Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

To be or not to be?

As we approach annexation of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank I feel a sense of helplessness far greater than on any other issue I have faced or dealt with recently.

Last night, courtesy of Signal, I was speaking a friend,who has spent a great deal of time in our area and who speaks passable Ivrit and excellent Arabic. He had been an Oxford University student in Syria and a masters student with a theses on “Terrorist Models” a comparison of  the Irgun Tsva Leumi  (ETZEL) and Hamas.He also spent time working with the Red Cross  in Tel Aviv and was based in Tel Aviv. His job was primarily to interview Hamas prisoners.

He as usual managed to make me feel guilty about the current situation facing us this month. Due to immoral pressure and financial(without doubt) contribution from the so called “Greatest Nation on Earth” land of democracy and equality we are doing what has been on the cards for sometime, annexing the settlements in the occupied territories.

On a personal level I feel great sadness I know people on both sides of the conflict some of them extremely well. To me they are all good human beings. They are not terrorists or monsters those who some see as occupiers, are the most warm and kind people.Almost everyone of my “family” there works in some way for the community.  Some of the younger members are nurses or employed in occupations which serve the whole community and all are wonderful, warm and caring.  So where does it all break down.Have we just become a  a political board game?

Corona or not people have not changed. Violence is rife almost everywhere, at least that which we see on our screens.A brilliant journalist called Itai Engel has  again risked his life  in Syria to bring to our screens the most horrific images that seem not be, of anyone’s concern?

I still have a cutting from The Jerusalem Post on my refrigerator from 8.6.2012.

Young people in Syria demonstrating and asking for help from the West. So,we ask ourselves.Why is Israel the focus constantly?   It’s not sympathy from the world that we expect because, Hamas in Gaza has gone temporarily quiet while trying to present the spread of Corona in their sheikdom. It’s the opposite these days. We have very few scenes of violence to show in places where there is already very strict control.

It’s the act that can spiral into situation which we have created, which can only bring more pain and tragedy.

So what can I reply to my friend who cares about me and what we face and thinks,that I should try harder ?

Send a picture of myself at a demonstration?

About the Author
Zelda Harris first came to Israel 1949, aged 18. After living through the hardships of the nascent state, she returned to England in 1966. She was a founding member of the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry. In 1978, she returned with her family to Israel and has been active in various spheres of Israeli Society since. Together with the late Chaim Herzog, she founded CCC for Electoral Reform, was the Director of BIPAC in Israel, and a co-founder of Metuna, the Organisation for Road Safety, which received the Speaker of Knesset Quality of Life Award for saving lives on the roads and prevention of serious injury. She is now a peace activist, blogger for Times of Israel and is writing her life story.