On Sunday night, I went to my first AIPAC Dinner… as has been discussed.
Perhaps I was naive, but I was a bit surprised when I saw two protesters at the bottom of the hill as we drove up to the Universal Hilton. Their signs were begging the US to cut aid to Israel and calling Israel an Apartheid state.
To be honest, two protesters seemed a bit pathetic.
As we got to the top of the hill, the number of protesters grew. It was not crazy, maybe 40 people, and the police were there and things seemed fairly calm, but I really wanted to get out of the car and talk to these people. The problem is that most of the time, you can talk until your face turns the colors of the Israeli flag and you will get nowhere. I realize now that there are just people who hate Jews and hate Israel and blame them for all the woes and worries of the world. True and open dialogue is not a possibility.
Although I am unequivocal in my support of Israel, that does not mean I give them a blank check to do whatever they want. They are not perfect, no one is…But if you look at what Israel has given the world… what Jews have given the world… it is remarkable and life affirming, and, quite literally, life saving.
But there were the signs telling us that Israel practices Apartheid… What sickens me almost more than anything, is when certain groups take hold and hostage of words and terms and twist them into an untruth. Israelis are not Nazis and to compare them as such cheapens and destroys the memories of the 11 million people systematically killed by the real Nazis… The only Nazis… And for the record, just under half of those people were not Jews.
What happened in South Africa was Apartheid… a system of legal, racial segregation. As far as I know, that is where the term came from and this is how it is defined in the dictionary. Israel is not an apartheid state, as much as those desperate signs want us to believe. Is there separation? Yes, there is. But what the world does not hear, is that a terrorist attack is stopped every single day from the West Bank. Every day. What the world does not hear, is that since the Israeli army left Gaza… over 150 rockets have been fired into Southern Israel.
The world is silent to this carnage, yet loudly calls for boycotts of Israeli goods and services and worse yet, Israeli culture. A tennis tournament in Dubai refused to allow an Israeli tennis player into the country. Well, what do you expect from a place that so warmly embraces Whacko… I mean Michael Jackson…
The world is filled with a desperate hate of Jews and Israel, because the world needs a scapegoat and the world is afraid to look itself in the mirror and take any of the blame itself.
What Israel seeks is peace and justice. It is written in the Torah and in our hearts. But I ask you this, what would your life be like, if every day you had to worry about a rocket attack or homicide bomber or whether or not it was safe to let your children play in a park? EVERY SINGLE DAY? Would you want a wall or separation built until a real peace could be achieved?
Let me reiterate:
At least one terrorist attack is stopped every single day from the West Bank.
Over 150 rockets have been fired into Southern Israel since the Israeli army left just a few months ago.
No one would tolerate this anywhere else in the world, certainly not in their own backyard. Yet it is Israel, the victim, who is constantly condemned… over and over and over.
Think about that. More tomorrow.