Israel, Religion

Hate Begets Hate

ynet reports,

Almost two weeks after the war in Lebanon ended, Haifa’s stronghold of coexistence is finding it difficult to recover from the harsh blow it suffered. Suspicion and loss of trust, particularly on the part of Jews toward Arabs, are being felt these days in the neighborhood of Wadi Nisnas, where Muslims, Christians and Jews live side by side.
While some of the Arab residents seek to stress the cooperation and good relations between themselves and the Jews, the latter find it difficult to forgive what they view as almost a kind of treason – the support for Nasrallah during the war.

You mean the Arab’s perceived support for Nasrallah, no?
The JTA reports,

About 18 percent of Israeli Arabs said they backed Hezbollah during the recent war, a new poll finds.
A majority of Israeli Jews believe that most Israeli Arabs supported Hezbollah, the Dahaf poll found.
Twenty-seven percent of Israeli Arabs said they supported Israel in the conflict, while 36 percent said they supported neither side.

All too-eager to latch onto these figures to further damage the image of Arabs in its right-wing Orthodox readership’s eyes, Arutz Sheva declared “Only 1/4 of Israeli-Arabs Supported Israel in War, as Predicted.” Attacking the liberal Jewish media (no, no — the actual liberal Jewish media, ie., Haaretz) for being too soft on the A-rabs, the article begins, “Though some media headlines blared ‘Only 18% Supported Hizbullah,’ poll numbers show that 73% of the Israeli-Arab public refused to say they supported Israel in its war against Hizbullah.”
OMG! You mean to say the second class citizens of the Jewish State resent the Jewish State?! Could it possibly be?
I’m reminded of a recent essay in Haaretz, “Through the looking glass,” which illustrates this issue precisely. In it, an Israeli Arab journalist, Sayed Kashua, describes his experience monitoring a focus group assembled to investigate Israeli attitudes towards the war. The overwhelming outpouring of racism against Arabs which flowed so naturally from the tounges of his Jewish countrymen stirred within him a desire for Israel’s loss:

“Credibility problem” was the key phrase. “Knife in the back.” “Their natural increase.” “Car thefts.” “Crime, drugs, prostitution.” “To transfer them,” one of the young people said, using both hands to make a raking gesture. They were to be followed by a group that describes itself as center-right, God preserve us.
[…] “I was against the war, but after it started I wanted the army to lose, or at least not to feel victorious. My hands tremble as I write, but in this war I was against Israel – make no mistake – my country. This has nothing to do with the other side, it has nothing to do with what I think about the side that fought in this round against the IDF. It’s true that I would prefer that the IDF, that the State of Israel lose without the consequence being that soldiers die. I would like to see it lose in arm-wrestling. Rows of tables in which soldiers from both sides sit and arm-wrestle. I would prefer a loss by penalty kicks.
“The past few weeks were so confusing, and included phone calls to friends I grew up with, whom I lived with and who I knew were fighting; looking for the names of victims with my heart pounding and my head exploding; and ending with a feeling of relief when I did not identify friends in the lists of names. You can say it’s treason, you can say what you want, but I am still unable to understand how I can be happy when I hear that another IDF tank has been hit and at the same time afraid that I have friends inside it and then cringe when I see the photographs and under them the ages of the fallen.”
[…] “I am so happy,” said a pretty woman on the other side of the glass, “when Nasrallah’s missiles land in their villages.” It’s hard to believe, but I smiled indulgently.

Az, nu? Are you so surprised? Do you honestly think you’re entitled to their loyalty? When you can’t even acknowledge their tselem, other than with a disingenuous nod? “Yeah, sure, ‘image of G-d,’ but…” No such luck for the stranger in your midst. Remember the house that Nuri built?
Kafir, indeed.
Chris Rock, in a stand-up routine, once said, “There’s nobody more racist than an old black man.” Except for the Jews, apparently. The behavior I’ve witnessed in the last week, interacting with the Israeli public while distributing fliers and hanging posters around Jerusalem for our benefit concert, let alone all the hateful emails and comments I’ve received, has made me ashamed of my people. They are so consumed with hatred they cannot see how their hatred is revisted upon them.
We’re just innocent victims, after all.

Compassion is the feeling of empathy [we have for a suffering human being, which we draw upon from our own experience of pain]; and the higher and more human the beings are, the more keenly attuned are they to re-echo the note of suffering which, like a voice from heaven, penetrates the heart, bringing to all creatures a proof of their kinship in the universal G-d. And as for the human being, whose function it is to show respect and love for G-d’s universe and all its creatures, his heart has been created so tender that it feels with the whole organic world…so that if nothing else, the very nature of his heart must teach him that he is required above everything else to feel himself the brother of all beings, and to recognize the claim of all beings to his love and beneficence (Horeb 17:125).
Do not suppress this compassion, this sympathy especially with the sufferings of your fellow man. It is the warning voice of duty, which points out to you your brother in every sufferer, and your own sufferings in his, and awakens the love which tells you that you belong to him and his sufferings with all the powers that you have. Do not suppress it! … See in it the admonition of G-d that you are to have no joy so long as a brother suffers by your side (Horeb 17:126).
–Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch

.áøåê àúä éäåä àìåäéðå îìê äòåìí, ôå÷ç òåøéí
Blessed are You, Hasehm, our God, King of the universe, Who gives sight to the blind.

5 thoughts on “Hate Begets Hate

  1. I suppose it is up to people like us to try to avoid creating hate among our people; good luck on your side of the Middle East. Mine’s just as stubborn.

  2. Yes, indeed, we Jews are blind…and hateful. We need a leader, no, better, a prophet, to lead us out of this spiritual wilderness. And I think we have a volunteer for that position.

  3. Could it be that Israelis developed their perceptions of how Israeli Arabs view this conflict through their elected representatives in the Knesset? It seems to me that you had about a 100% Hizbullah support rate there and those are the guys captured on TV.

  4. Ah, the totally “objective” JTA, which I have recently subscribed to, after it was brought to my attention that they were neglecting to report on the peace camp, during the Lebanon II war.
    After a post on 12 Israelis being arrested at a demonstration, I e’d the editor about why that was deemed significant to report, while the 10,000 Israelis demonstrating against the war, was completely ignored. Oh, yeah, I think I questioned whether Karl Rove was working the news desk.
    Immediately, I received an e back, saying there were only “2,000” in that demonstration (with no acknowledgement that even 2,000 Israelis are a few more than 12), and that JTA prides itself on not being ‘political.’
    Not surprisingly, when I sent the link of the IDF firing upon unarmed demonstrators in Bil’in — which showed Limor Goldstein shot in the head — there were no comments forthcoming. Kinda reminded me of when the mayor of Jerusalem wrote to me explaining why homes built without permits in Jerusalem get torn down, and that the ‘western’ media misportrays Israel, and then there was no response from him when I asked to know how many of the demolished homes are Jewish.
    Meanwhile, I do think that an end to occupation and housing demolition, and governments moving on Beilin’s call for an immediate Madrid II summit, would go a very long way toward ending the hostilities, and making Israel a secure nation-state.
    PS Can anyone explain to me how all kinds of private citizens can find peace partners (including Combatants for Peace, and myself in Bil’in), but elected government officials cannot?

  5. You can blame the BBC, Reuters, etc for that. They kept portraying Haifa Arabs as supporting Nasrallah, even mistranslating their statements on news footage (I have this clip somewhere but can’t find it right now).
    But shame on Israeli Jews for believing anything in mainstream media coverage of israel…

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