Israeli Morality: A Light to the World

Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman wrote a very interesting article in today’s issue of the JERUSALEM POST. In it, she affirms that Israel’s top priority at the moment is to continue giving medical care at Hadassah Hospital in En Kerem, Jerusalem, to Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Chief Negotiator and a mortal enemy of the “Zionist regime”. (That’s us).

He was admitted to our largest Jewish hospital, now under oxygen and on a ventilator due to his attack of the coronavirus. Hospitals in the Palestinian Authority area and in nearby brother Arab countries did not have the medical facilities to attempt to save his life.

He was rushed from his home in Jericho to Jerusalem in very serious condition. Who knows if he will still be alive by the time you read this article?

Why should Israel have admitted a major enemy bent upon our destruction into one of our hospitals?

Outside the Hadassah hospital many Jewish protesters are gathered holding signs which read “Let him die”.

That is not the Jewish way. Even our enemies whose blood is as red as ours are bound by our Torah laws to give care to all in need….even to one’s enemies if requested. It is clearly written so in our Halacha, the standard of all Jewish law.

Who is paying for Erekat’s medical treatment? The costs will amount to thousands or hundreds of thousands of shekalim. To whom should the bill be sent?

And if by some measure of Israel’s medical skills he survives death, how will he express his gratitude to us? Will he simply walk out of the hospital’s doors with only a “shukran” to leave behind him?

Most of the Arab world and almost all of the western European nations are looking at us in sheer amazement. Who would think such moral concern could be directed towards one of our greatest enemies, a leader in the nation which seeks to eliminate us from the earth, to fulfill its 1948 promise of throwing all the Jews into the sea?

In the miracles which happen on occasion in the Middle (Muddled) East, we need to ask Why and Who.

Only a few days ago we signed peace agreements with the United Arab Emirates and the kingdom of Bahrain. Sudan, Kuwait and Qatar are still holding their respective breaths to decide upon or to reject normalization with us.

And Morocco, home to many thousands of Jews for centuries with still a significant Jewish population, has not given any nod to the prospect of peace with us.

Yesterday a large delegation from the UAE arrived on an Etihad airline, the first to land in Israel, to discuss terms of the peace accords with us. Of great importance and more astonishment, the United Arab Emirates and Israel have signed a visa-free agreement, the very first of its kind with an Arab nation.

Israeli citizens and citizens of the UAE will be able to visit one another’s country without the necessity of having a visa stamped in their passports. Something unheard of. Whereas we are at peace for some time with Egypt and the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan for many years, we are required to obtain visas from their embassies in Tel-Aviv if we should wish to visit.

More astonishingly, for the past 72 years all Israelis wishing to visit in the United States of America are required to procure a visa to enter the USA. The agreement of no required visas between us and the UAE is something remarkable. Let other countries take notice and do the same.

I do not understand why the UAE is in such a rush, such a big hurry, to establish an embassy in Tel-Aviv and to request that we speedily open our embassy in Abu Dhabi. Why the urgency, why the necessity to speed it up? It takes time to select a proper place, an area of security, and a building of majestic beauty.

But very soon I look forward to making the 3 hour flight from Ben-Gurion airport to Abu Dhabi. There is so much to be seen in a land of centuries of immense culture and tolerance. An Arab Muslim nation with a significant, if small, Jewish community with synagogues and rabbis and hotels which provide kosher meals to Jewish guests.

When the delegation arrived in Israel from the UAE, one of the first places they wanted to go was the holy Al-Aqsa Muslim mosque in Jerusalem.

During their short visit they were heckled and verbally abused and denounced by Palestinian Arabs in Jerusalem because of their peace agreement with Israel. Muslim against Muslim. Where is the brotherhood? Where is the morality? Where is the respect to exalted dignitaries from a brother Muslim nation?

If Saeb Erekat can be treated in an Israeli hospital with every effort to preserve his life, the Arabs in Palestine should change their eye-glasses for better vision… a vision that should lead us to peace talks.

And maybe even to a peace agreement a la mode of the tolerant Gulf states. Insh’Allah ! May God will it.

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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