Simone de Beauvoir wrote: to deny that you are part of the madness in the world is the madness itself. (Le Sang des autres, about moral consequences of acts of resistance in World War II, my translation.)
Now, I know that prominent writers among Zspace - no one less than Chomsky - do not hold the French intellectuals in high esteem. After all it's American. But it is one of my minor guidelines. Minor, because it should not stop you from fighting against madness.
So I welcome the writings of Chomsky - diagnosing, almost anatomical, at a distance - and the writings of Avnery - emotional, from his heart, naïve may be the proper word - as well as those of Alain Gresh (a Frenchman, writing between those poles, I would say). And I try to make as clear as possible, to anyone who wants to hear it, why I feel that the Israeli madness has to be stopped (they are not willing to stop it by themselves) and why the western world should help the Palestinians to realize a real chance for live.
But it shouldn't stop me from feeling in my deepest recesses that my comfortable life partly is founded on the deeds of dirty hands and still is protected by the deeds of dirty hands.
It also shouldn't stop me from feeling sorry for that Israeli bloke, called from behind his desk to climb a blinded Panzer and, picturing as through a shutter, looking at the Palestinian child he is about to kill.
Yes, he should know better. Yes, he should refuse. There are those who do so. But it is easy to say. And when there is a somebody obeying ... what should we feel for him but sorry, seeing him returned to his daily job, sitting behind his desk, having dinner with his family. He must be growing crazy.
I am growing mad, because something Chomsky and Finkelstein are saying (Chomsky starting the argument and Finkelstein building it up).
We do know the historical facts, and have to tell the people of Palestine: yes we agree on history.
We have our laws, and according to these laws we have to tell the people of Palestine: yes, we agree, we committed crimes.
But it is immoral to promise the Palestinians that they can return to their houses and to their fields. And so we go telling the Palestinian people: yes, it is perfectly sane to disagree on your moral right to return, to share with us the milk and honey (a legitimate difference of political judgement).
And so we are back in the jungle where right and wrong have become pulp - as an old and wise Italian man put it.
Now, isn't that some decent western logic (supporting the implementation of that logic by the Israeli) to become mad?