Unanswered Why’s

WHY is it so difficult for our Prime Minister and our Foreign Ministry to understand the word “NO”?

Does it have to be spelled out in Portugese? Clearly, the government of Brazil has rejected the appointment of Dani Dayan as Israel’s ambassador to Brasilia. They have apparently rejected his candidacy, yet Dayan refuses to withdraw and our government stubbornly persists in pushing forward his nomination.

Every country has the sovereign right to accept or to reject envoys from foreign countries to be represented in their capital cities. Brazil has quietly but firmly rejected Dani Dayan.

His pride is wounded. Because he represents the settlers’ communities it is anathema to the Brazilian government which does not recognize them. Right or wrong, it is Brazil’s position and its legitimate right to reject Israel’s proposed ambassador. It will gladly welcome another candidate to the Israeli Embassy in Brasilia if Israel will appoint one.

It is high time for Israel to understand what “NO” means.

Dayan has an excellent career and could be appointed to any other country, even to the illustrious post of Consul General in the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles. But he must be willing to bend and to accept the fact that he would be persona non grata in Brazil.

Brazil is the largest country in South America with immense opportunities for growth and development in cooperation with Israeli companies. The dispute over Dayan’s failed appointment should not affect the commercial ties between our two countries.

Brazil has a Jewish population of approximately 125,000. It also has a significant Arab population. It is an industrial country now suffering from a poor economy. Stronger relations with Israel could help to improve Brazil’s economic difficulties.

So WHY is our government so stubbornly persisting on Dayan’s appointment? An unanswered WHY.
Yesterday I published an article on the “Good Arab and the Bad Jew”. The good Arab was Mohammed Milhem, father of Nashat Milhem of the village of Arara and the murderer of innocent Israelis having drinks at a Tel-Aviv pub on Dizengoff Street. After five days of an intense manhunt, Nashat has not yet been found.

But WHY has his father and sister and family members been arrested? WHY has Mohammed Milhem been sentenced to remand by the Haifa Magistrate’s Court? What is his guilt? What is his responsibility for the criminal actions of a mentally disturbed son?

It was the killer’s father, Mohammed Milhem, who first recognized his son’s image in as video camera. It was the father who went directly to the police to inform on his son. It was the father who publicly urged his son to surrender to the police. It was the father who tearfully denounced his son and apologized to the families of the victims.

With all the good-will and good intentions of the killer’s father, WHY has he been arrested and remanded? He was not an accomplice, he is not obstructing justice nor police efforts to find his son. On the contrary, he has been doing everything possible to help them.
Mohammed Milhem serves as a voluntary policeman. He is a loyal Israeli-born Arab citizen, proud of our country. So WHY have our authorities arrested him?

Some say that the arrest may cause the surrender of a dutiful son. But a man on the run doesn’t watch television news or read newspapers. He just hides and runs again. He may not be aware of the hardship which his father is now enduring. So WHY cause more suffering to an already heart-broken father?

Another unanswered WHY.

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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