Saturday, May 03, 2008

Israel at 60 - take 5


Labour Zionism (and Israel) have come a long way.

Once it dreamed of an egalitarian and cultured society. Now it is the poster child for the high tech entrepreneurial free market. Is this all bad? No. Is it all good. No.

But it sure is different.

The new secular Zionist dogma: Science and Technology, Individual Initiative and Optimism, Non-conformism and Confidence - these will save the world. And they certainly have been good for the top 20% of Israeli society.

President of Israel, and former Labour Party Prime Minister, Shimon Peres sums it all up in this remarkable talk to a group of technology students in Israel.

My favourite line: "Optimist and pessimists both die the same way. But its more enjoyable for you and for others to live as an optimist."

My least favourite: "One day nano-technology will allow us to have robot armies to fight our wars."

What ever happened to love of history and culture, caring for the poor and the weak, seeking justice, empathizing with the stranger, and knowledge l'shma as a path to fulfillment?

Ah! T'is indeed the age of the "New Hebrew Man."

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