Gaza success proves Israel is strong, not right
Unfortunately Levinas never succeeded in applying his own philosophy of an ethical relationship with "the other" with regard to the Israel-Palestina conflict. He continued to consider a Palstinian as an enemy, not as the other for whom he's responsible. If Levinas would have been able to apply his philosophy properly, then he could have written this article.
There are two quotes which are especially important in this respect, one about language and one about looking in the mirror that the other shows me:
In Levinas's philosophy language plays an important role. I cannot understand the other, who is totally different from me. I cannot enter into his mind, I can only hear my own thoughts, I am restricted to my own consciousness, I don't have access to the consciousness of the other person (like in the film Being John Malcovich). But there's a very useful tool to make it possible to be in touch with the other: language. I cannot be him/her, he/she cannot become me. But we can build a bridge between us so we can meet each other halfway on the bridge. The bridge is built with bricks called "language". The language of violence is not suitable to build bridges, it will only destroy existing bridges. That's why Grossman says: "We have to speak with the Palestinians, we have to speak with Hamas."
"And because we have spoken to the Palestinians for so long in that language (the language of violence), and that language alone, we have forgotten that there are other languages for speaking to human beings, even to enemies, even bitter foes like Hamas - languages that are as much our mother tongue as the language of planes and tanks.
We must speak to the Palestinians: That is the most important conclusion from the most recent round of bloodshed. We must speak also to those who do not recognize our right to exist here. Instead of ignoring Hamas at this time, we would do better to take advantage of the new reality that has been created by beginning a dialogue with them immediately, one that would allow us to reach an accord with the whole of the Palestinian people."
About the mirror:
I cannot look at myself directly. I can not look at myself from a distance, because I am myself, I cannot take a distance from myself. I can only see myself in a mirror. It's the other person who holds the mirror. In what I am doing to the other I can see who I am myself. The Palestinians are holding a mirror to the Israelians:
David Grossman says:
"We must speak, because what has happened in the Gaza Strip over the last few weeks sets up a mirror in which we in Israel see the reflection of our own face - a face that, if we were looking in from the outside or saw it on another people - would leave us aghast. We would see that our victory is not a genuine victory, and that the war in Gaza has not healed the spot that so badly needs a cure, but only further exposed the tragic and never-ending mistakes we have made in navigating our way."
When the guns become completely silent, and the full scope of the killing and destruction becomes known, to the point where even the most self-righteous and sophisticated of the Israeli psyche's defense mechanisms are overcome, perhaps then some kind of lesson will imprint itself on our brain. Perhaps then we will finally understand how deeply and fundamentally wrong our actions in this region have been from time immemorial - how misguided, unethical, unwise and above all, responsible, time after time, for fanning the flames that consume us. Obviously, the Palestinians cannot be let off the hook for their crimes and mistakes. That would be tantamount to belittling and condescending to them, as if they were not mature adults with minds of their own, responsible for their own decisions and failures. The inhabitants of the Gaza Strip may have been "strangulated" in many ways by Israel, but even they have other options for protesting and drawing attention to their misery than the launching of thousands of rockets against innocent citizens in Israel. We must not forget that. We cannot pardon the Palestinians or treat them forgivingly, as if it were obvious that whenever they feel put upon, violence will always be their sole response, the one they embrace almost automatically. Yet even when the Palestinians act with indiscriminate violence, when they use suicide bombings and Qassam rocket fire, Israel is stronger than them, and it can have a tremendous impact on the level of violence in the conflict as a whole - and hence on calming it down and even bringing it to an end. The current confrontation has not shown that anyone in the Israeli leadership really grasps the critical significance of this aspect of the conflict in any fully conscious or responsible way. One day, after all, we will seek to heal the wounds we inflict today. How will that day ever come if we do not understand that our military might cannot be the primary instrument for carving out a path for ourselves in this region? How will that day ever come if we fail to comprehend just how graveness is the responsibility that lies on our shoulders by dint of our complex and fateful relations, both past and future, with the Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Galilee?
We must speak to the Palestinians: That is the most important conclusion from the most recent round of bloodshed. We must speak also to those who do not recognize our right to exist here. Instead of ignoring Hamas at this time, we would do better to take advantage of the new reality that has been created by beginning a dialogue with them immediately, one that would allow us to reach an accord with the whole of the Palestinian people.
In the night, without a fight
now that people are calling me traitor i really think i am moving up in the world :D
Sometimes the comments are much more fun to read than the blog entry itself :-D
The comments are at least less predictable.
With regard to jokes I can think of some better ones
I have some question to ask who is supporting suicide bomber? .
most of the suicide bomber are paid up? whos interest in that west or islamic ? .
khalid is atheist i told u who care what he say ?,does he hold higher authority in govt lol :D
How do you know Khalid is an atheist, why do you think so?
I don't understand your questions about suicide bombers.
You want peace, don't you?
Terrorism is not a solution to end poverty or war, on the contrary.
I started with your post G-d as Infinity.
You might be interested in the website www.ipeace.me. Come and have a look.
Your challenge to Levinas vis a vis the Palestinians is one the has intrigued me as well.