Monday, May 14, 2018

Israel and Me

The Jordan River is much smaller than its reputation.
While a gentile, I have always been a Zionist. Always in this case beginning somewhere between the first time I read The Diary of Anne Frank and the 1967 Six Day War. I saw then, and still do, Israel as the rightful homeland of a people who have been tormented throughout the centuries by Christians and Muslims, Babylonian horsemen and Roman legions, Czarist Russians and Nazi Germans, Catholic inquisitionists and KKK bigots.

Israel was never as noble as I had wanted to believe. One of its tactics during the 1948 War of Independence was to force out Muslim civilians from strategic villages and cities like Haifa and Jaffa. On April 9, 1948 the terrorist organization Irgun attacked the peaceful Arab village Deir Yassin and massacred the residents, killing men, women, and children. In 1977, the leader of the Irgun during the massacre, Likud leader Menachem Begin, was elected Prime Minister of Israel.
The "Separation Wall"
Begin began a program of moving Israeli settlers into the Arab lands captured during the Six Day War. Likudnik Ariel Sharon added walling off Arab populations from Israel proper and the Jewish enclaves in the West Bank most reminiscent of the Berlin Wall
and the wall built around the Warsaw Ghetto to keep Jews confined following the Nazi occupation of Poland.
While I was in Jerusalem last month the Israeli Defense Force sought to quell riots at the prison-like wall surrounding the Gaza Strip by killing scores of Arabs and wounding hundreds. One Israeli official said they had to kill women and children to get at the terrorists hiding behind them.
Israel is again attacking and killing people in Gaza protesting the new US embassy in Jerusalem.

Yet, through all this I still love Israel and want her to exist and thrive. Not for the reasons of American evangelicals, they believe Israel must exist so that Armageddon can come and kill all the Jews conveniently gathered in one place, but that the Jewish people deserve a place where they can finally live in peace.

I am a Zionist, albeit a frequently sad and disappointed one.