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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Back to Basics

Back to basics

In all my years in the country I live in, Israel, I have always tried to seek peace. I have never turned the other cheek, but always tried to reduce the need for violence by talking, getting to know each other, trying to create respect for the other side's different views.

In my many years here, I made it a point to live in the only city that promotes co-existence: Haifa. Among my friends I am proud to find people with different background and religions, most of us with the same goal: secure peaceful lives for our children. We do that by sending them all to the same school and crush prejudice by teaching them to live together as Israelis, as equals and that violence cannot be the answer to the tragic conflict of the Middle East.

Yet there will always be people who can only exist by living off violence. By ensuring people will continue to hate. By inciting people to commit atrocities and even offering their own lives in the process. No, not the lives of those preaching and leading these extremists. They know better: they send others, preferable those who have lost all hope. These people are the best messengers of hate and violence and, with the help of same extreme religious indoctrination, they are capable of anything.

And so, just a few days ago, these 'messengers' reached the house of the Fogel family in the Itamar settlement. Mind you, I am against the misuse of these settlers, against the misuse of their religious beliefs and their Zionism. But slaughtering a family is not the solution, is not what these people deserve, is not acceptable, is not human. The slaughter of the Fogel family puts everything back into perspective for me. Slicing throats of a whole family, including a baby, indicates exactly where we are. Butchering a family, after which candies are distributed in Gaza, tells us what fools we have been. Receiving no condolences from countries we thought were friends, even those with criticism, shows us the reality we live in.

A European Union that subsidizes TV programs that teach hatred and promotes the slicing of Jewish throats is no friend of ours. A USA whose leader praises Islam, without mentioning the extremists' madness, is no friend of ours.

I know, our shameful government has created our isolation and our diplomacy is at its lowest level ever, while our leadership resembles a windmill turning in any wind direction. And I am aware that I am a tough critic of this government that is not mine.

But nothing, nothing at all justifies this atrocity. Nothing can mend this hurt. Nothing can explain this butchering. Nothing.

And so, we are back to basics: on our own, with our back pressed against the wall and with a world that confuses fierce resistance from an underdog against terror and hate with violent imperialism called Zionism. Again we can count on no-one else but ourselves and must find a way to resist the death sentence proclaimed by the extreme Islamists.

No we are not angry. We understand that the world has other priorities than dealing with Jews that refuse to die, refuse to be butchered. We understand that protecting business interests has a higher priority. We are not even disappointed from a world that let our people march to gas chambers, refused to take our people in when we had nowhere else to go and kept refusing to lift a finger when millions of other persecuted people in the Balkan and Africa where murdered. We understand. We understand it's all business, nothing personal.

However, cutting the throats of a family is not business and certainly not business as usual. Cutting up a family is a personal thing. We take that very personal, especially when textbooks at Palestinian schools teach not only hate, but describe in detail how to cut Jewish throats. With the subsidy of the EU, of course.

So we are back to basics.

"If I am not for myself, then who is?", can be read in the Bible. And while we are criticized for building settlements, the Arab Legion and the Palestinian Authority are allowed to keep the total destruction of Israel as their main goal in their manifest, while we are asked to stop complaining about these petty issues and stop building in areas we conquered in wars that were forced upon us.

Back to basics means we understand that our neighbors do not want a piece of us, nor do they want peace with us. Under the patronage of Iran they want only want thing: they want us dead and gone. And the US, as well as the EU, with their roaring silence and quiet help simply agree.

Back to basics means it's up to us to decide what will happen next. Back to basics means we stop apologizing to the world that today's Jews hit back and do not walk anymore in silence to their deaths.

If no-one is for us, then we will be for ourselves.

©Simon Soesan

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