Privileged, Proud and Prepared

I was born in England but I have lived in Israel since 1974.

I am privileged, proud and prepared.

I am privileged to be taking part in a modern miracle- the physical and political rebirth of a sovereign Jewish nation in its’ ancestral homeland. The fact that this particular piece of land is central in the history of the Jewish people is supported by such a wealth of archaeological and other evidence, that it amazes me that the anti-Israel lobby continues to raise the issue of our history here.

I reluctantly quote Joseph Goebbels –”If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

It does seem however that he was correct.

Perhaps the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes is also relevant here, and if so , then surely President Trump and Ambassador Nikki Haley are playing the role of the small child who clearly points out the truth.

So I am privileged to hear,at long last, some common sense spoken in the UN debates.

I am privileged to be here ,when for two millennia,so many Jews, in so many countries, were persecuted for the simple fact of being born to Jewish parents. Here, in our own democratic state, (something rare in this part of the world), we are free to determine our own destiny. There is no Tsar to dictate where we can and cannot live. There is no king to deny us practicing a particular profession or buying a plot of land. We do not have to live with our bags packed and passports ready,waiting to be pushed out of our homes yet again.

Here we are home.

I am privileged to have been here in June 1967 and to have witnessed the euphoric relief of a nation saved by our wonderful Israel Defence Forces from threatened and promised annihilation.

I am privileged to have been inducted into the IDF and served as a reservist for many years. It was such a privilege to don the olive green uniform and serve in a Jewish army after Jews had been defenceless for so long.

I am proud to belong to a people that has contributed,and continues to contribute, so much to civilisation and society,in the areas of physics,medicine,economics,literature, etc etc-not to mention a code of ethics adopted by most of the Western world.

I am proud of this vital,vibrant,aggressive,abrasive,impatient society and democracy that we have created,warts and all.

I am proud of the way that our army clinics and our civilian hospitals receive injured Syrian refugees, treating them without regard to who they are,and it may be true that we have treated Isis fighters in the process. If so they perhaps now see Jews and Israel from a different point of view.

I am proud to say that my life was saved,after a choking incident,

by a young Arab E.N.T. specialist.

I am proud to see a young Arab lady,dressed traditionally,driving our local bus,for Jews,Muslims,Christians and every passenger waiting at the bus stop.

I am proud that we have Arab Muslim,lawyers,doctors,judges and politicians all involved in daily life here.

This is apartheid? For shame!

I am prepared to live in peace with our Palestinian neighbours. I am prepared to live alongside an independent Palestinian state. But the emphasis is on “live”.

I believe in the Palestinians right to self determination. It is not for Israel to grant or deny that right.

I am a liberal, but I am a liberal who has been mugged by reality (to quote Douglas Murray). Israel is surrounded by people who openly declare their aim to be to slaughter us.

I am not prepared for a Palestinian state to be established on a Jewish/Israeli graveyard. Europe is a big enough Jewish graveyard.

I am prepared to hold out my hand in sincere friendship and help to any who wish to grasp my hand.

Regrettably,for the time being, I shall hold my sharp sword in the other hand.

About the Author
David Thomas is a fervent Zionist. Born in UK in 1948, he joined Poalei Zion as a teenager, came to Israel as a volunteer in June 1967, and made Aliyah in 1974. Kibbutz member (trained as cook and then kitchen manager) until 1986, when he and his wife moved to Kfar Saba, where they opened a private day nursery. David was the cook, handyman, bookkeeper etc. until he turned 67. In 2015/16 he studied at Beit Berl to qualify as an English tutor and now teaches English privately to primary school pupils.