Jonathan Zausmer

Please accept my apologies

To the Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent, please accept my apologies. The Prime Minister of Israel has taken your most deep seated fears from a time of persecution and discrimination, and manipulated them by saying the “Arabs” are voting in their droves and “the left” is bringing them in by the busload. For the lie spoken in fear and hate, that this is some kind of left wing plot, let me apologize on his behalf.

To the Arab citizens of Israel. You fulfilled your basic right and civil duty by voting. The leaders of Israel tried to exclude you by raising the percentage threshold for seats in the Knesset and you responded with wisdom and level headedness. For that you were rewarded by being labeled a threat. Let me apologize on their behalf.

To the survivors of the Holocaust please accept my apologies. Benjamin Netanyahu uses the Holocaust as a political instrument at every instance, whether due to Islamic fundamentalist attacks in Europe or Iran’s quest for nuclear power, or simply due to his unending occupation regime and settlement project in the occupied territories. May I apologize on his behalf.

Please may I apologize to the families who lost dear ones due to acts of terror and have seen over a thousand of terrorists with blood on their hands freed by Prime Minister Netanyahu. He did this for political means when public opinion suggested he may be compromised politically for holding out against Hamas. He did this once again in order to continue his settlement project during the Kerry negotiations rather than call a settlement freeze. He chose to release those who are engaged in terror rather than stop land arrogation and illegal settlement.

To the people of Israel who were led to believe that our Prime Minister would stop the Iran nuclear project, please accept my apologies. The Prime Minister was both weak-kneed and his idea was no more than a crackpot scheme as we now know from chiefs of staff and chiefs of intelligence. He merely led you astray. May I apologize on his behalf.

To the Jewish Diaspora and world Jewry, please accept my apologies. We have built a wondrous Jewish state, reinvigorated the Jewish language, created a center of Jewish culture, learning and thought, but most of you are regarded as second class Jews. The Prime Minister of Israel is about to form a government with ultra religious, ultra orthodox and ultra nationalist parties, all of which will claim that only orthodox religion is accepted for legal Jewish birth, marriage and burial: sadly most of you are conservative and reform Jews and are thus considered a lower caste in Israel.

To Jewish youth around the world. You dreamed you would see Israel as a light unto the nations. Our Prime Minister has created a false image of us as a blight unto the nations. You need to be here and see the good things. I apologize on his behalf.

To the people of South Africa, the country of my birth. Please accept my apologies. By holding onto territory that is about to create a minority ruling a majority, the Prime Minister of Israel has created a system reminding us Bantustans, and a regime whereby within its de facto borders there are people with voting rights and people denied voting rights; people with freedom of movement and people without freedom of movement; haves and have-nots. I assure you that Israel is not an Apartheid state. Those of us who lived during Apartheid know the differences. However by playing the ethno-racist card of instilling fear of Arabs during election time, the Prime Minister of Israel reminds us of the likes of Verwoerd and Vorster.

For that I will not apologize on his behalf. He needs to do that.

About the Author
Originally from South Africa, Jonathan made aliya in the seventies, and lived and worked on a kibbutz for several years. He has a graduate degree in business from Boston University and is a managing partner of an Israeli based business. He was a co-founder of the Forum Tzora peace action group and participates in the Geneva Initiative workshops. He is the author of the book “Valley of Heaven and Earth”.