Many times we hear from government officials “US commitment to Israel is unshakable” and this phrase always comes after a slap in the face of the Jewish people – be it after Vice President Joe Biden was in Israel, or after the silent and secret meeting in the White House, between our President and the Prime Minister of Israel, or when a Jewish personality reacts with an open letter or an article in the news. I must say that after so many shake-ups we received during WWII, with bombs and battles, and seeing destruction and dead people who suffered enough during war times, in my view, officials should be more careful and even think twice of the consequences for the elderly, before bursting out. A good politician should keep his or her calm in public. After all, they were elected to serve the people and not to aggravate the situation. Sometimes it is about a small matter which becomes blown out of proportion. They should keep in mind that the Jewish people who are American citizens have suffered enough and many have members of their family living in Israel, just like every minority, be it Irish, British, German, or from any nation who have ties to their families overseas..
The Jewish people who formed JStreet have forgotten that they are living in the United States and that their brothers are living in Israel under constant pressure from war, from terrorism and from hard work. This very new organization represents a tiny Jewish minority and cannot in any case represent the State of Israel or the Jewish people, even with the endorsement of our President.
Now about the Jews who left the Arab countries, many people do not know that during the Second World War Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya came under Nazi or Vichy French occupation and these Jews were subject to various persecutions.The Jewish people from Arab lands departed en masse from Arab and Islamic countries. Over a million and a half Jews were forced to leave their homes in every Arab country due to expulsion or scare of persecution. The Jews of Egypt and Libya were expelled while those of Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and North Africa left as a result of physical and political insecurity. Almost all were forced to abandon their property which is valued at Billions of dollars and the real-estate left behind in Arab lands at over 60,000 square miles (seven and one half times the size of the state of Israel, or thirty times the size of the West Bank). No one is talking about this disproportion, but they are making a big deal about the West Bank.
Mr. President, you speak about reconciliation with the Arabs. No one is objecting to this, but not at the expense of Israel, not at the expanse of Jewish dignity. Israel is an example of a State and represents the Jewish culture and the Jewish religion and particularly its roots and the Jewish ancestry. The Christians and the Muslims inherited the Jewish culture and religion. Since childhood the Jews have been repeating every Friday and Saturday the prayer for their Jerusalem. Israel has absorbed refugees and immigrants of WWII, that Europe and America refused to absorb and even sent them back to Europe. Some ships were sent back to the German fire and their passengers were left to die, while millions of illegal immigrants are trespassing our borders every day without any consequence. Now after long and hard work Israel succeeded in creating a livelihood for over 7 million people.
I also hear and read many times that America gave 3 billion dollars to Israel. These 3 billion are not even enough to clean our conscience. Israel saved more Arab lives than all the Arab countries combined. Mr. President, with all respect, please do not challenge the legitimacy of Israel, do not forget that American Jews helped you to be elected as the President of the United States. Honestly, I didn’t vote for you. Those Jews who are advising you have never fought a battle and do not know the will and the determination of the Israelis and of the Jewish people. Those who are advising you to intensify pressure on Israel are dead wrong. This is counterproductive and neither civil nor diplomatic, like Mr. Indyk who is warning Israelis to distance themselves from the policies of their government “or there will be serious consequences”. Mr President, you called today for civility, which is very appreciated, but please don’t unleash people like Indyk who is talking with fake authority, what I call mixing himself in other people’s business and using a language of threat. Is this our culture? This is a culture of coercion.
Copyright 2010 Emile Tubiana