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Would a Netanyahu victory raise the alarm on Israeli apartheid?

posted on: Mar 14, 2015

Seven years ago, sitting in the office of a well-respected Israeli human rights group, a friend confided in me that he often wished his organization failed more often. “That way,” he argued, “we might be closer to Mao’s principle that suffering of the people will hasten the revolution.”

I was shocked — two white, Western-educated and privileged men sitting in an office quoting a brutal dictator in the cause of wishing more suffering on the Palestinian people was a deeply uncomfortable position. I’m sure that if you asked any of those suffering they would deem themselves as having endured more than enough injustice to hasten a multiplicity of revolutions. And they are correct.

But there is an essential truth in my friend’s reference to Mao: human beings respond only to crisis. Crisis forces us into action.

Anyone who has visited the occupied West Bank or Gaza Strip has seen the daily crisis for Palestinians. But for politicians who shift the status quo only under duress, the alarm bells have to be ringing loudly before they will act.