As Israel marks its ‘Independence Day’, it remains an entity torn between its geographical location, in the Middle East, and the nations it aspires to be amongst, the US and Europe. The Zionist movement decided, and Britain colluded in planting the Zionist state in Palestine. Perhaps they thought the ‘Arabs’ will eventually have to accept it, old Palestinians will die and the young will forget as a former Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion famously hoped.
Israel sells itself as a ‘Western Style Democracy’. Indeed, it claims, wrongly, that it is the only democracy in the Middle East, when the population it effectively rules in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza are not allowed to vote. It claims to apply the rule of Law but applies military Law to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and Civil Law to its Jewish Israeli citizens, wherever they reside. It claims to follow Human Rights Conventions but this stops when applied to the Palestinians. This is perhaps not because it does not want to treat citizens equally but because it cannot. If it did, the occupied Palestinians would have to become citizens.
Israel plays sport in Europe and participates in the Eurovision Song Contest. It is participating (the only non EU state to do so) in the Horizon 2020 research programme.
Some Israelis of course claim that they have roots in Palestine because God says so. This is preposterous. Perhaps, they can show us one person or his offspring that ‘returned’ to Palestine after 3000 years. I can show them at least five million Palestinians of direct descent from Palestine.
Therefore it seems to me that while Israel exits in historic Palestine, its citizens feel more comfortable with Westerners and feel that they share what are generically ‘Western Values’ with them. The fact that equality and respect for the rule of Law would be top of these values is lost on them. In fact far from equality Israel is now seen as a state practicing modern day Apartheid.
After 66 years of Israel’s imposition on Palestine and the Palestinian People, Israel is geographically in Palestine but its soul is in the West. This irreconcilable situation means that it has not found peace with its self and neither have its citizens. It may be celebrating its independence but it does not know what it it has become independent from.