January 06, 2007

Why everything you think you know about Israel is likely wrong

From On the Wailing Wall, Kassam Rockets and Hummus (or Why Everything You Think You Know about Israel Is Likely Wrong by Adam Daifallah:

30 Quebec university students traveled from one end of Israel to the other in ten days. We talked with scholars, journalists, students, politicians and activists from all corners of the Israeli political spectrum. Israel is a fascinating country. Its people are friendly, knowledgeable, Westernized - and most of all, tolerant. They have an amazing sense of purpose and resilience in the face of daily threats to their very existence. Israel must be supported. I have no problem saying this as someone who is of partly Palestinian ancestry. Israel is a democratic, pluralistic Western outpost in the middle of a cesspool of tyranny and despair. After all the terror and the two intifadas, it was amazing to see and hear so many Israelis still so committed to peace and willing to do just about anything to achieve it. If the Palestinians and their leadership would truly recognize Israel's right to exist tomorrow, I have little doubt a state would follow very soon. This is the sense I got from almost every Israeli we talked to. Everyone wants peace, but it takes two to tango. The peace partner on the other side is simply not there. If more people visited Israel, I think more people would understand the need for vigilance and to stand up to wrongness and evil. War is ugly, but there are situations in the world in which no other option exists. Sometimes war is necessary to bring peace.

The writer, a Canadian author and journalist, is currently studying law at Laval University in Quebec City.