Margaret Atwood's Israeli diary -

Margaret Atwood’s Israeli diary

‘The Shadow is Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians’


Canadian author Margaret Atwood writes in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz about a recent trip to Israel, her first to the Jewish state: “The Shadow is not the Palestinians. The Shadow is Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, linked with Israelis’ own fears. The worse the Palestinians are treated in the name of those fears, the bigger the Shadow grows, and then the fears grow with them; and the justifications for the treatment multiply.”


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Margaret Atwood’s Israeli diary

  1. M.A.'s criticism would be acceptable ONLY if she measured Arab states the same way.Israel was and is a democracy,where you can freely express your views(they don't need the likes of Chomsky,a vicious anti-israeli sob).She should try do do that in ANY of the Arab states(including "Palestine")and see what will happen to her.The best case;she will never cross that border again.The worst:anything(use your imagination).It seems to be the politically correct thing to criticize Israel,no matter what they do.Look at the achievements a small country always in a state of war managed.In agriculture,technology,etc.

    • Come now. One wrong doesn't make another right. This small country was build on the backs of the Palestinians who have lived there for centuries and are now being ethnically cleansed. They have a right to defend themselves, their land and their dignity against an aggressive and abusive zionism which means to dispossess them completely and utterly from their homeland. Only one state where all citizens are equal before the law is now possible in what is now Israel and the Occupied Territories if true democracy and justice are to be established.

  2. On her first and only visit she solves the prombem Israel IS TO BLAME for everything. Another Brain Dead Lieberal..

  3. The challenge is a viable alternative to the current situation. It seems to me that that only times the Palestinians have demonstrated the ability to take their future in their own hands is to reject peace, kill off moderates and indiscriminatly
    launch rockets on civilian populations. The really shadow is the Arabs' unvilingness to resolve the conflict peacefully…

  4. Another narrow-minded cowardly 'artist'(she's not a very good writer either).

    • She's a damn fine writer.

  5. Israel's psychotic neighbours have got to learn to live in peace. But because Israel IS a democracy, it should be able to live up to a higher standard than the theocracies and dictatorships which surround it. Ending the Gaza blockade would be a start.

  6. Why is MacLeans printing this tired old broad'S BLATHERINGS?
    Canadians are as sick of her "voice" as they are of Anne Murray's.
    It evokes a crappy by-gone era of LAME CANADIANA that an entire generation has LUCKILY missed.

  7. "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever." Thus the head of Oceana's Thought Police, O'Brien, sums up for Winston Smith, the hero of George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-four, what they all have to look forward to inside their totalitarian nightmare. Unless and until the question of Palestine is adequately addressed and the fate of the Palestinians at last satisfactorily resolved, the relationship between oppressor and oppressed in the Middle East will come down to this: An Israeli boot stamping on a Palestinian face— forever.

    • Granted, occupation is an ugly business. One which is however unavoidable in the current situation as
      the only times the Palestinians have demonstrated the ability to take their future in their own hands is to
      reject any peace offering, kill off their moderates and indiscriminatly launch rockets on civilian populations
      on the other side.

      No, the real 'shadow' is the Arabs' collective unvilingness to reach a peacefull resolution to the conflict.

  8. Two prophetic quotations:

    (1) In a letter he sent in 1902 to Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement, Lord Rothschild explained why he could not support a Jewish state in Palestine. He wrote that he “should view with horror the establishment of a Jewish colony pure and simple; such a colony would be Imperium Imperio; it would be a Ghetto with the prejudice of the Ghetto; it would be a small petty Jewish state, orthodox and illiberal, excluding the Gentile and the Christian.”

    (2) In 1944, Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, expressed himself as follows: "The concept of a racial state – the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. . . , I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past. To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state or commonwealth is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences."

    • Give me a break dude. You cannot possibly be attempting to make this argument!
      Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Boudhists all number over a billion each.

      There is only one place, one entity which can garantee the survival of Judaism,
      the oldest monotheistic religion in Human history and that is the State of Israel.

      • Time, the thrust of history, economics, geopolitics and demographics are with the Palestinians. According to the US State Dept., they already outnumber Jews between the River Jordan and the Med. Sea. During the past 10-12 years nearly one million Israeli Jews have emigrated and immigration is less than a trickle. Israel is an historic anachronism, a blip in history. It will drown in a sea of Arabs. Currently, Muslims worldwide total 1.75 billion and in 20-25 years they will number well over 3 billion – with around 650 million Arabs, including 10-12 million Palestinians in former mandated Palestine – with an average age of about 18. The implications are obvious. The Crusaders occupied Palestine in whole or in part for 250 years. Indeed, every time an Israeli Jew looks upon the ruins of a Crusader castle he/she shudders.

      • The Zionist occupation is doomed. As descendants of the Canaanites, today's Palestinians have seen conquerers come and go or be absorbed as were many Crusaders.

        One state between the River Jordan and the Med. Sea is inevitable. When it is achieved, the world, especially Jews will finally be free of the curse of Zionism, a 19th century racist settler-colonist ideology whose only positive feature is that it contains the seeds of its own destruction.

        • Now you're just rambling! "Descendants of the Canaanites"?
          What a load of crock! Who are you? Go back to school, buddy!

  9. The key paragraph in Ms. Atwood's article:

    "Time is running out. Opinion in Israel may be hardening, but in the United States things are moving in the opposite direction. Campus activity is increasing; many young Jewish Americans don't want Israel speaking for them. America, snarled in two chaotic wars and facing increasing international anger over Palestine, may well be starting to see Israel not as an asset but as a liability. "

    We are witnessing the beginning of the end of America's "special relationship" with Israel. It could only be thus. In the final analysis, all great powers are forced to act in their own best interests and it is abundantly clear that expansionist/occupier Israel is increasingly detrimental to America's 21st century geopolitical and economic interests.

    • Please. Even an event as horrific and traumatic as
      9/11 didn't shake the foundations of that relationship.

      The Palestinian plight doesn't take away
      from the existential basis for a Jewish state.

      Americans understand that fact which is obviously beyong your grasp.
      Just where did you get your degree in American geopolitics? Phoenix Online?

      • Spare me this nonsense. I speak as one who lived in the Middle East for over five years and I am very well versed in the history of the Israel-Palestinian/Arab conflict through personal experience and academic study. Anyone with a reasonable grasp of history and current events understands full well that Israel is America's number one geopolitical liability. It is now openly discussed within Washington's corridors of power. Israel is a millstone around America's neck. Prepare for events to unfold that you have never imagined.

        • Israel's ongoing "conversion wars" breeding unbearable tension among Israel's various religious factions will also move the Jewish state in a sideways direction and create lasting disaffection as the ultra-orthodox faction vies to be the one to impose its will over the others and exclusively dominate the religious scene and determine "true" Jewish identity. A process ominously referred to as the "Talibanization of Judaism."

        • Ditto David. Minotaure is consistantly spewing out rubbish, myth, misinformation and outright ignorance of the reality on the ground.

          • You're a 100% right OttawaValleyVoice. Especially considering David's
            assertion that the Palestinians are "descendants of the Canaanites".

            If you guys think that the 'Palestinians' are the natives of Palestine,
            then you guys are simply hopeless bigots who are attempting to
            rewrite history so it can fit your preconceptions about right and wrong,
            victim and occupier. The Jewish people have 5000 years of history,
            during 3000 of which Jerusalem has been the center of their faith.

            The fact is the word 'Palestinae' is a Roman name which replaced
            'Israel' upon the Roman Conquest of the Kingdom of Judah about
            two thousand years ago and has its origins in the word 'Philistine',

            Talk about myth, misinformation and outright ignorance!

  10. In a speech he gave recently that ultimate mover and shaker among elites Zbigniew Brezinski warmed of a youthquake in the Third World in which a new wired generation would not be content to allow Zbiggy and his ilk to dominate their lives. Ditto the
    new up and coming generation of Palestinians.

  11. Minataure – Palestinians are the natives of Palestine – some are Muslim, some are Christian and some are Jewish – all have been there for centuries. The problems began when Eureopean Jews decided they wanted to create a Jewish state there. After WWII, western countries agreed to the creation of Israel due to pressure from the Zionist lobby and because they did not want to acccept European Jewish refugees.

    • Relayer – With all due respect, either your knowledge of history is obviously lacking or
      you're purposefully omitting certain historical facts to make your case which is shaky at best.

      First off, by lumping everyone together as if it's a homogenous group which it obviously
      isn't, you seriously undermine any chance of seeing clearly the issues at hand.

      As early as the 1920's, western countries, in particular Britain, which had been given
      a Mandate over Palestine by the League of Nations (the United Nation's predecessor),
      expressed their support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the one place on
      earth with which the Jewish People have a strong historical and spiritual connection: Israel.

      Ironically, the British used to call the Jews 'Palestinians' to distinguish them from the Arab population.

      Call it Palestine if it tickles your fancy, as long as you're aware that you're using a Roman term
      to describe what both the Old and New Testaments refer to as Eretz Yisrael; the Land of Israel.

      Watch this for more historical insight:

      The truth is, "Palestinians" as a people is a myth no more than 50 years old, created for a single
      purpose: to further their political goals and obtain recognition of rights they would not otherwise
      be recognized under international law.

      The following quote confirms this view:

      "The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism."

      -PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein, March 31, 1977, interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw

      I hope the information provided here will enable you to
      discuss the issues at hand with more depth and accuracy.