As Israel Apartheid week opens around the world I have been trying my best to figure out where all this hate towards my nation comes from.
Let’s be honest, what is happening to Israel and Israelis today has nothing to do with freedom, justice or even self-determination for the Palestinians. Today, people downright hate my country and my people, and as I see it, they hate us for no real reason whatsoever.
Today those who stand against Israel are not asking her to make peace, they are asking her to commit suicide.
Why do these people feel it is right to take a majority Jewish country and turn it into another majority Arab country? Only because of a deep rooted hatred towards this Jewish nation. Why is right to deny the people who have fought so hard to protect their homes, families and lives, the right to their nation?
This is our nation we built from nothing, and why are we any less right in wanting to maintain our own self-determination?
My fellow citizens have worked so hard to build a flourishing democracy (a democracy so strong an Arab member of the Knesset can actually attend Israel Apartheid Week) that looks after ALL of its citizens. Why are we the ones who are wrong?
We may not be perfect, and I know we have made mistakes – some of them whoppers, but we are most certainly not an apartheid state. Anyone who has done historical research knows this. Anyone who has taken the time to actually look at what Apartheid South Africa was would have to be either incapable of processing information or filled with truly malicious intent to say that Israel carries out Apartheid laws.
Most interestingly, some of the most vociferous of my country’s haters are the people of Europe. The people calling my country an Apartheid State are descendants of those who carried out some of the worst atrocities the world has seen, from the Spanish Inquisition, to the rape and pillage of North America, Africa and vast areas of the Pacific, as well as the Holocaust. How do these people who bear the heritage of so much cruelty in history have the right to condemn my country for defending herself?
For that matter, since when has it become wrong for a nation to defend its civilians? Israel and Israelis have always wanted peace. We have demonstrated that on numerous occasions. Why must we go beyond what all other nations would offer for peace? Why must we get less in return for the land we give up than America got from Japan?
What will the world say when the Palestinians attack Israel after she has returned what is rightfully hers thanks to the Balfour Declaration? If Israel gives back Judea and Shomron, signs a peace treaty and then gets attacked by the new Palestinian State, will it be okay with the UN and these elements who hate us so much for Israel to defend herself? Must we go to the gas chambers, with bowed heads, again for these people to be happy?
That is the only answer I see. No matter how right we are (and we are very right) the world is always going to hate us. It always has.
It can only be hate, for people to tell a nation whose majority firmly believes in its ethos to stop believing in them. Israelis love their country; they celebrate it all the time. Who has the right to tell them they are wrong for loving their freedom, loving their nation, loving what they have built through most difficult conditions? Who has the right to tell them they do not deserve this state after all the work they have done to build this nation, then protect it, while still searching for peace?
No one has that right. Anyone who tells us we should not be proud of what and who we are is someone who has never taken the time to see all that Israelis have created; to see what we have built from nothing in a constant state of war we never wanted to have. Someone who is nothing more than a racist.
So, again, where does this hate come from?
There is only one place such deeply-rooted hate towards the Jews and the Jewish nation comes from.
It has to be and it makes no difference if there are a few Jews mixed in with the haters. Why? Because these Jews -- even some who are Israelis -- hate themselves so much because of their very Jewishness. These Jews are like many of those in the past who despised themselves because they were a part of this “wretched” nation.
So if Anti-Semitism is the true root cause of all this Israel bashing, hating and delegitimizing, what can we as Israelis do?
We can only do what we have always done, from the oppression of slavery in Egypt, to the Babylonian captivity and the Persian, Greek, Roman, Arab, Ottoman and European occupations of our land. We must fight the just battle and show the world that we, the Jews and the Israeli nation, will not lie down and sacrifice ourselves for their ingrained anti-Semitism. We must fight back, protect what we have built and yet work for true peace and acceptance of our just right to maintain our own self-determination and freedom.
But this is a new war, one in which our enemies fight with new weapons. We must develop our own new arsenal of weapons to fight this war of slander and lying invective. This is truly a time when the old adage is not true: we proved long ago that “sticks and stones could not break our bones,” but if we don’t learn the new rules of engagement, and soon, “words will certainly harm us.”