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IPFS News Link • Israel - Palestine

The Hardening of the Israeli Psyche

• https://archive.is, By Megan K. Stack

Stylish in round red glasses and a faint scruff of beard, Mr. Shlezinger unloaded his revulsion at the "disturbing" pictures while appearing on Israel's Channel 12.
"These people there deserve death, a hard death, an agonizing death, and instead we see them enjoying on the beach and having fun," complained Mr. Shlezinger, the religious affairs correspondent for the widely circulated right-wing Israel Hayom newspaper. "We should have seen a lot more revenge there," Mr. Shlezinger unrepentantly added. "A lot more rivers of Gazans' blood."
It would be nice to think that Mr. Shlezinger is a fringe figure, or that Israelis would be shocked by his bloody fantasies. But he's not, and many wouldn't be.
Israel has hardened, and the signs of it are in plain view. Dehumanizing language and promises of annihilation from military and political leaders. Polls that found wide support for the policies that have wreaked devastation and starvation in Gaza. Selfies of Israeli soldiers preening proudly in bomb-crushed Palestinian neighborhoods. A crackdown on even mild forms of dissent among Israelis.
The Israeli left — the factions who criticize the occupation of Palestinian lands and favor negotiations and peace instead — is now a withered stump of a once-vigorous movement. In recent years, the attitudes of many Israelis toward the "Palestinian problem" have ranged largely from detached fatigue to the hard-line belief that driving Palestinians off their land and into submission is God's work.


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