From temper tantrum to maturity.

Since the foundation in 1948 of the State of Israel, no-one, no country or organization, sanctioned Israel for the things it did. It disregarded several UN resolutions, it violated international law repeatedly, but the only responses from  the outside world (apart form the Palestinians) were some paternal reprimands, with no further consequences. That reminds me of parents who, after their children do something that is not acceptable (such as, for example, throwing food, or beating other children), rebuke their children, after which nothing happens (the behavior continues). Then of course the net result is that those children in the end cannot accept any boundaries. They in a way get stuck in an age of three, when autonomy is developing and boundaries should be set.

Now something remarkable happened. The European Union decided that Israel is not allowed anymore to import goods from the occupied territories with the label Made in Israel. The label should make it clear that the goods are coming from the Westbank or Gaza. Also the special favorable income tariffs for Israelian goods will not be applied anymore to goods of Westbank or Gaza origin.

This caused a temper tantrum in Israel. Everyone (apart from some Peace groups) was very upset, angry, annoyed, indignant, irate, enraged, livid, vexed, displeased – you name it. Israel reacted as a three year old child that was never confronted with any real limits. My personal conclusion from this is that the psychological age of the state of Israel is three years.

This made me wonder. What for example is the psychological age of the United States of America? It feels as: in the midst of the teens. Dynamic, impatient, optimistic about the future, an exploring mind, exuberant, arrogant, assertive. No sense for postponing satisfaction – if I want something, I want it now.

What is the age of Europe? On the one hand we are old. Conservative, wise, rigid, haughty, skeptical, careful, spiritual, compassionate. But on the other hand the younger generation, at least the native whites, are influenced a lot by the american way of life. They are young, critical, individualistic, and they don’t easily give up. So in the end Europe is a schizy continent, at least for the time being. I think it is  difficult to be a mature, flexible, open minded person in Europe. Mindfulness is a heavy assignment in both continents. This is probably why our leadership fails.

It would be interesting to estimate the ages of, say, China, India, Russia, Brasil. I personally don’t know enough of those countries to say something intelligent about it. But it would be useful knowledge if one wants to estimate the processes and outcomes of negotiations and cooperation. Real cooperation is only possible between parties that are both mature and grown up. How important that is shows the Israelian case. Anyone who wants to promote Peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestines, should know that no result can be accomplished unless the Israelians learn that boundaries exist. They will not learn that the soft way, by words alone. Only sanctions can make that clear. It doesn’t seem to me that the American government (Kerry, Obama) is seeing this.

And what should the Palestinians learn? As a result of ages of repressions they appear to me as primary school kids, who see only two possible reactions in life: submission or rebellion. They have to rediscover their own strength. If they don’t negotiations with Israelians will fail. The facilitators of the negotiations should know that as well.


(I apologize for mistakes in my English. Blogs are cursory – not stuff for correction by a native speaker)

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