unfortunately, I doubt that they will), Israelis will show an interest once more. The average Israeli just doesn't believe the Palestinians.

On that note, it is interesting to note a new advertising campaign here in Israel. The Geneva Accord, a non-profit organisation promoting a peace deal, has new ads in newspapers, billboards and the Internet, where Palestinian leaders ask you to be their partner, in a Facebook Friend Request-like graphic. Now, this is just one of the dumbest campaigns I've seen. Apparently, the people who came up with it think everybody is like them and would be happy to be friends with these people. Well, no, that's not the case. I'm a left-leaning pro-peace person with a few Palestinian friends (in Facebook and in reality), but Jibril Rajoub and Saeb Erekat don't exactly make me warm and fuzzy inside. If you're trying to make Israelis like the Palestinian leadership better, don't do something that requires that people like them in the first place so they'll respond well to the ads!

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