Fred Maroun
A believer in peace and human dignity

Israeli Jews answer hate the way that Arabs should

Since Israeli independence in May 1948, Israeli Jews have faced and continue to face, lies, violence, attempts at de-legitimization, and most of all, hate.  The hate has been unrelenting, and today it is carried all over the world by groups of all sorts, including the United Nations, many governments, mobs of students and “academics”, and hordes of Jihadist sympathizers.

In his latest appearance at the United Nations, Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas, who is on the tenth year of a four-year mandate, continued his tradition of lying to the UN assembly about Israel, and he continued to promote hate against Israel.  He again demanded the release of Palestinian terrorists, he again found excuses to not negotiate peace with Israel, and he again claimed Palestinian innocence while Palestinians thugs are engaged in violence, often with his support.

One of Abbas’ many lies to the faces of the UN members was his claim that “extremist Israeli groups are committing repeated, systematic incursions upon Al-Aqsa Mosque”.  Honest Arabs and Muslims tell us a very different story about what is happening at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, including Palestinian-Jordanian Mudar Zahran and Muslim American Qanta Ahmed.  The truth is that Palestinian thugs are using violence, and they are doing so with the encouragement of Abbas who said, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah.”

Abbas’s hateful rhetoric is sadly fully consistent with the society that he represents.  Reports of incidents where Palestinians celebrate the death of civilians abound, including the celebration of the deaths of Americans on 9/11.  In a recent case reported by The Algemeiner, Palestinians celebrated “the brutal slaying of an Israeli couple in a shooting attack in the West Bank. The festivities included the launching of fireworks and the waving of flags in the streets.”

Yet, in the face of all this hate, in addition to defending their security, which they must do, Israelis have reacted in the only way that any reasonable and compassionate person should react to hate: with love.

Israelis have built one of the most beautiful and successful nations on earth.  They have provided aid and even sometimes refuge to Arabs who needed it, including victims of Syria’s ongoing civil war.  Unlike Palestinian schools, Israeli schools do not teach hate.  They teach respect and love for diversity and peace.

Israel has responded to hate by offering peace to Arabs, over, and over, and over, and over again.  Only Egypt and Jordan have so far taken up the offers.  Palestinian leaders to whom Israel has repeatedly offered a two-state solution have only responded with violence and demands that terrorists be released to commit even more violence.  In response to Abbas’ hateful speech at the UN, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated yet again that he is “committed to a vision of two states for two peoples, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state”.

Why do the overwhelming majority of Israelis respond to hate with love?  Why do they not respond with hate as many people would?  I believe that the reason is rooted in their Jewish upbringing.  I believe that Judaism teaches love because love is effective while hate is not.  This has allowed Jews to survive many centuries of hateful and often violent anti-Semitism.

Abbas told the UN assembly, “We do not respond to the Israeli occupation’s hatred and brutality with the same. Instead, we are working on spreading the culture of peace and coexistence between our people and in our region”.  Abbas turns the truth on its head, but the truth is known by some Palestinians, including Bassam Tawil who wrote several outstanding articles about Palestinian society, including “Are the Palestinians Prepared for Peace?”, “Palestinians: The Difference between Us and Them”, and “Palestinians: We Are the New Nazis”.

Palestinian society relies on hate to fight a pointless war against an “enemy” that only wants peace.  The hate has taken its toll on Palestinians.  Palestinian society is divided, self-loathing, self-destructive, and ineffective.

Israelis have instead chosen love.  Love for their nation, love for science and innovation, love for their culture, love for the many people around the world who face disasters, and even love for those who want them dead.

It is not too late for Palestinians to take a different path.  For this, they need only look at fellow Palestinians who have chosen love rather than hate, including Bassam Tawil, Mudar Zahran, and Bassem Eid.  These outstanding leaders should be their inspirations.  Change is hard, but it is never too late to take the right path.

About the Author
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and to defend itself. Fred supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities co-exist in peace with each other, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.
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