My Angry Neighbor

A pounding on my door. I open it and my 90-year-old neighbor is standing in front of me with anger in her eyes.

“Hishtagata?”, she shrieks. “Have you gone out of your mind?” I have no idea what she means. Until she tells me. “I read your article WHAT IF…. And I cannot understand you. Don’t you remember that we threw out the British 68 years ago and now you want us to become an American commonwealth, whatever a commonwealth is. Are you crazy? Why do we need to become a part of America. So they will defend us? We don’t need their defense. We have Tzahal and a strong air force. Nobody is better than ours. Why do we need America to defend us?”

She left me standing at the open door speechless. And before she went back into her apartment she turned around and asked me “how many people responded to your article? I’m sure no good Israeli would like what you wrote. I am curious to know if anybody replies to you. Let me know”.

I didn’t tell her that so far none of my readers have replied. Does it mean that they agree with me or are just too lethargic to reply?

My neighbor is a proud Israeli who came to Israel at the age of 2 from somewhere in Rumania. The family settled on Sheinkin street in Tel-Aviv and her father was the physician for the Tel Aviv elementary school division and had his own private practice.

She was a graduate of the Herzliya gymnasia and became a teacher of Hebrew language and literature. She married a wonderful man, a brilliant construction engineer, and raised two fine, successful sons, one who has co-published several books.

She is a devout patriot and Zionist (although regrettably, for my part, she was a member of Mapai) and reads every word on the printed pages of HA-ARETZ and YEDIOT and follows the bloggers on THE TIMES OF ISRAEL.

I closed the door and sat down to think about what she had yelled at me. Of course, I knew she was right. We did throw off the yoke of the British Mandate 68 years ago and our military forces are indeed superb and superior to those of larger nations.

But what is the disadvantage of being an American commonwealth? Tourists from around the world flock to American territories, particularly to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Being a commonwealth of the USA could entice millions of American tourists to visit us and to share their dollars with us.

I was afraid to share that thought with my angry neighbor. After all, a 90-year-old woman is entitled to be angry sometimes.

And, as the last line of WHAT IF…. stated, “of course, this is just a fantasy”. But honestly, dear readers: WHAT IF, indeed?

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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