Sunday, 22 August 2010

What is left?

Sometimes I think about what I'll miss about the UK once I've made Aliyah. When the Plan began, I would have said pubs. Now I'm (a fair bit) older (and a parent) I will say politeness, people indicating when they're driving and the friends I've made over the years who I will see a lot less often (but hopefully will not, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, lose touch with).

One thing I won't miss is the angry defensiveness I feel every time I see the Palestine Solidarity Campaign people at the stalls they set up in Brighton to 'spread the word' about Gaza (like it's never in the news...) and encourage people to boycott Israeli goods. Personally I buy fruit and veg I don't particularly need in Tesco when I see it's from Israel so I'm not the best person to try to convert to this particular cause. I was at the Brunswick Festival yesterday as Mark was doing spinal screenings for the clinic. It's a small scale, local community event that's been running for almost 30 years and is a really nice couple of days out (even if it's been a showery weekend this year...). Anyway, the PSC folks were there and I paused to read some of their literature about the blockade when a young lady thrust a leaflet into my hand that read 'Boycott Israeli goods'. I asked her if the PSC supported a boycott of Egyptian goods and she gave me a slightly puzzled look that sort of said 'uh oh' and I continued to remind her that Egypt is also blockading Gaza. She didn't have anything to say so I left, muttering to myself (as I am wont) about one sidedness....

Its strange really because I consider myself to be pretty left-wing and dovish when it comes to Israeli poitics, especially peace politics. However, it angers me that groups push such a one-sided agenda in this country. There was a half hour Panorama programme on the Mavi Marmara the other night which was generally very good (even congratulated by Honest Reporting so must've been good! (lol :-)) but still, the Egyptian role in the blockade was not mentioned even once. Maybe my dad was right that I would become more right-wing as I got older. Although I would like to disagree with him, I think that my views on Israel are more right wing here than they would be in Israel. It's probably a sort of defence mechanism for me, protecting my fellow Jews, that would be unneccessary in Israel, where the Jews all argue with each other anyway.

I am generally very proud of the British media, which gives a wide, varied and overall balanced report of the news when taken as a whole: and indeed this is something I will miss when I make aliyah. I will definitely be keeping up with the  British press online. One thing I won't miss is the trendy-anti-Israel rhetoric that's quite common in Brighton - at least when left-wingers protest in Israel, they know what they're protesting about.

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