What Should Israel Do?
I received the following response from Faysal, a Lebanese businessman who lives and works in Nigeria, a great friend of mine and one who has been a practitioner of the Adizes methodology for a long time.
His response to my last blog “Israel should be Strong” is worth sharing with all of you.
Here is what Faysal wrote:
“I do not have any issue with the need for Israel to be and remain strong, as long as this strength provides them the courage to make a just and lasting peace with the Palestinians and their Arab neighbors. As for the respect to life, need I remind you of the massacres that the Israelis committed against the Palestinian people in the 40s and continue to do so, the numerous invasions on Lebanon especially the brutal attack in 2006. It was not the Palestinians who were responsible for Auschwitz! So why continue to inflict so much harm on these people..?? Israel occupied Palestinian land, drove the Palestinians from their homes, continues to build settlements on their land and to practice the worst manner of Apartheid, treating them as third class citizens…!! Where has the Jewish conscience gone…!!”
And here is my reply:
My heart hurts for the Palestinians. Trust me. I mean every word here. In my previous blogs, I said and I repeat, they should have a state, Palestine. And Israel should offer to pay reparations for all the land it occupies. And those billions of dollars should go towards building the Palestinian economy.
It is not because Israel has done wrong. Irrelevant. We need to improve the life of Palestinians and help them build their economy. And we should say “sorry”. Truly sorry. Appologize. With all our heart. Because you are right: The Palestinians did not cause Auschwitz. So why are they the ones to suffer?
I do not know if you ever read those blogs.
The problem is that the Palestinians have not shown real , honest interest in making peace.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis march, calling for peace now. An Israeli Prime Minister is murdered by an extremist Israeli because he was promoting the idea of peace. In comparison show me even ONE demonstration in any Palestinian territory or in any Arab country calling for peace. Abbas speaks of peace, but only in the English language. In Arabic, he calls for the destruction of Israel. Hammas and Hezbollah have the destruction of Israel as their announced goal.
I believe the Arab leadership is competing to see who will be the modern day Salah a Din. He was the great Arab leader who chased the crusaders out of the holy land.
You mention Apartheid. Really? Do you know how many Arab members of parliament there are in Israel? Members of the Supreme Court? Ambassadors?
Show me one Jew who can even live in an Arab country today, much less occupy a public office.
Who here is practicing apartheid?
To test who really wants peace, let us create a scenario and see what happens.
Assume Israel destroys all its arms. All of them…Possesses no weapons… What will follow?
Without defense, the Jewish people in Israel will be murdered. Every single one of them. Do you have any doubts about this?
If the Palestinians destroy their arms, there will be peace. Don’t you agree? I am sure Israel will not see this as an opportunity to attack its neighbors.
Who really wants peace?
Israel offered an exchange of territories. Israel retreated from the settlements around Gaza and left buildings and agricultural farms intact for the Palestinians. And what happened? Every single building was destroyed. All agricultural farms were destroyed. By Hamas. Why?
Who wants peace?
Yes, Israel took land and caused the Palestinians to lose their homes. And the Palestinians did not cause Auschwitz. Yes. They are victims. Yes they are suffering. Yes they lost their homes. Their land. Unfair. Unjust. True.
But more Jews were expelled from Arab countries than Arabs left Palestine. As a result of a war, there was an exchange of population. It happens all the time. Except the Jewish refugees of Arab lands settled in Israel while the Palestinians refugees are being kept by their brothers in Lebanon and in Jordan as lifetime refugees in camps .
I believe the Palestinians have a field day in world opinion because of anti-Semitism. No other refugees have had as much sympathy as the Palestinians. Their propaganda succeeds because it rides on waves of anti-Semitism.
Look. Israel moves thousands of families from the border with Gaza to give the Palestinians space. The world does not acknowledge this, does not give Israel any credit for its action.
Israel is attacked by hundreds if not thousands of missiles landing on schools and children and civilians. Indiscriminately. How does the world respond? Not one demonstration in any nation, among any people, to show disdain for what Hamas is doing. But when Israel bombs the sites where the missiles are being fired from, Israel is accused of aggression.
I believe the anti-Semitic world doubts that there should be a Jewish state. It hurts me to say this: They would rather have us dead. I believe so. Yes I do, Faysal.
I travel the world. I observe and listen. There is a lot of jealousy. And hatred of Jews. A widespread desire to see us suffer.
Last, you are talking about Israel building settlements.
Israel should stop building new settlements in what might become a Palestinian state , as a trust building exercise.
I am all for it, but the Palestinians should embark on trust building exercises too. How about changing the text-books they use to teach children to hate Jews. To stop training little kids to embrace martyrdom.
I would say, if I were the Israeli Prime Minister , we will stop building settlements when you stop training for hate. Ok?
As Golda Meir said : “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.“
Best to you Faysal. And there is nothing more I would love than to have peace. And soon. Inshallah.
Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes