I shouldn’t have to, but I wanted to explain myself. For my sake and for no one else.
If you follow me on Twitter normally you’d find a very random mix of Tech, Jewishness, Music, Football, and general crap that somehow falls out my mind, into my fingers and onto twitter. Yet, for the last two days, I’ve barely tweeted anything apart from retweeting reports of things going on in Israel.
I’m anxious. Last night I barely slept. Today I couldn’t concentrate. This afternoon, as rockets rained down on Israel, I scrambled to text friends, telling them I was thinking of them, checking they were safe. Some friends in shelters, some without shelters. One friend told me how her grandfather of over 90, a holocaust survivor, wasn’t fast enough to move the the shelter and she had to help him.
But that’s all thousands of miles away. Why am I REALLY anxious?
Because every time there is an escalation in Israel, Anti-Semitism outside of Israel increases.
Living my life as a Jew thousands of miles from Israel gets more complex and scarier.
Complex because I feel I want to hide my identity. I’m proudly Jewish (and it just so happens, also proudly a Zionist.) Yet the moment there’s an escalation in Israel, I usually shut down that part of my personality among people I don’t know well. Why? Because the moment I declare my religious affinity, I get barraged with questions and queries, and accusations that I have done X Y or Z.
Scarier because you just don’t know how folk will react. Anti-semitism has already been on the increase in the last few years, and with tensions high in the Middle East, tensions get high elsewhere too. I know, and I am ever thankful to know, that quietly in the background while all this is going on, organisations like the CST are on high alert making plans to protect the UK Jewish community from whatever fall-out might occur here in the UK.
The media coverage of the events in Israel, and Gaza right now is poor. The bias is skewed, and the reasoning provided for actions often incorrect. A number of tweets yesterday showed Jews dancing at the Kotel (The holiest site in the Jewish world) while on top of temple mount, there was a fire. The tweets suggested the Jewish people were dancing with joy at the fire. Yesterday was Yom Yerushalayim – the day of the Unification of Jerusalem. The Jews were dancing because they could dance and pray there, as could their Christian, Armenian and Arab brothers, thanks to unification. (Before the 1967 war Jews were not allowed to visit the holiest site in the Jewish faith)… oh and the fire? The fire was a tree that caught light when struck by a firework fired from atop Temple Mount in the Al-Aqsa complex.
This is just one example of many, but equally is nothing new. Truth does not make for good news. The media doesn’t enjoy spreading balanced views and thrives on pitting one group against the other, fuelling the hate and enflaming the situation.
But really?… What do I think to what’s going on? I think THE WORLD can and should do better.
ACTUALLY. DO. YOUR. RESEARCH.
Does Israel have an upper hand? It’s hard to argue against it… but why do they have the upper hand?
Because the Palestinian people are failed time and time again by their terrorist dictatorship governments who have absolutely no intentions around the sanctity of the life of their people and focuses ONLY on the killing of Jews.
Did I say Jews and not Israelis? Yes. Why? Take a read of the Hamas Charter: https://fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/880818.htm (Wiki on the “Hamas Charter”) Press Ctrl + F and type “Jews”….
Hamas is the organisation that governs Gaza.
Imagine if this was the UK government cabinet, and the word “Jew” was replaced with “French”! The UN wouldn’t stand for it. Peace and human rights activists worldwide would be up in arms. Other countries would send troops in to overthrow militant power and ensure order was ensued.
The world can do better because the Palestinian people in Gaza deserve better than a government that doesn’t care about them. A government that doesn’t believe in peace, doesn’t want peace yet only wants and thrives on war.
The Palestinian people both in Gaza and the West Bank deserve a government that spends money on infrastructure, on healthcare, on development, on education and on growth. On a government that promotes co-existence, peace and love. A government that doesn’t waste money on rockets and terror tunnels. Doesn’t fire rockets from schools and hospitals, and doesn’t brainwash it’s people into extremist ideologies.
I strongly believe in rights for our Palestinian brothers and sisters. (an Arab friend and I often joke we are far more similar than we like to admit). BUT, I believe the best and most sustainable path to rights and peace, is to ensure those leading way and leading the people are doing it with the correct intent.
To ‘Free Palestine’ is not “from the river to the sea” (a call for the destruction of Israel), is to free the Palestinians from their maligned government, and it will take the world to speak out, in order to do so.
Oseh shalom bimromav
Hu ya’aseh shalom aleynu
Ve’al kol yisrael
He who makes peace in his high places
He shall make peace upon us
And upon all of Israel
And say Amen