Written By: Mel Rosenberg
I have avoided saying anything about the current war thus far, as I don’t want to start a debate (there are more than enough of those). But I can’t not comment anymore. So feel free to comment (via disqus, on the right). Here is the way I see it:
By the way, I should add that the thoughts expressed here are my opinions, and sometimes I am not even sure of that.
1. The Jews dreamed of coming back to the holy land for two thousand years or so.
2. In 1948 the State of Israel was established, based on a UN resolution from 1947. The Jews in Israel were attacked by armies from several neigboring Arab countries and prevailed (otherwise we would not be here and the the country would look more or less like Syria does now).
3. In 1948 many Arabs stayed and are now Israeli citizens. Many Arabs fled/escaped/left and became refugees in neighboring countries.
4. Millions of Palestinian Arabs who fled have never really become assimilated and many dream of coming back to the homes they fled in 1948. As an Arab shopowner in East Jerusalem told me several years ago “You are weak. America is weak. Someday we will destroy you”.
5. The Hamas who now run Gaza may represent 2% of the Palestinians and they may represent 98% of the Palestinians. I don’t know. But the Hamas believe that someday the Palestinian people will catch us off guard and destroy us. They don’t care whether it takes five years or two hundred years (read up on the Crusades). They keep trying. They have no qualms sending thousands of rockets at civilians (at my family and myself included).
6. We are lucky that we have Iron Dome and state-of-the-art technologies that are preventing them from succeeding. We had another siren at 6:00 this morning here in the Tel Aviv vicinity. I wonder whether my ‘friends’ in Ottawa, Toronto, New York, London, Amsterdam, would put up with nationalist Native Indians, Inuits, Fries, Welsh nationalists (all who were displaced and disenfranchised), shooting rockets on civilian populations for so many years.
7. Those Palestinians who are not actively fighting us, who are tired of war, who do not harbor dreams of destroying and overtaking us, who want to live normal lives, get university educations, travel, go to the beach, are now being held hostage in Gaza by a regime they elected but can no longer overthrow. They are unwilling and highly unfortunate victims of this war. I regret every single death, injury of innocent civilians and there are many. Too many.
8. This is one stage in a 100 year war of survival for us. If we don’t fight our virulent enemies, if we turn the other cheek, we will eventually be torn to pieces, tortured, beheaded, destroyed. These people are not mildly anti-Semitic. They mean business.
9. I left Canada in 1969, I have believed in peace in the Middle East for decades, taught myself Arabic, met with ex PLO, visited Jordan with a Palestinian student, and donated a hundred books to Gaza, in better days (probably burned by now). You can’t live here without being optimistic. I know that it doesn’t make any rational sense to be optimistic now, but I will continue to be irrationally optimistic.
10. But right now there is a war on. Wars are ugly. Hamas is doing everything except protect its civilians. I am sure that the moment that their intentions are for peaceful coexistence, we will respond in kind. After all, we left Gaza many years ago, hoping that they would develop bridges for peace, and not tunnels of war. I’m still hoping.
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If you like it, you might also want to read:
“The Sirens Call to Me”
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