It Amazes Me

It truly amazes me. Negative comments made about members of our Arab population seem to be coming  more from new or even settled olim, mainly from the United States, and less so from native-born Israelis who understand the Arab mentality.

Readers from places like Memphis, Tennessee, Petersburg, Virginia,  Atlanta, Georgia to name only a few cities in which I have never visited are more vocal in their criticism than sabras or olim from Mandatory times.

The American mentality, in particular, tends to be based on “it’s all mine; I don’t have to share it”. And thus did they massacre millions of indigenous Indian tribes in order to steal their lands. They need to be more aware of the Arab sentimentality to land on which they have lived for centuries. Jews traditionally have moved from one city to another, from one state, province or country to another. Not so the Arabs. Their attachment to their land and ancestral homes are sacred to them. They are not wanderers.

Recently, a reader from the American south now living with his wife and five children in the Old City of Jerusalem criticized my recent column on the retirement of Justice Salim Joubran from our Supreme Court. The reader wrote that we should “throw out the garbage”, referring to a renowned Israeli-Arab jurist. I doubt that Justice Joubran would tell the American oleh to go back to Petersburg. He is too kind to be so offensive.

Real Israelis know that we are destined to live side by side with a large Arab population. We cannot export them to other places. Population transfer after World War II became illegal under the Geneva convention.

We have no alternative except to find ways in which both peoples can live separately and in harmony. So far we and they have been unable (read: unwilling) to make the compromises which might eventually lead to peace.

I have no illusions that peace will occur in this generation. But I am not a member of Peace Now or any other Jewish/Zionist movement that favors surrendering land and dismantling settlements in order to appease the Arabs.

I was brought up on the dreams of Zeev Jabotinsky who wished for shtai gadot la Yarden… a Jewish state on both banks of the Jordan River. I sang his songs together with my Betar comrades. While I admired our Haganah  I was more a believer in the ideals of  the    Irgun and even somewhat proud of Yair Stern’s “terrorist” Lechi which hastened the British departure from Palestine.

But I have respect for cultured and educated members of the Arab community who pose no threat to us.

In this matter I do not mean respect for the medical doctor Ahmed Tibi nor the Marmara “terrorist”, Hanin Zouabi.  Both were born and educated in Israel, all the while defaming our State wherever and whenever possible.

Some of the finest surgeons and ophthamologists in our country are Israeli-educated Arabs. And numerous Israeli Jews flock to them for treatment due to their honorable reputation.

To define Justice Salim Joubran as “garbage” that should be thrown out is a disgrace. He served our country…his country…. faithfully and loyally and deserves our good wishes for a pleasant retirement.

Olim who cannot understand it are “outsiders” in our society. Terrorists and murderers should be hunted down and killed immediately. No trial. No prison. Only a one-way ticket to the virgins paradise.

American Jews who constitute about two percent of the country’s population need to recall the America of the 1930’s and 1940’s when anti-Semitism was rampant, when quotas existed for Jewish students applying to universities and prospective doctors were limited to ten percent of the admissions. Many had to go to Belgium, Switzerland or Italy to study medicine.

My late father used to remark that the Jews of America held their heads up high only after the 1948 birth of the Jewish State of Israel.

Yankee or Rebel Jews who are unhappy living as we live in Israel are free to remove themselves and return to Donald Trump’s “great America again”, whether in Brooklyn, Los Angeles or even Petersburg.

Their lack of kavod…of respect where respect is due… simply amazes me.

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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