Recently we had a visit from some family from the UK, and of course, we had some political disagreements. Most Jews from the UK, and the Diaspora in general, are very liberal in their views, while myself, and the Israeli population in general, has moved more to the right. I became somewhat frustrated at the lack of my ability to communicate effectively with them on various topics. I should like to try to highlight them here:
- The Palestinians: Most Diaspora Jews are very sympathetic towards the Palestinians and regard Israel’s treatment of them as oppressive and typical of a colonial occupying power. But, they are ignorant of the true situation, for example: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Kuwait, Iraq and Syria do not allow Palestinians to enter, yet Israel allows about 90,000 Palestinians to enter every day, with the appropriate permit, to work in Israel (yes, sometimes they have to wait at checkpoints). The Arab States have persecuted the Palestinians far worse than Israel has done, for example, the Palestinians sided with Saddam Hussein after Iraq invaded Kuwait, so when Kuwait was liberated by the Americans the Kuwaitis killed an unknown number of Palestinians and expelled about 200,000. Likewise, the Palestinian refugee camp outside Damascus containing ca. 120,000 Palestinians sided with the opposition, so the Syrian Army besieged the camp and shelled it with artillery and after 2 years when it was finally opened to humanitarian help there were ca. 20,000 left. In Lebanon, Palestinians were not allowed to work and were besieged in camps. Israel supplies Gaza with all necessary materials (food, water, oil, etc.) on a daily basis, but Egypt does not! Yet, none of these issues are considered by those who criticize Israel.
- Terrorism: Every day there are terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers, either by stabbing or ramming with vehicles. Two weeks ago 4 soldiers were killed in Jerusalem. Both Hamas in Gaza and the PA on the West Bank support these attacks. They incite their people to murder and pay their families when they do, and also they celebrate if Israelis are killed. Certainly IDF soldiers shoot and kill Palestinian terrorists if they attack and they arrest cells if they can detect them, just as all other countries do.
- The Wall: Israel built a defensive security fence to stop the terrorism of the second intifada (2000-2002) that killed ca, 1,000 Israelis, mostly in suicide bombings. The fence worked and reduced the killings by about 90%. Yet the “wall” was criticized as an “apartheid” wall! But, everyone has built defensive walls, all cities had them, and there is Hadrian’s Wall and the Great Wall of China. Among those countries that have built border fences are Saudi Arabia, India, China, Serbia and now Pres. Trump plans to build one along the Mexican border. Where is the criticism of this as an “apartheid wall”?
- Rights: Most people believe that some part of this area is “Palestinian Land”, but it is not! There never was a sovereign Palestine and there never has ever been any Arab sovereignty in Palestine in history. It’s not only the Bible that gives us rights here. The Balfour Declaration of the British Govt. in 1917 was adopted after WWI in the San Remo Treaty and in the British Mandate to form a Jewish Homeland in Palestine, not an Arab homeland. And this was aslo adopted by the UN on its formation. Hence, Israel inherits all of Palestine and Jewish settlements in the whole Land are legal!
- Trump: Pres. Trump was elected fairly under the established American electoral system. Half of the US population voted for him and I supported him, mainly because I found it impossible to vote for Hillary Clinton. I did not select Trump, but he was the only alternative choice. I am amazed how hypocritical liberal-leftists are, they claim they support democracy, but cannot accept the will of the people when it goes against them. Trump may be an unusual President, but certainly no worse in many respects than Reagan, LBJ, Kennedy, Carter, Clinton and Obama.
- Islam: Islamic terrorism is clearly a part of Islam, it derives from it, and all attempts, like those of Obama, to ignore that fact are self-deceptive. Islamic extremists want to impose by force beliefs that all Muslims hold, namely Sharia Law, that requires all Muslims to live in a Muslim-controled State, to require non-Muslims (kuffar) to convert or face death, to kill apostates to Islam, and to treat women as chattel. Just because most Muslims are nice, peaceful people does not mean that these are not tenets of Islam.
These are some of the main points over which we disagreed. If I became exasperated and “bombastic,” I should apologize. But, from my pov as an Israeli, I find their ill-informed views naive and self-defeating. They accept Palestinian propaganda uncritically, but any point we try to make is considered Israeli propaganda. What about the facts? On the other hand, living in the Diaspora, in order to fit into their predominantly liberal milieu and considering that these are not life-and-death issues for them, I should be sympathetic to their situation. But, it’s difficult.