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Trimming My Roses
I was trimming my roses that were damaged by the freezing weather in our central California yard and I started to complain to myself: look at all this damage. Despite all the work I had put into these plants for years, I could not prevent the damage. Then I started to laugh: look at me, I want the weather to be my way, I want the plants to behave my way, I want, I want..... And I realized how ludicrous it is.
I immediately was reminded of our attitude towards the security of Israel. We want peace. We complained: “how could it be that for sixty years the Arabs still do not accept Israel. We are outraged, justly so, by the continued attacks and killing of Israelis, either by Hezbollah, Hamas, Fatah or whatever group you can name. The Israelis are not willing to give enough to gain peace, say some. Others have different ideas how to achieve peace in Israel. Most of us are frustrated that instead of the situation becoming better, Iran and its nuclear weapons are added to the dangerous mix.
We want it our way, and we believe we “know” how to achieve peace.
How unrealistic our attitude is. No, we do not have the answer. The Israelis have tried everything, actually too much in my judgment. The Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular do not want, and are not ready, to have peace with Israel You can not twist their arms and force them to accept with peace Israel’s existence. They have the oil wealth and there are many of them.
There are many things that are completely beyond our control. It is their Arab culture and it is the way they have been doing it for over a thousand years: Use force to achieve their goals. The Rule of Law, women equality, sanctity of life, freedom of religion are unacceptable to most Arabs, and a great many other Muslims. Just look around the Middle East, Arab country after Arab country. Look at the daily slaughter on the streets of Baghdad.
It took the Europeans a thousand years to arrive at the cooperation of the European Union. At least a hundred million Europeans died during those turbulent times. We hope it will take less time, and less casualties for the Arabs to realize that living in harmony among themselves, and with others is superior to murdering one another. Just note what they have been doing in Gaza, Darfur, Iraq, Iran- Iraq war, Lebanon, and untold other mini wars the Arabs fought with one another, and with Israel too.
There are over a billion Muslims in the world, and the great majority of them are silent about the slaughter of Muslims by Muslims. Of course there are many Muslims who wish to live in peace, however, there are enough Muslims who incite, support, and do not object to the extreme actions of extremists thus letting them dictate the Muslim’s agenda. Even if only one tenth of one percent of the world’s Muslims support and participate in the Jihad against the West, it is one million, yes, one million people. However, 65 to 75 percent of the Palestinians support suicide bombing of Israeli civilians.
So, let’s be realistic. Do not expect a viable, satisfactory solution to the Arab- Israeli struggle any time in the near future. It is simply not possible. Abbas of Fatah is not significantly different from Hamas leadership. Fatah groups continue to murder Israelis. Just because they fought with Hamas it does not mean that they want real peace with the Israelis. Hamas and Fatah are mainly struggling for power, for wealth, and for jobs.
It is not clear what the recent Mecca power-sharing agreement between Fatah and Hamas will bring out. The power and persistence of the groups will decide the outcome, but even that may be temporary.
American support of Israel is crucial for Israel survival. We should not do what we did before WWII when the Germans started to murder Jews. We, American Jews, (and other Americans,) essentially kept quiet. We did not want to enrage the non Jewish community.
We must do all we can to support Israel, join AIPAC to educate Congress (American Israel Public Affair Committee- “The most important organization affecting America relationship with Israel”- the New York Times *). We should visit Israel. We should donate money to improve life there. The Israeli military budget is huge! Larger percentage then probably any other country, draining Israeli citizens by very high taxes. They do not have enough money to take care of their social needs.
It is not enough to feel good by reading, talking and emailing. We need to support Israel by our actions, by money too.
If we do not take those little actions, we may not be able to pray any longer towards Jerusalem. It may not be there.
*To join AIPAC: 202-639-6933, firstname.lastname@example.org
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