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Shabbat Shalom
Last uploaded : Friday 2nd Jan 2004 at 23:17
Contributed by : Sheila Raviv


Incredible huh? Another year has passed and we, Israel, Children of Israel, Jews, have not really caught on to the reason why we are fast becoming public enemy number one.

One of my dearest friends has her own theory. At first I thoroughly disagreed with her but then, as I mulled it over, I began to understand what was behind her concerns. The idea, the cause for her anger and distress? Most Diaspora Jews are far too busy criticizing Israel, each other, their Rabbi, indeed any second party to look deep into himself and come out saying "Yes, I am a Jew and proud of it".

I just want to make it clear that I am not talking about you. The warmth and loyalty that you express in your letters warm my heart, but you are the exception, not the rule. I am sure you all know these people, the ones who say "Me, go to Israel? When they hand back all the land they took in '67 I'll go there. Then the Arabs will stop blowing them up."

I will ignore the sheer ignorance of their statements and concentrate on giving you the means to respond. "Back to whom? Jordan has made it quite plain the she doesn't want the West Bank back, same goes for the Egyptians and Gaza." Both countries insisted we take these troublesome parcels of land under our legislation in their peace treaties. In the interest of peace, and for purely humanitarian reasons the government of Israel has, on umpteen occasions, offered these varied peoples, who came as foreign workers to the area a hundred years ago, a large portion of this formerly Jordanian/Egyptian parcel of land so that they could have a state of their own. The result each time was clearly defined and loudly declared terrorist war on the State of Israel. Unlike other terrorist organisations which later became the government of legal states, this potential state has leaders who remain terrorists. Just yesterday the Egyptians told Arafat that every time he signs an agreement he follows it up with another terror attack.

Those who claim to be so knowledgeable on the Affairs of the State of Israel know it, they deny it. They impose untenable conditions on the State and people of Israel yet if their children wanted to live here they would balk at the idea!

Walk a mile in our shoes. Forget the politically correct versions; they do not live up to their name. The PC version is so politically incorrect it is frightening. How can anyone be taken in? Well, start with a lack of self-confidence, knowledge and top it up with self-hatred and then you have the perfect combination.

Until Jews, and Christians for that matter, begin to love themselves, to love their rich and fascinating traditions and spend more time discovering themselves and building their relationship with the land which spawned their faith, we cannot combat the horrendous misinformation that abounds today.

As your New Year's resolution - take a mirror and look deeply into it. Maybe you will see a few wrinkles (I call them smiley lines), a few age spots (freckles) however if you look deeply enough you will see yourself. Now think of who you are, that person you see in the mirror. You have lived that persons life, no-one can ever know what really goes on inside you. Now compare it to Israel, lines, warts and all. Until you have lived in this battered body you can never know how many times it has been abused.

So now to your resolution ? it may sound trite, even banal to come up with an old and well used adage, but tell those friends of yours not to believe they have all the answers until they have walked a mile in our shoes.

May G-d bless you and keep you safe from harm. Have a truly astonishing 2004.

"Lions for the Children of Jerusalem" -- one project of the New Jerusalem Foundation http://www.lionsofjerusalem.org.il


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