Israel a Country of Right Wing Fanatics? (By Richard in Tel Aviv)

What is a moderate and what is a right-wing fanatic? It seems to be a matter of perception. But what can be sure is that the international media readily portrays Israel as a nation of violent right-wing fanatics that isn't interested in peace and only wants to colonize others; a nation that supposedly elected a right-wing fanatic Prime Minister in their colonial aspirations and perpetual Arab hatred.

I'll often hear from my own friends that suggest I've become right wing over the past few years. I have to laugh at them. For while today, after years of suicide bombings and never ending conflict with the Palestinians, and wars in Gaza and Lebanon; I, like so many once upon a time left wing Israelis have lost faith in the Palestinians as partners and become pessimistic about any chance of real peace with the Muslim world, it doesn't mean I want it any less, or that I think we should continue to settle the territories or have become militant. But watching the media one would assume that Israel is a brutal nation that wants to keep the Palestinians in Gaza in utter poverty as they starve to death (while the Turkish and Iranians are peace loving humanitarian workers fighting to help the poor Palestinians on the street). And of course, they'd have it backwards.

I first arrived to Israel in 1992, and officially immigrated in 1995. Immediately thereafter I began studying in the University of Tel Aviv, where I was present for the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister of Israel and the leader of the Israeli peace movement. It was my political baptizing if you will, an immediate indication that Israel was a country where you had no option but to get involved. And in the elections that were held to replace Rabin I voted for Meretz, the most left-wing party in mainstream Israel politics, and subsequently attended countless protests, supporting the peace process Rabin had started, believing whole heartedly that not only Israel should not retain control over another people, but that those people, the Palestinians held similar values for life and tolerance that I did.
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(comments are off; this the view of Richard, you can react on his blog)

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