The cartoon is by an old school friend from the 50s. He’s not totally in favour of me publicising his works, although he did once contribute the terrific cartoon for my book ‘Tunnel to Gaza’ – see https://www.ourboox.com/books/tunnel-to-gaza/.
The subject of this cartoon may not be so obvious to most of you, but, last weekend, doctors in Beersheba performed the first-ever operation in Israel to separate 1 year-old Siamese twins joined at the head (craniopagus). (You MUST read Lori Lanssens book ‘The Girls’ on just that very subject. Really beautifully written in the first person by one of the sisters joined at the head, with occasional interjections by the other sister).
It was a big subject here, partly for the obvious reason that we are desperate for such positive and beautiful stories.
One thing ‘very wrong’ with the cartoon is that, although we now seem inseparable, the Palestinians and the Jews have zero genetic connection. OK, that’s not quite what the Bible says. But hey, the Bible really does not get a look in on the current subject. Despite the fact that, as everyone quietly knows, most Palestinians prefer to live in Jewish Israel than in any other part of the Middle East – every secret poll reveals this – the fact is that peace between us will not be allowed to happen. Their leaders, backed up by the ‘stupid World out there’ forbid it.
‘Stupid World out there’….one of a million illustrations of this was a 2019 Intelligence2 debate on whether anti-Zionism is anti-semitism. The way the audience ‘lapped up’ the lies being said by the famous self-hating Jew, Ilan Pappé and his also brilliant co-conspirator, was frightening. Yes of course, it’s easy to criticise some of Israel’s politics, and also easy to decide to support the poor and oppressed Palestinians, but lack of attention of far worse situations around the World indicates anti-Semitism. The Turkish invasion of Cyprus is a much clearer act of blatant abuse, but most of the same World has literally no knowledge of that problem. And so on.
Criticism of Israel is one thing. Focus on it is another. That’s the main reason I’ve been writing this letter for over 20 years – nearly 400 of them. The World should leave us alone for a couple of generations. Let the fantastic development of this country have a better chance of establishing itself. What Israel has achieved in just 73 years, considering the frightening start and the constant pressure of war from its neighbours, is stunning.
But, and this is the ‘basis’ of anti-Semitism, it’s historically normal to blame the Jews for just about any misdemeanour where there is a lack of a more obvious culprit. Hey, if it’s OK for Shakespeare and Dickens to do it, why not we?
Most anti-Semites look for another description, another excuse. They are so ignorant of the original subject that they fear the ‘anti-Semitic’ label. The blind hatred of Israel and/or Zionism is a perfect cover for anti-Semitism.I can find enough wrong with Israel and Zionism. That’s normal. But why do they out there focus on Israel and Zionism? There are much worse examples of the criticism being thrown at us in so many other parts of the World.
Let me summarise by explaining the title of this letter.
I wonder if the headlines in the Israeli media of the last 2 days have appeared on your front pages. Early on Tuesday morning, 6 Palestinian terrorists (bona fide terrorists, in every meaning of the word) escaped from a prison, much in the manner of Andy Dufrene in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ movie. The escape methods are similar, but the consequences are horrifically different. (Embarrassing to admit, but there appears to have been many mistakes made by the prison authorities). These 6 are killers.
Instead of Morgan Freeman and his boat awaiting the escapee, they have every militant Palestinian home welcoming them, whether in their homes in and around Jenin (West Bank), across the border in Jordan (easily breached) or Gaza. Guns, rockets and car horns sounded across the region. Palestinian children handed out sweets. And Hamas, Islamic Jihad or whatever you want to call them have threatened reprisals, suicide attacks and outright war if their ‘innocent martyrs’ are recaptured and/or hurt in any way.
If Ilan Pappé had his way, the one single State of Palestine would declare the escapees as heroes (live martyrs) and the Jewish minority would again close the doors and hide in fear in their cellars.
Yup, this is an unfair world. So what’s new…