Commenting to a Commentator

An American reader commented recently on my defense of Jewish terrorism in pre-State Palestine and inquired why, if we supported it then, do we now deny Arab terrorists their efforts to achieve statehood.

Americans are well-meaning, but often naive. They live under a delusion that all are equal, although in America many are more equal than others, depending usually upon the color of their skin.

In the pre-State years when we were subjects of His Majesty’s Mandate, our terror activities never involved killing of innocent civilians, although some unfortunately did die while we were striking out at British officials, police and military and once, right after our independence, a UN mediator. Jews never bombed private homes, did not go out in search of Arabs to slaughter. We never demolished Arab homes in the pre-State years. Our battle was mainly against British rule.

Americans of all people should be capable of understanding rebellion against British tyranny. Paul Revere rode on his horse crying a warning, “the British redcoats are coming” and the colonists in Lexington and Concord had time to load their muskets to shoot the redcoats on sight. No American ever considered the shooting of British soldiers as a crime.

And today, America is numbered among the worst countries for shootings and killings of innocent civilians in schools, movie theatres, and parking lots. American police shoot to kill, often without cause, and too often based upon the color of the victim’s skin. Racism is a very large part of American history and modern life.

Now, if the Arabs of Palestine had really wanted a state of their own they could have removed themselves to Jordan in 1967. Crossing over the river to live in what was once 77% of their beloved Palestine was an option available to them at that time.But they were a dis-unified people without any leadership. They are without doubt entitled to a land of their own as long as it is not taken from our land which God bequeathed to the Jews by His covenant with Abraham.

I hope the American reader who dearly loves the Arabs of Judea and Samaria will continue to wish them well and pray that they put an end to their terrorist activities which will deny them their hoped-for state and cost them the loss of many more lives. He need not pray for our Arabs in the Jewish State of Israel. We and they have learned to live with one another as good neighbors.

They are not terrorists and they enjoy the full equality of every citizen of Israel. It is guaranteed to them in our Declaration of Independence issued on May 14, 1948 and all Israelis take pride in that cherished historic document which proclaimed the re-establishment of our ancient homeland after a bitter two thousand years of exile

The Americans are taught in their civics classes about the tragedy of poor General Benedict Arnold. He betrayed his own country, had to flee to Canada for safety, and died the death of a lonely traitor. Fortunately for us, here in Israel, we had no traitors and no one had to flee.

We are a proud nation with a four thousand year old history which some of our neighbors try to deny. Two other belated monotheistic faiths were born from our loins, so we must have done something right. American history is almost 240 years and has achieved much in its youth. What will history say of it in the next four thousand years?

Equality is not a birthright. It is earned. And those who want to share our equality must earn it by demonstrating that they are willing to be good neighbors.

And thus ends a comment to a foreign commentator and reader whose feet have never touched the soil of our Holy Land and who “understands” us only from his local newspapers and news media sources,too many of which are sympathetic to the poor Palestinians.

His ignorance of our history is blatantly noticeable in his comments. He accuses us for all the ills in the world brought on due to our quarrel with the Palestinian blood-thirsty terrorists, unable to understand that the Arabs were bandits and murderers in the Middle East for centuries before the State of Israel was re-born. Pity the reader who knows not how to read !!

“All the news that’s fit to print”, according to the New York Times, is not always fit to print. And is not always correct. To truly know us, one must live among us. Walk with us. Talk with us. Rejoice with us. Who knows? You may even get to be fond of us. We would welcome understanding friends.

And if and when he ever arrives here, it will be my pleasure to invite him to the famous Arab bakery, Abulafia, in Jaffa, where Jews and Arabs stand in lines to buy freshly baked pita dipped in zahtar seasoning.

From there, I’ll travel with him on the road to Jerusalem to the wonderful restaurants in the Arab Muslim village of Abu Ghosh for the best plate of hummus in all the world.

At least, that’s what the Guinness Book of Records writes of them.

And for dessert, we can travel north to Galilee to the towns of the beautiful Druze communities for a sweet baklawa and a steaming cup of thick Turkish coffee where he can meet and talk with some of the bravest and finest non-Jewish citizens of our country.

So happy holiday to the American reader’s home from my home in Israel and best wishes for a 2016 of good health and true peace. And most important, to learn how to read and to understand the real truth. It’s not found in comic books.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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