"Israel has stayed the same, but the world has changed. Whatever purchase Israel’s self-description still has upon the imagination of Israelis themselves, it no longer operates beyond the country’s frontiers. Even the Holocaust can no longer be instrumentalized to excuse Israel’s behavior. Thanks to the passage of time, most Western European states have now come to terms with their part in the Holocaust, something that was not true a quarter century ago. From Israel’s point of view, this has had paradoxical consequences: Until the end of the Cold War Israeli governments could still play upon the guilt of Germans and other Europeans, exploiting their failure to acknowledge fully what was done to Jews on their territory. Today, now that the history of World War II is retreating from the public square into the classroom and from the classroom into the history books, a growing majority of voters in Europe and elsewhere (young voters above all) simply cannot understand how the horrors of the last European war can be invoked to license or condone unacceptable behavior in another time and place. In the eyes of a watching world, the fact that the great-grandmother of an Israeli soldier died in Treblinka is no excuse for his own abusive treatment of a Palestinian woman waiting to cross a checkpoint. “Remember Auschwitz” is not an acceptable response."
- Tony Judt, The country that wouldn’t grow upIsrael News - Haaretz Israeli News source
"What gets lost here, what is corroded in the distaste for common taxation, is the very idea of society as a terrain of shared responsibilities. Obviously, it’s completely disingenuous because when you leave the gated community, you get on the interstate highway, which is a government-provided service that could only possibly be paid for from general taxation and so on. And the police which ultimately guarantee that such pockets of wealth are possible are paid from local taxes."
- Tony Judt, Thinking the Twentieth Century, 2012 (via tshirts-older-than-you)
More true than ever.
"the State of Israel remains curiously (and among Western-style democracies, uniquely) immature. The social transformations of the country - and its many economic achievements - have not brought the political wisdom that usually accompanies age. Seen from the outside, Israel still comports itself like an adolescent: consumed by a brittle confidence in its own uniqueness; certain that no one "understands" it and everyone is "against" it; full of wounded self-esteem, quick to take offense and quick to give it." -tony Judt, 2006