Israeli society felt threatened and took to the trenches during the Gaza war, launching devastating attacks on its Palestinian neighbours with a high toll of civilian deaths. Why? To try and find some answers we visited a kibbutz – Israeli collective farms – located near the Gaza Strip. For many years they have been under attack by the Palestinian militia, making it difficult for them to imagine coming to peace with their neighbours across the border. But that response is not unique to Israelis living in the south of the country. More than 90% of Israeli Jews supported the Gaza offensive.
In Tel Aviv, the country’s most modern and cosmopolitan city, many young people admit to feeling increasingly threatened. According to some Israeli anti-war political analysts, this reaction has been stirred up by politicians and the media, which give little voice to independent thinkers. One exception is the weekly political satire TV program “Eretz Nehederet” (“A Wonderful Country”) that takes Israeli politicians to task through its sharp humour, but during the Gaza offensive, also made jokes about the number of Palestinian victims – victims who today are no longer willing to even try and understand Israeli society.