Friday, December 7, 2012

Dear Europeans - An open letter to European countries

Dror Eydar..
Times of Israel..
07 December '12..

You summoned our ambassadors to be reprimanded over the most natural thing on earth: settling our own country. You've got it wrong. We never settled on "occupied Palestinian territory." This is our country, the Jewish people's only homeland. We didn't come to Israel because of the pogroms or the Holocaust. We didn't ask you to do us any favors "at the Palestinians' expense" because other countries had a centuries-long hobby of destroying, killing and wiping out Jews.

We came home because it was what we wanted, with all our souls, for generations. We never gave up the dream of returning to Zion. No matter where on earth they were, Jews prayed facing toward Zion. Three times a day they asked to be allowed to behold the return to Zion with their own eyes. Even as they thanked God every time they ate bread, they always prayed in grace after meals: "Have mercy on Zion" and "Build Jerusalem speedily, in our own time." At the happiest moment of their lives, groom and bride swore the oath of Zion’s exiles, "If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget itself." Even during the exile, the cycle of the Jewish year was set according to the agricultural seasons in the land of Israel. Our people started returning to our land in steadily-growing groups over a hundred years before the Zionist movement was established.

And the land kept faith with its own. It never accepted another nation. After we were exiled, no state ever existed here. Most of the land remained desolate for centuries. Nomads passed through it. After the Second Temple was destroyed in the first century C.E., many Jews remained there. They survived the Christian occupation until the seventh century, when the Muslims occupied the land and gave the Jews there two choices: conversion to Islam or exile. Those who cleaved to the God of Israel went into exile. Those who cleaved to the land of Israel converted to Islam. They lived like the anousim — forced converts — of Spain for a generation or two and then were assimilated. What a historical irony — the real old-timers among the Arabs in Israel have Jewish roots. Most of the rest arrived after we started coming back home. Like the Muslim immigrants in your countries, Muslims from the region came to the land of Israel seeking work. Many of them arrived here when the British conquered the country.

The British behaved cruelly toward the Jews and prevented them from returning home. But they paid no attention to the Arabs of the Middle East, who entered Israel unhindered. Incidentally, in 1948, many of the Arabs left Israel on the advice of their leaders, who told them to stay away until they had finished with the Jews. For them, the United Nations changed the definition of a refugee: anyone who had lived in the land of Israel two years before 1948. You understand that during the first half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of Arabs arrived here, and to this day they claim the "right of return." Dear Europeans, you too have a part in this farce.

2. Palestine — actually, Palaestina — is the name the Romans gave to the region in the second century C.E. to wipe out all traces of the connection between the Jews and their land. The Arabs of the area eagerly adopted this Roman name that recalled the Philistines, those seafaring nations that had invaded Canaan a thousand years before. They also adopted the Roman intention of wiping out all connection between the Jews and their land. Much of the time, they also tried to wipe out all connection between the Jews and their heads. They envied you your history.

You presume to try to solve the conflict between us and the Muslim world, but you can't even deal with the Muslim occupation of your own cities. The day isn't far when millions of Muslim immigrants will rise up to demand a part of your country: Islamic autonomy, the partition of the land or — if you persist in not having children — an Islamic takeover accomplished by completely proper democratic and politically correct means. What will you do then? Your survival instincts were dulled long ago. You think that if you cooperate with the Arab lie, you'll buy yourselves peace and quiet. You think that if you sacrifice us on the altar of your short-term interests, you'll be left alone. Is your memory really that short? Are you really so deaf that you don't hear the mob growling in your streets?

You've confused our history with yours. You were the colonizers, the ones who robbed countries that did not belong to you, drew impossible borders that crossed through tribal territory and united opposites (see Syria, Lebanon and Iraq) and condemned whole regions to endless war, and you planned to take advantage of your unfortunate subjects for as long as you could.

What we did was to come back home. We're not foreign colonizers. We're the sole legal heirs of this land. We didn't come back to Tel Aviv, but mainly to the places where our nation was born and took shape: Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. You know the Bible, right? A person can't be an occupier in his own home.

3. Still, we've tried many times over the past hundred years to reach a compromise with our neighbors over our own land. After all, we're rational people. Our ancient law teaches that when two people who take hold of a cloak at the same time, each one saying "It's all mine," they should share it. We never believed the Arab claim that "it's all mine." This land was never theirs. Not content with the enormous amount of land all around us, they also coveted the poor man's lamb of the Jews, our country. Nevertheless, we were willing to compromise on a room or two of the whole house, but that didn't change anything. Our neighbors' openly-stated goal was not an independent state, but the complete destruction of the Jews on their own land. They never intended to give up their fantasy of destroying tiny Israel, even with the reckless borders Ehud Olmert offered them in 2008. That applies even more strongly to the borders drawn in Oslo by the team of dreamers in Rabin's government. What they couldn't accomplish by violence, they tried to gain by negotiating. When they got tired of that, they went back to blowing themselves up in our cities. They went back to negotiating once again, and during breaks they went into the next room and fired rockets at our kindergartens. It's a kind of hobby. Freedom fighters, you know ...

The truth is simple and scary, and you in the West just don't get it. Unfortunately, our own Left here in Israel doesn't get it either. It sounds too primitive and stupid. Try to remember how many times over your long history you disregarded truths just because they sounded too simple or unsophisticated. Unlike the fads in philosophy that took over the continent, reality is often simple and clear.

4. But your judgment of reality was corrupted long ago by a way of thinking that seems idealistic to you in its demand for peace at any price — even at the price of your committing suicide, or our committing suicide. You still seek such a peace even when our neighbors show complete disinterest in the many proposals that have been laid at their doorstep. They even say so — but not in English, not to you. They say it to their own people openly, in plain Arabic. Recently they have done so in English, from the speaker's platform of the U.N., before your own eyes. The lie was never more obvious, but you still insist on clutching the hem of its filthy robe, shouting "Eureka!"

Now you reprimand us for our intention to build housing units on our own land. What would this land be without our people? What would Jerusalem be without our nation? What would Western civilization be without the Jews? Israel is the advance post of the West. Islam understands that. That is why it is fighting us and using you against us. The return to Zion is not a matter for the Jewish people only; It is of interest to you as well, esteemed Europeans. Without the return to Zion, you too will perish.


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