The reports about soccer matches in the World Cup in Qatar, in which Team Israel is not participating, continue to captivate the many soccer fans in Israel. But other reports from Qatar are getting the attention of all the Israelis without exception: documentations of Israeli reporters facing hostile Arabs, both locals and tourists from other Arab countries. In some cases, the hostility became so intimidating that reporters felt compelled to hide their Israeli identity. In another case, a non-Israeli reporter was verbally attacked and nearly physically struck because someone in the crowd mistook him for an Israeli and announced it to his friends.
Indeed, there is an anti-Israel obsession among many Arabs. Despite the Abraham Accords that established “normalization” between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, hatred toward Israel and Jews has not subsided in the Arab world, not in the least.
Even if Israel signs a peace treaty with Saudi Arabia, the leader of the Sunni Muslim world, I believe that Israel’s position in the world in general, and in the Arab world in particular, will continue to deteriorate. To improve Israel’s status, it must earn the change. If Israel is worthy, the change will happen with or without agreements. If it is unworthy, no piece of paper will change Israel’s status, and it will remain a pariah.
Israel’s problems are not external, but internal. We cannot live with one another like fellow countryfolk. We keep trying to trip, fail, use, and abuse one another and division is gnawing on us from within. This is what I mean by “unworthy.”
The world operates according to certain laws. If we break them, we suffer the consequences. One of the pivotal laws by which the world operates says that Israel must set an example of solidarity and cohesion. Israel must display a model society. If Israel presents social cohesion, everyone will respect it and establish good relations with it.
Currently, as division and derision reign supreme here in the land that we have made unholy, Israel is setting the opposite example. This is why the world says that we have no place here. If, on the other hand, we become a beacon of unity and solidarity, the world will recognize Israel as our rightful place and appreciate the example we are giving to the world.*
*For elaborated explanations on the causes, history, and solution to antisemitism, see my books The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, and my latest publication, New Antisemitism: Mutation of a Long-lived Hatred.