The Burden of Being Israel

Once again the Mideast is in turmoil. Some even claim it is on the brink of war. Predictably, but sadly, much of the world is blaming Israel.

Let’s take a sober look at recent events.  Palestinian terrorists kidnapped and brutally murdered three Israeli teens, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel. In retaliation Israeli extremists kidnapped and savagely burned to death a Palestinian teen, Mohammed Abu Khdeir.  Furthermore, videos show Israeli police brutally beating Mohammed’s cousin,Tariq Khdeir. The Palestinian crime was met with cheers in the Arab world. The Israeli crime was met with shock and revulsion in the Jewish world.

Why I wonder does the world seem so much more outraged by the crimes perpetrated by Israelis against these Palestinian boys and the crimes perpetrated by Palestinians against Israelis? Why does the world not take note that Israel prosecutes and punishes its terrorists, but Palestinians glorify and memorialize theirs by building parks and monuments in their names?

Why does the world begrudge the existence of a solitary tiny Jewish State when there are more than 20 Islamic (and or) Arab states.  In Israel Muslims serve in the Knesset and on Israel’s Supreme Court. Many are respected doctors, lawyers and business executives. By contrast in many of the Arab states a Jew cannot legally set foot. And yet, Israel is always made out to be the villain.

There are things I wish Israel would do differently. I wish Israel would never blow up houses in retaliation for Palestinian crimes. I wish Israeli policemen would never do what they did to Tariq Khdeir, no matter what the provocation.  Three armed Israeli policemen have no excuse for what they did to an unarmed Palestinian youth, and I hope these men spend years in prison for their disgraceful act.

Nevertheless, the fact remains. Israeli terror is an aberration. Palestinian terror is standard procedure. The fact also remains that Israel has been trying to live in peace with its Arab neighbors for 66 years. It is hard to make peace when you do not have a partner in the enterprise.

My prayer is that the Arab world will cease to sanction and sponsor the murderous terrorist campaign against the very existence of the Jewish State. Make no mistake. That is the issue. It is not about this border or that settlement. It is about whether or not the Arab world will countenance the existence of a Jewish state in the vast landmass of the Middle East.

At heart I do believe that one day the Palestinian rejectionists will come to realize that Israel is not going to simply disappear. One day, I pray, they will realize that it is in everyone’s best interest to live in peace and cooperation. It is in everyone’s best interest to renounce terror, and it is in everyone’s best interest to renounce the teaching of Jew and Israeli hatred that has poisoned the mind of nearly three generations of young Palestinians and other Arabs.

How long will it be until that “one day” comes? That is a difficult question. But we must persevere. We must persevere in our resistance to terror and in our pursuit of every option for a peaceful solution. We can do no more; we dare do no less.


10 thoughts on “The Burden of Being Israel

  1. I am sad. It is hard to witness the air raids over Gaza, because civilians bear the brunt of them. There must be a better way for israel to defend itself. It has the right to do so, but I feel very bad to see children hurt because of their elders stupidity. How does this help?


  2. Dear Anne, I share your sadness. No one likes to see children hurt. I wish I could think of “a better way for Israel to defend itself, but when Hamas makes women and children the human shields for its terror activities, It is difficult. Just this morning (7/15) Hams refused a cease fire proposed by Egypt that Israel accepted. I am so sad to see children hurt because of their elders stupidity” too. Maybe the world should pressure those elders to be less stupid. I share your frustration!


  3. Dear SL Fuchs:
    What will help? I donate to the New Israel Fund, but what else?

    Hamas is wrong to use children as a human shield, but why fall into that trap?

    Neither side is listening to the others legitimate grievances. Israel wants safety and Hamas wants the borders reopened, and supplies brought in to repair buildings damaged in bombings.

    I worry that both sides are entrenched in blaming and self righteousness. How can this problem be resolved?

    Anne Ireland


  4. Anne, I wish I knew how to answer your question. I believe that if Hamas, the Palestinians and the ARab world would acknowledge the legitimacy of Israel’s existence on the map of the world and express a desire to live in peace with her, a glorious era of peace would break out between Israel and her neighbors


    1. Here is yet another worry: if Israel’s Arab neighbors say, yes, Israel has a right to exist, this is all very well, but what I need to see is an enforceable peace treaty.

      I’m not sure how to define what that would mean. I do wish both Israel and Hamas would observe a cease fire, but so far, Hamas stubbornly refuses to do that.

      Obviously Israel can inflict much more severe casualties on Hamas. Even so, civilians in the Gaza strip apparently support Hamas as their defenders.

      I wish the last peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority had succeeded. it would be in Israel’s best interests to figure out how to have a two state solution.

      Anne Ireland


  5. Anne, I am so grateful to you for engaging with me in this discussion. I wish I could offer more wisdom than to share your frustration. Long a go (mid 60’s before the Six Day War) a professor of mine said the one thing that stands out to him about the middle east is the absolute absence of a viable peaceful solution. I still hope he is wrong, but he may have been right.


    1. This is what worries me, too.

      If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, let me share an event with you:

      Singing and Praying for Peace in Israel and Palestine
      Monday, July 21
      7:30 to 9:00
      with Lior Tsarfaty, Bouchaib Abdelhadi and Brian Schacter-Brooks
      Chochmat HaLev
      2215 Prince St.
      Berkeley 94705
      this will be an evening of prayers, chants and silence to end the circle of violence

      This, I can do.

      Anne Ireland


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