Disregarding the ‘other’

The Israelis are attempting to disengage from the entire Palestinian population in an act guaranteed to bring more bloodshed to the conflict. Meron Benvenisti, former deputy major of Jerusalem, writes that the colonial mindset is firmly entrenched in the Jewish psyche:

For the first time since the beginning of the tragic encounter more than 100 years ago, the Jews are divorcing the Arabs. They are turning their backs on them, erasing them from their consciousness, locking them up behind opaque walls. They are converging voluntarily into a ghetto and praying that the Mediterranean Sea dries up or that a bridge is built to link them directly to Europe. On the face of it, this is nothing new, for the Jewish attitude to the Arabs has always been ignore and alienate. However it was an intimate disregard – like that of a man who can ignore his own shadow, but cannot be rid of it.… 

He reminds us that such amnesia has a high price:

Experience from other conflicts teaches that after erasing another community from our consciousness comes the state of reconciliation and asking for forgiveness. Let us hope that it will not take as long as it did in the United States in the relations between the whites and the Indians – more than 150 years passed from the erasure to the begging for forgiveness.… 

But how many Zionists really care?