This is a guest post by Israeli world debating champion Yoni Cohen-Idov.
There really aren’t enough words in the world to praise the Fraenkel family. If everyone, from all sectors and walks of life, had their nobility and moral standards, even wars would look different.
But sadly, the people who now want to “avenge” the death of Naftali Fraenkel (z”l) aren’t really interested in his family. (Thank goodness they’re religious, or they’d have been stoned for the sin of being left-wing.) Many of those who rushed, quite rightly, to share pictures of women handing out sweets in Gaza after the kidnapping don’t see such a big deal in the tens of thousands of people in Israel calling for the indiscriminate killing of innocent Arabs — assuming that there is such a thing, as one might get quite the opposite impression from these responses.
So ask yourself: what is the difference between the cretins in Gaza who call for the murder of Jews for being Jews, and the morons in Israel who call for the murder of Arabs for being Arab? If your answer is “no difference”, you’re wrong. The difference is that the Israelis feel they can say this on the premise that the other side are loathsome barbarians, whereas “we” are cultured and moral, at least more than they are.
And they’re right, but they’re missing one important fact: that they, who call for indiscriminate revenge while saying or assuming that “we” are more moral than the terrorists on the other side, are not part of the “we” of whom they speak.
What permits them to say that “we” are more moral than “them” is people like the Fraenkel family and others these commentators think of almost entirely as rotten traitors — the aloof judges of the Supreme Court; the treasonous or spineless members of Knesset from across the political spectrum, from Zehava Galon (who probably sleeps with Arabs anyway) through to Ruvi Rivlin (who sucked up to the Arabs to get elected) and even to Netanyahu (who’s just afraid of Obama the Muslim); the left-wing media; and of course all those bleeding-heart, homosexual leftist traitors, who stick up for the Arabs on Facebook.
It is thanks to these people alone that all those racist commentators calling for revenge are able to argue that “we” are more moral than the other side.
So a few words for these people, even though I suspect they’ll never read them, not least because I have long passed the upper ceiling of their reading abilities:
Guys, “we” are more moral than the people in Gaza who call for the murder of Jews, but “you” are not. You who call for the indiscriminate killings of Arabs, and those who call for the indiscriminate killing of Jews, are one and the same: you are equally guilty, and you have no right to feel morally superior to the women handing out sweets in Gaza. The only difference between the lot of you is that they hand out sweets, whereas you — come and get me? — know how to use Facebook.
Israel itself is in a completely different moral league from Hamas even though you are part of it, not because of you. You score own goals for our side from the middle of the pitch about a thousand time a second, and then we — the people thanks to whom you can stick up your noses and feel so superior to the other side — have to go out of our way to level the result, only to absorb your scorn for being traitors.
You praise the “Jewish mind” and criticise the boorish Arabs on comment boards every time a Jew wins a Nobel Prize, and in the same breath you heap scorn on academia for a whole bunch of reasons.
You take pride in the “long arm of the IDF”, but you despise the four-eyed nerds with asthma in the elite 8200 intelligence unit, who give our army its long arm.
You idolise the defence establishment and ask for it to be allowed to win, but when six heads of the Shin Bet and four chiefs of staff tell you that there exists an occupation and that it hurts Israel’s interests, you suddenly remember that they are actually traitors and don’t understand a thing about security.
You are as hypocritical as they come!
You dare to revel in the plumage of enlightenment and morality and integrity and loyalty, but most of these feathers were plucked from the people and sectors of this nation who, if it were up to you, would all end up on a grill.
You are living in a fantasy-land (I would say ‘cognitive dissonance’, but I’m certain you wouldn’t go to Wikipedia to check it out), in which you alone are loyal patriots and everyone else is a worm or a traitor. The only reason this film hasn’t ended and the usher hasn’t chucked you out yet is that it’s so easy to market, and so much more enjoyable than reality, that you manage quite easily to attract ever more spectators.
If you call for the murder of innocents — of any religion, race, sex or nationality — don’t you dare say that you are different in any sense from someone who does exactly the same thing on the other side.
You are not Jews. You are not Israelis. You are not human beings. I do not recognise you as part of my people. I do not recognise you as worthy of existence. Luckily for you, I don’t call for people to harm you. Because, as a matter of fact, I am more moral than the other side.
Than both the other sides.
Yoni Cohen-Idov is a former world debating champion, coach of the Israeli schools debating team, and coach of the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv and Bar Ilan debating societies. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is a consultant on communication, persuasion and argumentation. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.