Since its creation in 1948, the state of Israel has depended on a constant flow of opponents to which ultimate responsibility for its own reprehensible activities can be apportioned. Externally, neighbours Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq have all at some point in time served as public enemy numero uno for the Israeli state, in some cases more than once. Now, however, these adversaries have been neutralised, placated or reduced to smouldering rubble through infighting, civil war and Western intervention. With no obvious regional threats left, the Israeli government has been reduced to manufacturing non-existent ones.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up