Thanks for Foreign Readers

Since August and the publication of a dozen of my articles, where at the end there is space for readers’ comments, not one comment has been received from Israeli readers.

Yet to my very great surprise and thanks I have received 11 written comments (10 positive, 1 negative) from foreign readers who sent their remarks to me directly by my personal e-mail.

Letters from Canada, USA, France, Brazil, Germany, Poland, Belgium, and Holland were thankfully received and I replied with thanks to each of the foreign readers who took the time to express an opinion.

It may be that we at the TIMES OF ISRAEL have more English-speaking readers outside of our borders than those who live within.

Of the 11 responses, five had visited Israel at least once, come more than once. They have shown an interest in our politics and culture and, in particular, with concerns about a future annexation and trial of the prime minister.

It is of interest to me why there is such a concern about the trial/ conviction of Netanyahu. They don’t know him. They can’t vote for or against him. They are not subject to his laws or rule. Why the interest in Bibi from non-Israeli citizens? Good question. But I have no good answer. Do you?

Avi N., a professor living in Canada, always shares brilliant remarks, comments and opinions with articles I write. I always enjoy reading his responses.

In a recent article he sent me a long and well-written comment on the Palestinian problem and our attitude (or non-attitude) to it.

I have agreed with him that in the name of humanity we need to do much more to enable the Palestinians to develop a democratic state of their own, to be peaceful neighbors and to cease from terrorist activities within our borders.

After 72 years of our independence how much longer can the war between us and them continue?

I have always regretted that we maintain a separate educational system, schools for Jews and schools for Arabs. Learning together in the same schools brings out the similarities between us, develops friendships and cools off the mutual hatred.

Jewish students would be required to learn about Arab Palestinian history and Arabic language while Arab students would be required to learn about Zionist history and Hebrew language. During recess periods they would play together in the same outside gardens and would learn to share with one another, hopefully ending or cooling down years of bitter hatred and wanton activities of terror.

It is a subject of concern to foreign readers, several non-Jews who support Israel and who pray for our peace and security in their respective churches.

It amuses me, quite honestly, to have friends and neighbors who want nothing to do with Arabs and yet who prefer choosing Arab physicians , surgeons and specialists for their urgent health care.

There is no doubt about the competence of Arabs in our health care and hospital facilities. They have been educated mainly in our Israeli medical schools and have achieved remarkable positive results and are widely respected.

I don’t know if Israeli Jews have ever engaged the legal services of Arab lawyers but I dare to presume that they are equal in knowledge and quality to our Jewish attorneys.

Some of the brightest Arab legal minds have been appointed to judges in all our courts, including the Supreme Court of the State of Israel.

It is beyond my comprehension why our Israeli readers withhold comments and opinions while our foreign readers in land far away from our frontiers are generous with sharing their thoughts.

Maybe I will happily see an improvement after the end of our annual holyday season.

Best wishes for a meaningful Fast on Yom haKippurim. Blessngs for all Israel and all its people.

And blessings with gratitude to all our foreign readers who take time to share their opinions.

Much appreciated.

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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