Yesterday I was in for a surprise.. I took myself the freedom to post a link to a Youtube-video, showing Palestinians and Jews together in friendship.. Apparently that was too much for some people.. Stating that as long as the Arabs doesn’t do anything, then we can’t be friends with them, and that we shouldn’t have anything to do with them..
It isn’t because I was surprised that some people have these feelings, it’s not like the conflict is anything like a bar fight, people do die, people we love and care for..
But still.. Some of the arguments I experienced in the, rather heated, discussion, were totally out there..
While I tried to argue for understanding of the Arabs situation – they’re not really having a great time – I was told that I didn’t know nothing about the situation, even told that until I live in Israel and have served in IDF (where Arabs, too, are serving), then I have no right to talk about the situation.. Excuse me? I have no right? What, being a human that don’t really like the fact that other humans are suffering, no matter who they are, isn’t right enough? Apparently, only Jews, who live in Israel and have served in IDF, have any rights to talk about the situation.. Except if you’re a hawkish Arab-hating Jew, probably..
While many Jews are talking about the danger of hatred against Jews, we’re forgetting that we’re just humans, who can hate too.. And we do hate and even promote it sometimes.. I understand that Jews don’t jump in the arms of Arabs, we’ve too many bad encounters to do just that, but at least try to understand that they, too, have had quite many bad encounters with us, no matter how perfect some of us might think we are.. We’re no saints.. And we can’t go on refusing all the negative stories about relations between Jews and Arabs, saying that it’s propaganda, made up or whatever excuse we might find.. There are some nutniqs amongst the settlers, not meaning that all settlers are just that (most settlers are decent and great people, who are able to have a good relation with the Palestinians, should the situation allow it, believe it or not).. Arabs are getting harassed at checkpoints.. Not all Arabs or every time.. But too often..
And you know, not all Arabs hate Israel.. Yeah, that’s right, there are actually Arabs who’re supporting the existence of Israel, and not all the time bad-mouthing Israel whenever they get the chance.. For example you can read what Moha from Qalqilya has to say, in this post.. Or this Israeli Arab, who’re proud of being Israeli.. Or Nonie Darwish, who created Arabs For Israel.. There’s my friend Afief, who’re also Israeli, who’d rather be living in Germany, but he doesn’t hate Israel, he’s just not too thrilled about religious nutniqs.. There’s my friend Hannan, a Lebanese Palestinian, who I’ve never heard saying anything bad about Israel..
Let me make this clear: I love Israel, I want to live and die there.. More than anything, I value my people and our security and right to exist in peace.. And I certainly believe that Israel has a right to defend herself.. But that said, I also believe and understand that the Palestinians have the same feelings.. Israel’s right to defend herself, isn’t her right to harass everybody else..
We, as Jews, have a greater responsibility to behave morally and ethically right (and I’m not thinking in a humanistic context here, don’t worry/sorry).. I am religious, so I am – of course – focusing on my religion, and what my religion teaches me.. What about what Talmud says about Adam:
Therefore was the first man, Adam, created alone, to teach us that whoever destroys a single life, the Bible considers it as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a single life, the Bible considers it as if he saved an entire world. Furthermore, only one man, Adam, was created for the sake of peace among men, so that no one should say to his fellow, ‘My father was greater than yours….
Or what about being like Aharon, pursuing peace? Or what about what Rav haKohen Kook said about Love in his Moral Principles?
1: The heart must be filled with love for all!
2: The love of all creation comes first, then comes love for all mankind and then follows the love for the Jewish people, in which all other loves are included, since it is the destiny of the Jews to serve toward the perfection of all things
And there’s even more of this kind, I recommend every religious Zionist to read a little about this great Zionist rabbi..
I’m certainly a Zionist, I believe in our right to have our own state, where we can live in peace.. I believe in our right to defend ourselves.. But I don’t believe in our right to hate, to harass others or to demand that the world suit us.. And I do believe that Torah is more Holy and important than Israel, sorry.. We’ve survived the last two millenia, not because Medinat Yisrael, but because Torat HaShem.. Don’t make Zionism your new religion, stay strong in the religion HaShem has chosen for you..
“I’ve had enough yesterdays, I need a tomorrow” (Mahmoud Darwish)
Kol tuv l’culam..