How far will we go to be loved?

Don’t you just love it when after sixty-seven years of not merely existence, but of growth, thriving and great contributions to world civilization, the legitimacy of Israel, the Jewish state, is still a subject open for debate?

Let me ask you this, would you still dispute that the earth is round? Would you still debate that the it goes around the sun, or would you sink back into the dark ages of human development and question these issues? Why is it that despite historical, legal and political facts and truths, some people still feel a need to question and craft narratives when it comes to Israel, a sovereign nation that was re-established, first and foremost, by virtue of its own historical, religious, and natural rights  that was also later acknowledged by the international community?

Furthermore, why, despite one of the ingrained basic tenet of democratic societies where one remains innocent until proven guilty, do some Israelis and Jews rush to breast beatings and admit guilt or wrongdoing?

But above all, have you ever asked yourself why is it that Jews and Israelis are among the leaders of such debates, the first to issue immediate and uncalled for admission of guilt and the spearheads of such smear campaigns? What happened to the people described in Numbers 23:9 : “הן עם לבדד ישכן ובגוים לא יתחשב” (A People that is secluded and does not consider what the other nations think), I keep asking myself.

I always come back to the same answer. It has haunted me for many years. Whether we like it or not, two thousand years of Diaspora are, in my view, part of the roots of that. I would venture to say that this flawed characteristic of some part of our Israeli society is one symptom of it. Living at the mercy of others for so long, being a plaything in their hands, leaving their lands when they ordered us to and coming back to them when they needed us and lured us with promises only to eventually be kicked out of them again would shape the low self image for the sturdiest and the mightiest. Always being defined and redefined by others, and mostly in a non-favorable demeanor, predisposes the eventual fragile texture of the fabric of one’s collective sub consciousness both on individual and communal levels.

Members of a nation who have an ongoing dialogue with God, a dialogue where the main questions are: “Why me?” “Why us?” “Where is God now?” or “where was He then?” are bound to engage in polemics surrounding their self worth regardless of whether those that engage in it believe in God or not. It is already part of their national, cultural and ethnic genetic blueprint. Surely, logic dictates, if we are hated so much, despised so much, the reason must be within us. This, unfortunately, is the prevalent attitude among many Jews especially the “bleeding hearts” kind. After all, is it possible that so many could be wrong and Jews and Israelis, a tiny albeit a bright speck among the families of the earth, are the righteous ones?

Hence, the “We sinned” syndrome. “We did it!” “We are the guilty party!” “We are the illegitimate state!” “We are the invader!” “We are not like them!” “Go ahead, debate our existence,” “Question our desire to survive and our means to defend ourselves.” “After all, we are still your raggedy toy, so throw us, tear us apart and continue to do with us as you wish.”

Now world, will you please love us?

About the Author
Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks is an English teacher and a pro Israel advocate. She lives in Israel and has recently published her first novel, "On A Wing From The Holy Land."