Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu laid out "his vision" of peace last week. This vision was, in a word, expected. After all, he is a hard-core Zionist Jew:
"If we receive this guarantee regarding demilitarization and Israel’s security needs, and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, then we will be ready in a future peace agreement to reach a solution where a demilitarized Palestinian state exists alongside the Jewish state."
Netanyahu also said Israel would not recognize the right of return for Palestinian refugees, saying that the problem must be solved outside of the Jewish state.
To understand why Netanyahu’s vision, which can be described as fighting peace, is supported by many Israelis one must know how Israelis are indoctrinated in Zionism and how violent militarism is not only a Zionist ideal but an economical and a sociological necessity.
One of the best books on the subject is How Israel Lost Its Soul, by Maxim Ghilan, a Zionist Jew who left Israel in 1969, having been "forced to reconsider his nationalist Jewish stand" :
"Tzahal (the Israeli Defense Forces) is not only an army: it is a state within a state, a security apparatus, an extremely dynamic economic empire, a never diminishing source of managerial manpower for the civil economy … But first and foremost for the average Israeli, Tzahal is the main channel of his indoctrination, the symbol of the identity he wears, in fact and in thought, when he feels insecure or knows himself to be under attack. Zionist history, which in a totally insipid and slanted form, is pushed down pupils throats in Israeli classrooms. (Tzahal drafts 18-year-old boys for three years and girls for two years.)
"[Once drafted he] does not have to fight for his basic needs: home, food, the usual comforts, transport, health insurance-all these are provided by the State. Even his family is taken care of, should he fall in battle. He can, then, afford to be mildly critical, at times-as long as his criticism is unrelated to war.
"[A University student] is either fighting two months a year in the reserves, or has just completed three years of army duty … upon completing his studies he will have a good deal of useful knowledge and a position which will be almost automatically allotted to him by the manpower-hungry (Zionist) Establishment. He will have the two necessary attributes: knowledge and Jewishness.
"He thus reaches his conclusions, out of his own vested interests but without real knowledge or personal experience of the social and military roots of the conflict upon which his society is based. His future, his economic interests and past military indoctrination all tend to add up and force him to ignore ‘dangerous’ facts such as racialists exclusivity and perennial war.
"Israeli society is in love with war and Tzahal: because they give the average citizen a feeling of contradictory safety; because they develop the mind and muscle of the economy and help them fill their pockets; and because war and preparation for war tally with the dynamic development of Israeli industrial life. Further more, war IS the only possibility, when your aim is to live alone in a country where another people lives as well.
"Israel has gradually become a more and more openly racist country. Anyone not Jewish is at best second-class in Israel… A Jew has inherent rights in Israel even if he is not born in the State. A Jew is considered an insider, while a ‘Goy’ (Gentile, non-Jew) always remains an outsider, even if born inside the country … In the State of Israel, officially defined as ‘Jewish’ just as Rhodesia’s or South Africa’s (were) ‘white’, this is a most important means of personal tyranny.
"As Israel progressed towards its consecration as a ‘pure Jewish’ state, it found itself giving more and more power to those zealots who held Zionist-religious views."
Ghilan ends by citing the example of Giora Neumann, who went to military jail for refusing to serve in an "imperialist army," and those of a growing number of young Israelis who wish to "escape the nightmare of unending war." If more Israelis turn into Neumanns then and only then will "peace with an independent Arab Palestine and rapprochement between this Palestine and Israel would finally become a possibility."