O Captain! My Captain!

I’ll be brief. A few months ago I was commenting on how Reuven Rivlin’s election would be about as significant as Simon Peres’ whose influence on the Knesset was practically non-existent, and whose message oscillated between peace at all cost and Israel’s responsibility, and blaming Palestinians for self-victimization.

Reuven Rivilin, doesn’t look like he’s faring any better, but he knows how to touch hearts, and in the abhorrently racist debate masquerading as democracy on one side and resistance on the other, he is the only Middle Eastern leader preaching a message of peace, coming together, love and shared humanity.

I learned recently, much to my delight, that roughly sixteen hundred years ago Yemen converted to Judaism, very much like the Khazar kingdom would a few centuries later, and was supported by the Persian Sassanid against Christian Ethiopia.

There was a time when Persians and Jews fought together, and a time when the most powerful Jewish kingdom in the world was Arabic.

The most popular Israeli ambassador right now is an Arab. The hero of the slaughter at the synagogue was a Druze, who by the way, are heterodox Muslims, often defined under the broad term Ismailism, who, after reading some of their beliefs, come off a little as Islam’s Protestants, broadly speaking.

Food for thought when you define your identity and your enemies, and you define your identity by your enemies, because the most powerful Jewish « kingdom » today is a patchwork of cultures and ethnicities.

Food for thought when you confuse: religion, ethnicity, nationality, identity, citizenship and democracy.

Israel is inseparable from the Middle East and its Arabs, as much as they are inseparable from her.

Homage to Reuven Rivlin and Robin Williams.

About the Author
Mame Bougouma Diene is a civil servant on permanent vacation even when he works 70 hours a week, who also blogs for the Times of Israel in French. He's French-Senegalese American, loves Israel and the Middle East, would really like to see an end to this intractable mess in his lifetime.