Chava Berman Borowsky

What if we identified as Arabs?

We love giving ourselves applause that we are “the most moral army in the world,” that we are “the only democracy in the Middle East, and also of course that we are “the only Western country in the Middle East.”

It is true that we warn our enemies and lose the element of surprise, that our boys are what we call in Hebrew תותחי בשר – human bomb shields that are sacrificed in the name of minimizing as much as possible unnecessary civilian deaths. 

But now let’s do a not so far-fetched theoretical exercise. What would happen if we identified as another tribe of Canaanites from the Levant, or in other words as Middle Eastern Jewish Arabs?

We wouldn’t be accused of a genocide, the Israel-Palestinian conflict would just be viewed as another Middle Eastern regional war, and the world would turn a blind eye to any number of civilian casualties.

When Bashar Al-Assad and Saddam Hussein kill millions of their own people hardly anyone even remembers to blink an eye. They’re most definitely not accused of committing a genocide and the world just allows these factual massacres to occur. Maybe it’s because of the soft bigotry of low expectations or maybe it’s because no one really cares about anything unless there’s Jews involved.

It is crystal clear that the only reason Israel is accused of committing a genocide is because Israel is a Western Jewish state. But maybe we need to rebrand ourselves. There’s a story not from current times about a Druze corpse that was taken hostage by other Arabs. The Druze made it abundantly clear that it was unacceptable to them and what measures they would take if their demands weren’t met. The Druze received their corpse back after a fierce verbal exchange. 

So I ask again, what would happen if we would identify as Arabs?

About the Author
Chava Berman Borowsky grew up in Los Angeles, CA in an Orthodox community in the La Brea Fairfax neighborhood. She moved to Israel in 2008 and has since lived in Jerusalem, Bet Shemesh, Holon, and Ashdod. Her hobbies include cooking, hiking, painting, and writing.