Here is an email dialogue that I had recently with someone who criticized my writings in Times of Israel and identified themselves as a “Former Israel Supporter.”
Him: “I ran into your rambling in TOI. Just what we need – another kook aid drinking religious fanatic with more drivel to say than there are grains of sand. A religious lunatic and sage all wrapped up in one package. Occupation, repression, collective punishment, Apartheid and ethnic cleansing are not good things. Victims to Tyrants. Former Israel Supporter”
Me: “I am sorry you feel this way. First of all, I am not that religious, so you are making assumptions. Also, I am not sure which article or all of them you are referring to as drivel, but honestly, I put a lot of thought into my writing and I don’t feel it’s right for you to categorize it and simply dismiss it all. As to Israel, they are NOT an occupying, repressive, apartheid regime. This is their biblical homeland for thousands of years. The Muslim nations have over 50 countries spanning across the globe, but the Jewish people have only a small sliver of land (about the size of New Jersey) in one country in the Middle East. Also, hundreds of thousands of Jewish people were forced out of their home countries in many Arab nations and they were absorbed by Israel, but the Palestinians were refused absorption by their brethren countries for over 70 years! From day one of Israel’s founding, they were attacked by the surrounding Arab nations, despite the UN mandate for two states, and Israel faced attack again and again in 1956, 1967, 1973, and so on. The land you call occupied was captured in a war that was thrust upon them. I know Israel wants peace with their neighbors (as every normal country would), but they also don’t want to be driven into the sea as the PLO charter has mandated for decades. I appreciate that you said you are a former Israel supporter. I wish you could once again support Israel. All best, – Andy”
Him: “Certainly part of your response is accurate but much is drivel as I stated. There is no historical claim in that area less supported by actual sovereignty over the years than Israel’s. Thousands year old religiously fanatical ancient claims that God gave everything there to the Jews doesn’t hold water in a modern era. If you truly believe it then you should pray to have God make the owners of that land for hundreds of years or longer vanish and not have repressive occupation, ethnic cleansing, collective punishment etc.. You think it’s reasonable to wash your hands because other Arab states won’t accept civilian refugees you want to keep off their property? Quoting hateful statements from occupied and refugee Palestinian parties is ridiculous. Can’t make peace with these Arabs? Made peace with Egypt and Jordan, two of the major parties who actually made war on Israel but they had something Israel wanted but Palestinians have nothing but their land which Israel is taking. PLO has recognized Israel and the Arab League had a reasonable offer for recognition and peace. Israel and Netanyahu’s ridiculous statements about a fractured, subjugated pseudo homeland in an Apartheid state is something not one Jew would accept if situations were reversed. Any reasonable person can see that this settlement, subjugation and annexation policy will bring terminal conflict and destruction as Rabin realized. Our evangelical and far right are crazy enough to support this but the rest of the world has had enough and Israel is becoming a world pariah as you can see but fail to acknowledge and greet with the old ‘what did we do wrong’ anti Semite excuses. All this religious fanaticism proves the old adage of why God made the Righteous ‘because they make the sinners look so damn good’ Former Israel Supporter”
Me: “Religious, historical, and modern-day reality aside (50 Muslim nations and 1 Jewish)–you are not treating Israel to the same standard as every other country in the entire world. What happened to the Native American Indians when the Pilgrims and others came to America? What happened to every other country in the world that underwent war and migration–they changed! Do you want to give America back to the Indians or rearrange Europe the way it was perhaps thousands of years ago? Should Asia still be ruled by the Persian Empire or Europe by the Roman, Greek or Turkish one? Further, the Palestinians and surrounding Arab countries attacked Israel (which I should note was pretty much defenseless after it’s founding and was quite outnumbered and outgunned for decades…they are still outnumbered about a thousand to one!), so it is a miracle they survived (thank you G-d!). Aside from the U.N. decision to establish the state, Israel won the land in the West Bank, Golan Heights, and even Gaza (which they unilaterally returned to the Palestinians for nothing), and the Sinai to Egypt for peace–what other nation just gives back land they won in war especially when they were attacked? Again, there are no other Jewish countries in the world, but there are 50 Muslim ones, do you not think that the Jewish people are entitled to even this little land the size of NJ to live. Perhaps, the sinners are the ones who don’t want to resettle their own people, the ones who didn’t accept the United Nations division of the land in 1948, the ones that attacked Israel over and over again, the ones that commit terror in all shapes and forms on pizzerias, discotheques, malls, grocery stores, kindergartens, and commuter buses. Again, I hope that you can support Israel once again.”
One last thing that I should have mentioned is that the Palestinian people are unfortunately like human shields and pawns in the hands of their terrorist leadership. My heart goes out to the people that are suffering and my hope and prayer is that all of us can coexist amidst a genuine peace and security for all our peoples.