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Abraham Accords

I just returned from a trip to Australia — first time on Emirates or any Arab airline, and I have nothing but praise for their service.  To my palate, it was the best kosher airline food I’ve ever had. And instead of the usual endless, partially microwave-melted plastic film wrapping, it arrived all sealed, but in recyclable cardboard and paper under American OU supervision. I don’t know if that suits everyone’s kosher requirements or not, but I was happy.

I was surprised again by the movie selection.  In stark contrast to the machinations of our local Holocaust-denying “peace partner,” I watched the story of a small Jewish family in Germany unfold as conditions slowly got more restrictive for Jews — one shop after another refused them service, they could no longer keep their smart, loyal family dog; and by the time they realized that they must leave, they were trapped, and so on.  Anyway, not a movie I expected to watch on an Arab airline—polar opposite of Holocaust denial.

Another thoughtful offering was an unabashed analysis of “eco-tourism” and third-world volunteer tourism packages in orphanages.  As one who has lived and traveled extensively in the areas depicted, I learned a lot and am still pondering how to appropriately and effectively redress our global situation of unequal access to resources, education and opportunities.  Again, high marks to the airline for not shying away from touchy topics.

It wasn’t until I arrived in Australia, however, that a citizen of a country with apparently no enemies, certainly none lobbing missiles and digging invasive terrorism tunnels into their territory, accosted me with the “undeniable truth” that “that strip there is an open-air prison.” We talked, and he did acknowledge in the end that it’s a “complicated situation.” But the irony was not lost on me that I had traveled for 22 hours and across hundreds of kilometers of Arab airspace on an Arab airline and disembarked before encountering such a discriminatory appraisal of our complicated situation.

It is a curious phenomenon how we have arrived at this complicated situation. When I was a kid and later a university student (who thought he was a goy), it was thought cool to go to Israel and live on a kibbutz, etc., and Arabs who were hijacking airplanes were definitely the bad guys. Now it seems that our estimation in the eyes of many Westerners has morphed into something like the bully, the bad guy or the pariah and the hijackers and terrorists have somehow become objects of pity who deserve to be supported and encouraged to the tune of millions, and no embarrassing questions about how they spend it.

And so the complicated situation gets more complicated as, in the wake of the Abraham Accords, we now breeze through Dubai on our way to numerous world-wide destinations, cooperate with the UAE on a Mars mission and any number of other business ventures; and at the same time our PA “peace partner” accuses us on a global platform of perpetrating many holocausts on the helpless PA population.  And I wonder:  If the holocaust never happened, as he claims, by what crooked metric can we be accused of repeating many times something that never happened in the first place?

He calls us European colonists. Funny that. The EU, one of the supporters of the Oslo Accords, pays NGOs to fund Arabs to settle and build on Israeli-controlled Area C land—so are Jews the European colonists or are Arabs the European colonists?  Meanwhile, I’m living in the Shomron in an established community that’s been here for 40 years.  I own a house with title which would be recognized in any court in Israel, and in walks an Israeli, a Jew.  She’s employed by some foreign-funded NGO to help Bedouin claim land in the Negev, and she sits on my lounge and calls me a settler.  A complicated situation—or as Lewis Carroll might have said, complicateder and complicateder.

So who are we, anyway—Jewish owners, inheritors and players in this complicated situation?

We are “Left wingers” who are desperate to avoid a “One-State Solution,” so we deeply desire a peace agreement resulting in the “Two-State Solution” with our “peace partner” who has never kept any agreement he’s signed with us and is currently paying terrorists and/or their families handsomely for trying to kill us.  Why this Two-State Solution?  Because of the demographic threat to our democratic and Jewish state.  The only way we can guarantee our security is by separating from the Arabs—by withdrawing from and giving them all the land from which they continually attacked us from 1948 until 1967, and the Arabs in the “Triangle” as part of the deal.  And we will fight to the death for our tiny homeland—and whenever the missiles start landing on our population centers, we support a military response, and for that the world press regards us as “Right wingers.”

We are also “Right wingers” who are desperate to avoid the Two-State Solution, but we don’t see the One-State Solution as the inevitable alternative, and we are busily building factories and providing employment for Arabs while they are busily taking over and building on “our” land.  Why not this Two-State Solution?  Because of the geographic threat to our Jewish and democratic state.  The only way we can guarantee our security is by holding the land of our forefathers, the land from which the Arabs continually attacked us from 1948 until 1967.  And we will fight to the death for our tiny homeland—and whenever the missiles start landing on our population centers, we also support a military response, and the world press always regards us as “Extreme Right wingers.”

A complicated situation.

And what happens in this complicated situation when we go to elections?  Right wingers vote for Right wing parties who, if they win, deliver Left wing policies.  And Left wingers vote for Left wing parties who, if they win, deliver Right wing policies.  Or so it seems.

Complicateder and complicateder.

About the Author
Born and raised in Buddhist Thailand as a Christian missionary kid, I was also schooled in Viet Nam, Malaysia and the US. I trained and worked as a minister and educator in the US, Philippines, Thailand and Australia, discovering at 55 that I'm Jewish. A new chapter began with the bet din, bar mitzvah training and a Jewish marriage, and then we made aliyah in 2014.
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