Eric Danis

Back to Germany?

Former NBA basketball player and political extremist Etan Thomas recently questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel and asked why Israel wasn’t established in Germany.

Not content to merely fill his Twitter feed with Hamas propaganda in recent days, Etan published an article in The Huffington Post entitled, “Has Israel Become What It Has Hated the Most? 30 Questions.”

Following the lead of the lovable Helen Thomas, Etan questions why Jews left Germany following the Holocaust:

22. A persecuted people (the European Jews not the Biblical Jews but the European Jews) fled persecution and anti-Semitic extermination from Hitler and Nazi Germany. They were in much need of a refuge and anyone with half of a heart would agree with that, but why build that refuge in a place where another group of people already live? Why not carve out some land in Germany the people who actually committed the crimes. The Palestinians were punished for something they had nothing to do with.

Well, that’s certainly one way to phrase the question: “Let’s exclude your continuous presence in the land for thousands of years, including the archeological evidence proving you’ve been there longer than any other living people. Now explain why you deserve a country.”

Maybe the answer is that both the United Nations and the League of Nations voted Israel into existence because the nascent state met all of the criteria for statehood.

Perhaps it would be helpful if someone would explain to Etan that Israel is a mosaic of immigrants of all different hues and colors from around the world: Tunisia, Egypt, Russia, Poland, Germany, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, America, England, etc.

Look at this picture of Moshe Malko (z’l), who valiantly lost his life in the fight against Hamas terrorists during this recent conflict. Should his family “go back” to Germany?

In framing Palestinians as the natives, Etan ignores the fact that there has never been a state called “Palestine” that was ruled by Palestinians. From 1948-1967, Egypt and Jordan controlled the entire West Bank and Gaza. Why wasn’t a Palestinian state formed then?

Etan also doesn’t explain whether he questions the legitimacy of other nation-states and why he is so focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict right now, as opposed to what is happening in Syria or Ukraine. Etan claims not to be anti-Semitic, of course.

11. You are NOT “Anti-Semitic” just because you don’t agree with the policies of Israel…Isn’t it a weak argument for someone to say that if you disagree with me that must mean that you hate me and fear me?

“Pro-Gaza” protests worldwide have been marred by anti-Semitic language, violence and property destruction (especially in France and Germany, where Etan apparently wishes the Jews had established their state). But let’s not let facts get in the way of apparently pure  intentions. Palestinian suffering as a political tool is nothing new, sadly (and it doesn’t seem to actually help the Palestinians much).

More gems from Etan’s article:

4. Isn’t the bombing of entire neighborhoods in an effort to eliminate Hamas just as ridiculous as the notion of bombing all of South Central LA in order to eliminate the Crips and Bloods?

A. Why is Hamas tunneling under neighborhoods and hiding bombs in neighborhood schools?

B. Isn’t Hamas’ bombing of an entire country in order to eliminate the Jews ridiculous?

C. How should Israel handle YEARS of unending rocket fire on its civilian population by terrorists whose stated goal is to overrun all of Israel?

23. …Isn’t terrorism in the eye of the beholder?

Besides Islamic terrorists, who thinks that intentionally exploding a bus isn’t terrorism? Who thinks that kidnapping teenagers and killing them isn’t terrorism? So “no” is my answer to that question.

25. Israel was created as a Jewish State. If was built on a blueprint of exclusion. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. Why was it acceptable and widely supported throughout the world for the Jews to have this separate state of their own, but not even a thought for the millions of Africans after slavey (SIC)?

Etan must be unaware that the draft constitution of the proposed Palestinian state declares that “Islam is the official religion of Palestine.” Apparently he thinks that Hamas won’t attempt to impose Islamic rule. The Jewish state is wrong, but no complaints from Etan in his article about the many, many (officially) Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa. Regarding the bizarre African comment: Africans have an entire continent. Jews have a tiny country that is the size of New Jersey.

Unfortunately, Etan’s “air ball” attempt at a cogent and fair article shouldn’t be a surprise. As Israeli writer Amos Oz once famously put it:

Out there, in the world, all the walls were covered with graffiti: ‘Yids (Jews), go back to Palestine,’ so we came back to Palestine. And now the world at large shouts at us: ‘Yids, get out of Palestine.’

About the Author
Eric Danis lives in Modi'in, Israel with his wife and three cute kids. Whenever possible, he tries to dispel misconceptions and stereotypes about Israel and Judaism.
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