Wednesday, April 02, 2014

PBS: "The Story of the Jews" with Simon Schama, last episode "Return" presents case for Israel

PBS has aired a mini series “The Story of the Jews” by Simon Schama.  The last of these (“Return”) gave the history of the establishment of the modern state of Israel and of the security issues from the settlers’ point of view.  The basic link from PBS is here and another link from WETA is here.
In 1948, the British processed Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe, where they still weren’t welcome even after the liberation from the Nazis.  Two-thirds had died in the concentration camps. 

The documentary interviewed a man with a family in a West Bank settlement.  He said that everyone watched each other’s kids.  Life was somewhat communal.  He said that his people had a right to live there because they had in Biblical times.  Much of the West Bank territory figures into the detailed history of the kingdoms in the Old Testament. 

When members of a group believe that their identity as a “people” is of singular importance, their attitudes toward individual human rights does change.  Although Israel is OK with gay rights, many other countries where there is a similar concern about collective national identity (like Russia) are not, partly because procreation becomes some important as a virtue.

All of this would contradict the work of George Meek (see International blog, Dec 23, 2012 and May 20, 2013, picture above). 

See also "The Case for Israel: Democracy's Outpost" on the Movies blog, Nov. 13, 2013, with Alan Dershowitz, 

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