Let’s Not – A Note to Amir Hetsroni

Note: I have linked to the original article, but honestly, please don’t waste your time clicking the link. I quote relevant sections, nothing was taken out of context.

Dear Amir,

Your latest article on Times of Israel is an on-going example of how some people twist reality by stating a falsehood and building a mountain on top of it. The mountain seems solid and logical, until you realize that the core upon which it was built is rotten. At that point, naturally, the mountain falls and if there is justice in the world, the agenda of the person perpetrating this falsehood becomes evident to all.

You begin this particular article with a curious expression. “Let’s start with the necessary caveat.” Well, let’s not. What you write is not factual, nor is it necessary. You refer to “the deportation of over half a million Palestinians in 1948:. There are two flaws with this – the first is that when people choose to leave their homes based on a promise from five Arab nations that in leaving, they are clearing the way to push the Jews into the sea and get it ALL, that’s not a deportation.

The second fallacy lies in your ignoring the second half of the equation – the true deportation. That was what was done to over 800,000 Jews living in Arab lands with roots dating back centuries. THEY were forced from their homes, THEIR property confiscated, THEIR lands taken as they were thrown from their homes.

And this is only in the first two sentences of this ridiculous essay you post. The next is your absurd attempt to play the genocide card while supposedly placating Jews…no, no, we won’t compare what you call the deportation of 500,000 so-called Palestinians to the Holocaust (because that won’t fly in Israel…or with anyone who actually knows history), so let’s compare it to the “mass murder of over 3 million Cambodians…the genocide of over one million Armenians…the assassination of over half a million Rwandans.”

Seriously? Oh my God, are you for real? You compare 500,000 people leaving (or even being deported) to killing them, slaughtering them, gassing them, shooting them, raping women and murdering children?

Your next paragraph takes absurdity to the level of idiocy.  You suggest there was a “high” estimate of 13,000 “Palestinian” casualties, grudgingly admitting “not all of them civilians,”during the War of Independence in 1948.  You then throw in a reference to “ethnic” cleansing and then fly off into hysterical references to “the expulsion of 12 million ethnic Germans from East Europe after World War II” and something about the swap of populations between Turkey and Greece in the 1920s that may or may not be ethnic cleansing in your mind.

So first – gee, thanks for the comment that the casualties in the 1948 war on the Arab side were not all civilians. According to a Wikipedia estimate, the numbers are between 4,000 to 15,000, of which the vast majority were soldiers from the five Arab countries who invaded Israel hours after the creation of the State. How you got from what you call “Palestinian casualties” to ethnic cleansing requires more psychiatric evaluation than I myself can offer.

And then it gets interesting. Your next sentence explains so much of what you are trying to push as fact. I guess you are a follower of Lenin’s theory that, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

But even on the scale of lies, this one is a whopper…just wow. You claim “this is the only war crime wherein people of one nation (Israelis) deported people of another nation (Palestinians) not in order to obtain extra room for their own use but to leave an open space for future immigrants who would come from different corners of the world.”

Wow,  just wow.

First, we didn’t deport them.

Second, THEY attacked us…I really can’t help but wonder how you delude yourself into explaining that one.

Three, we didn’t engage in a war (actually, we responded to being attacked), in order to “obtain extra room.” It was kind of like we wanted to live and when they shot at us, we shot back. And when they attacked, we attacked back. And when they would have pushed us, we pushed back further. Luckily, for our sakes and with the help of a God I know you recognize (and one has to wonder if He bothers to recognize you), we fought five armies that had little motivation, rotten training, and a huge cowardice factor that had them turning tail and running.

Then, you go from absurd and idiotic into fictional and fanciful. You say the Palestinians were “stripped of their luxurious property.” Have you EVER been in an Arab village? I’m not talking about the luxury homes that exist today in Hebron and Gaza (most of whom are owned by Palestinian leaders who siphoned off millions of dollars from European aid)…I’m talking about the squalor of countless Palestinian villages that still exist in Israel today, the conditions in the refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan?

These were, for the most part, backwards, undeveloped areas that would rival third world countries. It was only with the advent of Israel that their lives (and the conditions of their villages) improved. We built the roads, channeled the water, routed the electricity. Luxurious? One has to wonder what you were smoking when you wrote that one.

And, lest we think you are done with trying to ram through comparing the War of Independence, what you and your Palestinian buddies call “Nakba” or “the tragedy”, you close with the most absurd statements of all.

First, you go for money:

just like we do not forgive Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians and of course Germans who possess lucrative formerly Jewish property in Europe, we should not be surprised that the Palestinians don’t forgive us for keeping precious Palestinian real estate to ourselves.

Again, there is that imagery – pushing the Holocaust card. Germans tore Jews from their homes and gassed them to death…and their neighbors often took over the properties of the Jews. I love the “we” reference in there. In what world would anyone think you are part of “we” Israelis?

And more, another reference to the “precious” Palestinian real estate. Did we attack our neighbors in Europe? Did we attack the Nazis? Did we pillage millions of dollars of fine art? How about one painting at all?

My in-laws returned to Czechoslovakia to see the homes of their youth. They were met by a former neighbor with a knife because she thought they were coming to reclaim their homes! Instead, the Arabs are the ones wielding knives and stabbing innocent people in the streets of Israel…and it has NOTHING to do with defending homes that they left 67 years ago.

And second, you close the article that lacks all credibility and sadly wastes space and people’s time, with this statement:

The Europeans, by the way, are at least decent enough to offer us financial compensation for the loot – something no dominant Zionist leader has offered since Israel was established thanks to the tragedy of the Palestinians.

So first, again, you begin with an inaccuracy. The “Europeans” are not decent enough to offer us financial compensation – it is the Germans who have offered compensation with the hopes the world would see them as something other than Nazis, other than those who attempted to obliterate a culture, a people, a religion. We’ve done nothing of this nor did we ever loot Palestinian possessions.

Ultimately, beyond the absurdity nonsense you write here on this site, time after time, day after day, one has to wonder what turned you into what you are, what fostered this self-hatred. I have to confess, I haven’t bothered reading any of your articles and much wish I hadn’t bothered reading this one but I did go back to see whether this sickness in you is pathological, sociological, perhaps a combination of both, or something else entirely.

I did find this comment you wrote that brings me some satisfaction:

At heart, I don’t feel Jewish. In practice, I don’t believe that Jews are a “chosen nation”. I don’t feel connected to Jews worldwide. I certainly don’t keep Jewish traditions or religious customs.

That explains so much. These articles are your anger, your hatred, your revenge. I understand it now. I would suggest, however, that you apply to the benevolent Europeans, or perhaps Yemen, Iran, Syria, Egypt – maybe they’ll take you and welcome you, identifying in you the same anti-Semitic tendencies that have been embedded in their hearts and cultures for centuries.

I hope that in the near future, you will choose to leave Israel, renounce the State and all it gives you. Not because you harm us in any way, not because there is truth or power in your words…

Ah yes, I see it now in your intro blurb to your writing, You are “emigrating from Israel in order to miss the next war, earn higher wages, enjoy cooler summers, and obtain a living package that is cost-effective….[you have] three passports and  [do] not feel particularly worried about anti-Semitism.”

That pleases me greatly and offers comfort. Perhaps we can look forward soon to reading (or not) your articles in The Times of France; the Times of England or the Times of Germany. The growing Muslim populations in those countries will adore you.

I also note that you say you are on the “faculty at Ariel University in the West Bank.” Teaching, making money from an institution built on land you claim we stole? I guess it’s acceptable for you to loot if the money goes in your pocket…

Wow, isn’t that hypocritical of you? Your articles attempt to paint Israel as a unique evil in this world. I think what is unique here is how freely people like you can criticize and work to undermine the country in which they live. I’m sure if you are sick, you run to the local national health clinic. I’m sure you buy subsidized food items such as bread and milk. I’m sure you use our buses, benefit from the roads we pave here.

From the floor of our Parliament, Arab Knesset members attack Israel and use our democracy to call for our destruction. You are no better than them and in many ways worse.

You suggest that we start with a necessary caveat. Ultimately, I am forced to agree…only the caveat is this. The sickness and poison that fill your blog posts means the reader should beware. Truth is not there; only hatred. Honesty is missing, hypocrisy the ultimate truth. The only Nakba here is that platforms such as the Times of Israel blogging community allow you to spread that poison lest they be accused of censorship.

About the Author
Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write her thoughts and dream of a trip to Italy, Scotland, and beyond.