Jeffrey Levine
CFO | Seeking a just world I Author

Cry my beloved Country

Cry my beloved country.

My name is Jeffrey Levine. Today, I am a Jew and Israeli living in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people. I was born in South Africa, in apartheid South Africa. When there was apartheid, the community we grew up in was tolerant and accepting of the other. We treated all persons irrespective of colour or religion with respect. They were employed in our homes and our businesses and were given fair employment and living conditions. When apartheid finally ended, Nelson Mandela was an inspiration for tolerance. He gave support both to the Palestinian cause and the Jewish community and the Israel cause. He was a man with a vision of peace even after all those years in jail.

The South African government came out this week and sided with Hamas in their barbaric killing and rape and massacre of innocent civilians, grandmothers, families, children and babies and more.

How can any country, government, person, or organisation support this EVIL? This is a misguided philosophy that embraces evil. Nelson Mandela must be turning in his grave, saying this is not his legacy in South Africa. Shame on you South Africa and shame on those others in the world who have supported these EVIL actions in some way.

You know, I strive for peace, and at the same time, I am right-wing and left-wing. Yes, the situation is not perfect. We Jews have prayed to return to Israel and prayed to Jerusalem in our daily prayers for 2,000 years. It’s part of our core. The Bible is probably the greatest Zionist book in history. The Christians and Muslims embraced this book. Whether we can go back, and even today, many Christians and Muslims acknowledge the centrality of the Jewish people’s claim to Jerusalem. So, we are not occupying anything. We have returned to our original homeland. However, there was a nascent population in Palestine of Arab tribes. Palestinians, Arab tribes, Bedouins, whatever you call them. And when the Jews came back, they revitalised the land. It’s a living miracle. This brought further Arabs to Israel, came from the neighbouring countries. So there was an influx of both Jews and Arabs.

Fast forward to today. Yes, we have a vibrant Arab population. A wealthy Arab population. I live in a mixed Arab-Jewish neighbourhood in my local park overlooking that hill where the Jewish Temple once stood (see cover photo) ,  I walk, and see many Arab families are enjoying the park. And the Jews are scared to go there in the evening. How sad. And it also saddens me that I don’t have a way to communicate with them. No one taught me Arabic. And I think there is a flaw in the system.

However, when I came to Israel in 1995, I started working with Arab Businessman. And they were genuinely nice people. And to be honest, this was a time of some peace agreements. And there was hope that there would be peace. I was invited to go to Nablus. That’s historical Shechem. And I thought, this is it. Peace in our time, and there’s no fundamental reason why there cannot be peace. There’s enough land here. But unfortunately, the “Palestinians” have chosen a vicious agenda. An agenda which Is called, from the river to the sea, will be free. And that means they will control all Israel and exterminate all Israel. Ethnic Cleansing.

We see many justifications for these atrocities. These barbarous acts. That reminds me so much of how the Nazis must have operated only 80 years ago. Yes, the Europeans. Disgusting people. 80 years ago. Only 80 years ago. You have no right to criticize Israel in any way, but you do. And we accept it. You should keep quiet. You should be ashamed of your history.

They say that we Israelis deserve this because we are occupying the land. Really. “Occupying”.  So even if that was true, this is not the way to go about it. We Israelis have tried to make concessions. And the more concessions we make, they take this as a sign of weakness. And the more they attack us. So, I say to these people, this is not a rational and plausible action. Just because you’re “occupying”  land, you can talk, negotiate. You can act towards peace. Believe me, if the Arabs, and I’m calling them Arabs, not Palestinians, had chosen the route, there would be peace. The Palestinians are a made up word in 1964 by Russia and the PLO.

I repeat – If the Palestinians had chosen peace, there would be peace. There would be prosperity for everybody.

The Jews of Europe and the Arab Lands were ethnically cleansed and disposed of their property and possessions. These Jews chose through much hardship to build, move on and create. Create a vibrant country. The Palestinians who were by choice or force were made to live in refugee camps, a pawn in the battle of Arab colonialism and sic religious ideology. These Arab countries refused to absorb their brothers, and these original victims of war started by the Arab Countries are now the hotbed of resentment, revenge, and seeking evil. Seeking destruction.  Shame on these Arab Countries, the UN, EU who continue to use these people as weapons against Israel.

And one of the things that really pains me, not only in Israel, which you can see when you go to Hebron, and you see the way Hebron is, Hebron should be the symbol of peace in the world, of living in harmony. In fact, I hear from good sources that some of the elements of Hebron do want peace. And they are pained by the extremism in the community.

Today, we are facing evil, pure evil, distorted by their version of religion. The Jewish religion, I’d say today, preaches peace. And even though the Bible does have very many extreme views, and it says one of the views of the Bible is that if anyone comes up and they seek to destroy you in the land, you should seek to destroy them in entirety. So, if the Jews follow the Bible in its truest words today, we have every right to wipe out every last Hamas supporter in Gaza. And in the West Bank, no matter. Because this is what it says in the Bible. It’s really one part of what’s in the Bible. But over the centuries, Judaism has become, through the prophets of Israel and through Isaiah,  seeking peace, a religion of peace, a religion of bettering the world. And we Israel have become a nation that seeks to better the world, seeks to bring innovation, to fight poverty, to fight disease, and to make the world a better place, a fairer place. We seek to build, but they seek destruction.

And therefore, I’m going to come back to the heading of this article, Cry My Beloved Country. Where is my beloved country? Today my beloved country is Israel. But I grew up in another beloved country, and that is South Africa. And the title of this little rant, blog, is Cry My Beloved Country, because that’s the name of a book that came out in South Africa. And yes, we need to cry. And we need to cry not only the evil in this world, but the response to that evil, the silence and the support of evil in this world. And that’s why I say shame to South Africa. Shame to my beloved country of my birth that you’ve chosen this stance.

So how can we go about changing the narrative? You know, I think we, as a people, are very flawed. And we have, and I’m also in contradiction, even though I’m not living in South Africa, in my heart, I’m still a South African. We have two big sporting events going on in the world this year, going on two World Cups, one’s cricket and one’s rugby. Yes, I will be supporting the BOKKE, and I will be ignoring what this ANC government has said, just because they’re looking to rewrite history and siding with Evil. The Palestinians have been trying to rewrite history. The United Nations have been trying to rewrite history.

Israel is the indigenous land of the Jewish people. Documented in History, the Bible and the in Rome. Go the colosseum and read the plaques, Go to Arch of Titus. It was won in the first grand wars 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973. There’s a pre-legal precedent. There’s legal precedent in both declarations, in the Balfour declaration, United Nations, the treaty of Versailles, and ratified in other forms of the United Nations. So legally, historically, there’s no occupation.

Why is Israel the only country in the world who’s right to exist and choose its eternal Capital not accepted and challenged? It is the only Jewish Country in the world. Emphasis on Jewish. (Sorry, my left-wing brothers, we are here and fighting today for our Jewish Country, for our unique calling and message.)

Sorry, while Democracy is important, it is secondary to Judaism. Taking care of the other using Judaism unique code of justice is more important, We do have a responsibility for the all citizens including the Arab citizens of this land. Whether they have a vote is not is not of prime importance, but they have a very nice standard of living. And if you drive around in their towns, which you can’t do because of reverse Apartheid, and if you do you will be lynched, you would see that there are some very big houses, and many normal houses. They have a very high standard of living. And even in my area, I see smart cars driving through the roads. Three out of four cars are from the neighbouring Arab suburbs.

But let’s go back to Gaza. Let’s go back to the fact that in 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza. They held elections, and they voted to bring Hamas into power. For all intents and purposes, Gaza is an independent state. Israel left the infrastructure in place, and they’ve been providing water, electricity, gas for the last 18 years. Yes, 18 years. During that time, the Gaza government could have chosen to build their own power stations, agriculture, their own water facilities, recycling, whatever it is, desalinization. And with the support of the funds they received, instead, they chose to build up an industry of destruction against Israel. They ignored all the basics of becoming an independent country in their own right. And when you talk about occupation, I see that they’re saying, Ah, Israel has no right to cut off the water, electricity, and gas for these people. It is inhumane. There are two borders in Gaza. There’s the Israeli border and the Egyptian border. Where is Egypt in this play? Why is Egypt not supplying electricity and water? They also controlled Gaza in the past. They also laid claims to it. So it’s a shame on those international organizations.  I believe that we, Israel, are our own worst enemy, because we should have said many years ago, as soon as Hamas started with the rockets, we should have said, Okay, you’ve got six months to organize your own electricity, water, gas, and food supplies, and we have nothing to do with you anymore. And that is it. Why should we be obligated to support people who are specifically aiming to kill us? So, in this, again, there’s a lack of rationality.

Already , we can see the world accuse Israel of a humanitarian crisis. Again , this subject needs to be reframed. The Gaza leadership are responsible by their actions for this crisis.

This is from the BBC.

So where do you go from here? Without a doubt, these terrible atrocities should shake the world. This is a place of pure evil. This is not the road to achieve peace. And I see that many of the Arab countries have been very silent about the way this has happened. And this worries me. We have the Abraham Peace Accords and all that, but where are the so-called peace partners in the Arab world? So, I’m sitting here in Jerusalem in the early morning, in the dark morning here, the wind blowing, and I’m reflecting, where do we go from here? And it’s not only in this conflict here. It’s also in other areas of the world. Today we have what we call the challenge of climate change, and we have the challenge of world poverty, the challenge of water, we have the challenge of electricity, a better world, a fairer world. And unless there’s a moral basis to this. We’re all doomed. Rabbi Saacks writes extensively over the concept of a good society. And we should see a better world, a better world for everybody. Israel may not be perfect. And we have the arguments of democracy versus Judaism. And in this regard, we  have to bring the best of both. We’ve had our internal arguments here, and our enemies have seized on this opportunity. But the Jewish way, I’d say, is a way of compassion. And if we’ve embraced our Jewish morals and ethics more correctly, and be kinder to the other, and recognize the importance of the other, then we can make changes. Yes, while democracy might be important, the basic respect of the other trumps democracy any day. And I call upon all of us who are divided, and not divided, and those who believe in a better and fairer world to come to the side of the truth and fight evil. Because, if we fail, this evil is on your doorstep.

One Final word – This is personal. I am now off to pray the morning services in a Shiva (house of morning) for the young lone soldier Nathanel Young from the UK who gave his life to protect us, fighting the Evil. The family is sitting in the block of flat behind my flat.

We are all victims of Evil.

I see Times of Israel does not have a Topics called EVIL !! Time to add this.


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About the Author
Jeffrey is a CFO | Seeking a just world I Author -living in Jerusalem. He is a young grandfather who has five kids and six grandchildren. Jeffrey is promoting a vision for a better and fairer world through and is the author of Upgrading ESG - How Business can thrive in the age of Sustainability
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