Fri 10 Nov 2023 1:15 pm - Jerusalem Time

Yedioth: The Israeli addiction to tales of heroism aims to hide and obscure reality while we are drowning in our disaster

In an analysis considered out of the ordinary in the occupying state, veteran Israeli analyst Nahum Barnea published an article in the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in which he asserted: “The war is still raging, and the guns are roaring, but Israel is already covering itself with padded layers to protect itself from true soul-searching.” .

  He continued: “The initial shock has now been replaced by countless tales of heroism and rebirth, along with stories of terrifying and unbearable disasters. One month after the start of the war, not a moment passes without a crying face on the television screen, nor a newspaper page without a heroic story.” .

“Every soldier who is killed is an ‘Israeli hero’, a soldier who has performed an amazing act of heroism, and the moving and exciting displays of volunteer work are over-covered. Look how beautiful we are and how good we feel about ourselves. Beside them are the reports from the front, everything, but everything, heralds great success: victory is on the way.”

He added: “Addiction to tales of heroism also aims to hide and obscure reality. Quiet, we wallow in our own catastrophe and feel admiration and amazement at ourselves.”

The analyst emphasized: “Watch how the stunning fiasco of October 7 is slowly fading into our consciousness, perhaps intentionally. People talk less and less about surprise to Israeli intelligence, and when they do, they ignore the role of the all-knowing and all-capable General Security Service (Shin Bet). They no longer talk about the inability of a strong, equipped and budgeted army, and its inability to save a kibbutz that was occupied for a full 12 hours.”

He pointed out that “a few more thousand Palestinian deaths in Gaza, and the catastrophe will fade further.” The Israeli army wins. The army's corrective experiment, if it is truly as successful as the story they have been telling us so far, can make us forget about failure. Who will hold accountable the great Israeli heroes who present to us the head of Yahya Sinwar on a silver platter, and perhaps even free the hostages? We will forgive them anything.”

The analyst asserted, “The preoccupation with indulging in sadness and patting ourselves on the back aims to cover up black holes, not only about what happened, but about what is happening and, essentially, about what will happen.”

“The first black hole is what is happening now in Gaza: the endless verbiage in the Israeli media almost ignores the horrific bloodbath. Not a word about the Gaza disaster. This does not mean that it is justified or unjustified, it simply does not exist. Ignoring is intentional. There are no reports. There are no pictures...and no mention of the next morning. Packs of words, and no one has yet said what will happen after the great victory.”

He continued: “There is no Israeli who does not want all the information about the hostages and their families, about those who were killed, the bereaved and the missing. 

But mourning and heroism cannot completely dominate public discourse for a month and beyond, nor give way to anything else.”

He pointed out that “besides heroism and rebirth, we must also deal with the disaster and those who bear responsibility for it, already now, before its intensity is weakened by a military victory, real or simulated.” We cannot hesitate to tell the Israelis what is now happening in their name in Gaza.”

He stressed that “the Israeli heroes are killing tens of thousands of people there en masse.” It is okay to justify it, one might say that there is no choice, or even to be happy, driven by bloodlust and feelings of revenge. But it cannot be hidden, not only because the whole world is dealing with that, but because it is a moral duty to look reality straight in the eye.”

He concluded: “A month after the start of the war, Israel is not looking reality directly in the eyes. Therefore, the opportunity for true self-discovery after the war is diminishing. “Maybe we will have to meet again in the next war.”


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