The view from my veranda

Response to a friend on how to respond to Anti-Israel bias

A friend asked me how to respond to anti-Israel bias in her community and university in the USA – this was my response

Did you know that every other country in the world has held on to land won in war and nobody screams foul play? Israel is the only country that was actually recreated by a vote in the United Nations. India was also declared a country just a few months prior to Israel and nobody ever doubts India’s existence. Since Israel was declared many have chosen to denigrate her existence and her democracy yet there are 56 Moslem countries and no one ever doubts their right to exist. Indeed many of those Moslem countries do not allow prayer of any other religion and Jews are not allowed there at all!!!!!

There is no comparison between the USA’s Native Americans and the Palestinians. Native Americans were indigenous to the “New World” and in the large part dispossessed, as were the Canadian Inuits, the Australian Aborigines and the New Zealand Maoris. Although there were some Arab (Moslem families) in Palestine the vast majority came after the first Aliya (turn of the 18th – 19th century) to work. You will find many names such as El Massri (Egyptian) El Suri (Syrian) El Baghdadi (Iraqi) etc etc throughout the Palestinian Authority. In an 1838 census there was a majority of Jews in Jerusalem. In this part of the world, we are sadly aware of the Sunni-Shia divide and killings, the Hamas slaughter of anyone who disagrees, the oppression of Christians in the PA (Bethlehem is now 90% Moslem and who remembers that Ramallah was a Christian City?)

Israel is a Jewish Democratic Nation, although the national religion is Judaism, all other religions live in total freedom of prayer and worship. For instance, Jerusalem has no less than 52 Christian denominations (who knew there were so many) and 8 Moslem denominations. Throughout Israel, there are Circassians, Druze, Bedouin,(most of who serve loyally in the IDF) Shia and Sunni and all have the same political and civic rights as Jews. In fact, we have had several Deputy Speakers of the Knesset who were Israeli Arab and highly vociferous Arab political parties who are more than able to express their democratic rights!

Just incidentally, did you know that Israel sends over 130 truck-loads of aid to Gaza every day? Did you know that all Israeli citizens left Gaza (Gush Katif farms) years ago including every Israeli soldier and no Israeli soldiers have set foot in Gaza unless attacked by rockets and missiles? (Including the rockets shot at Irit in Tel Aviv last night) Did you know that many Palestinians and Gazans come to Israel for medical treatment? Did you know that within Israeli Hospitals at least one-third of the patients and the Medical staff (my Professor in Shaare Zedek Hospital) are Arab – both Moslem and Christian? Did you know that the biggest house in our neighbourhood belongs to an Israeli Arab? So many reasons that Israel should be loved for providing incredible innovation (cell-phones, messaging, medical advances such as stents and new procedures – the list is too long to put here) yet Israel is criticised for existing. I can promise you that as a totally democratic country we are more than capable of criticising our own leaders and do so daily.

Ergo – anti-Israel is anti-Semitic.

I hope that gives you what you wanted to respond
Yours Sheila