“But why does he have to make provocations with these declarations of his?!”
I was shocked to hear this sentence come out of the mouths of my Jewish American relatives. Yes, they were referring to Trump (who they hate) and to the Jerusalem Declaration.
I love my relatives but they live in a completely different universe than I do.
Slowly, carefully, I explained that a declaration does not “provoke” violence. It can be an excuse for violent people to unleash violence but a statement doesn’t actually create violence.
Would anyone accept the statement that Kristallnacht was a result of Jewish provocation? Of course not! Kristallnacht was a result of Antisemitic propaganda and the government condoned environment, sending the message that violence against Jews was perfectly acceptable, even desirable… There is no difference between that and the Arab “Days of Rage”.
To state otherwise is both Jew-hating and racist against Arabs. It excuses violence against Jews, as if it is a legitimate response, only to be expected AND it implies that Arabs are sub-human, incapable of deciding for themselves when and where to rage, as if they have none of the ability to think rationally or control their impulses that are expected of every other people on the face of the earth.
My, oh my.
“But what good does it do to state that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel? It is so why does he have to say it?”
Again, different planets. Obviously, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Jerusalem has been the heart of Zion for 3000 years, not just the last 70, since the re-establishment of the Jewish State. It is a ridiculous and (though I don’t use this word lightly) evil game played by nations that are ambivalent about the existence of the Jewish people, as if pretending our capital is not our capital might result in the Jewish people realizing that we are considered illegitimate and should, therefore, do the world a favor and simply disappear.
Declaring that “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and is the eternal capital of the Jewish people” is, in actuality, a statement that: “the Jewish people are here to stay. The Jews are not going away.” When the superpower of the world says this to the other nations on the planet, it matters.
For some reason, my dear relatives keep telling me about the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and how horrible it was to see people march with torches and scream “Jews will not replace us!” The fact that anyone would consider it reasonable to openly chant such slogans are indicative of the disturbing trend of open antisemitism becoming socially acceptable HOWEVER this pales in comparison to the actual attacks on the Jewish nation and the undermining of Jewish legitimacy and sovereignty in our own land, in the capital of our own country.
The votes against Israel in the UN, declarations that Jerusalem has nothing to do with Jews, that the Temple Mount and Hevron are not Jewish, matter a lot more than even a few hundred screaming tiki-torch marchers, scary as they may be.
Feeling threatened is not the same as an actual attack.
While I understand the revulsion many feel towards President Trump, he is the President of the United States, the declaration about Jerusalem actually came out of his mouth and the declaration itself is important – not only to the Jewish people but to the entire world.
A shifting is happening. My American relatives don’t seem to realize how profound the change already is.
Iranians have taken to the streets to demand that their government invest their money in them, rather than the war in Syria or in Hamas in Gaza. They want food, jobs, and hope. The war on the Jews is no longer interesting in comparison.
For the first time, Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia are openly asking: “Why should we invest ourselves in the Palestinian problem? Let’s see how we can better our own lives.”
Do you really think the shift in American policy has nothing to do with this?
As an American citizen, I was raised to believe that America is a force for good in the world. As an Israeli I have felt betrayed by the land of my birth, by the policies of it’s elected politicians who have put my life and that of my friends and family in danger.
For many years America has been on the wrong side of history, not just in regard to Israel but in regard to foreign policy around the world. Here are just a few examples:
- Ousting Mubarak to support the Mursi Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.
- Telling the people of Egypt, who did not want Islamic rule, that they have no right to demonstrate against the Mursi government.
- Telling Sisi that bombing ISIS terrorists who had slaughtered Egyptian Christians was wrong
- Remaining silent when the people of Iran demanded freedom and were murdered in the streets by their own government. Justifying this silence with the statement: “we don’t want to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries.”
- The Iran nuclear deal. (If Saudi Arabia and Israel agree that something is bad, you know it’s bad)
- Creating a vacuum that enabled the rise of ISIS
- Destabilizing Libya. Running guns. Benghazi. Ignoring the human trafficking and slave trade.
- Abandoning the Kurds
- The war in Syria and Iraq – thousands of people in Syria and Iraq have been tortured and murdered, millions have been displaced, the genocide of the Yazidis, the sex slave trade…
The list goes on and on (and that is without mentioning policies that directly affect Israel and put our lives in danger) …
My relatives are not the only Jews I have seen commenting about how horrible Trump is and pining for the dignity and eloquence of the politicians who came before him. I read a statement in a progressive Jewish group about how “we must disconnect ourselves from Trump or it will end up causing us (the Jewish community) enormous damage.”
Again, different planets.
In my world, enormous damage is the thousands who have been tortured and murdered in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. The millions who have been displaced and the resulting migrant crisis.
In my world, enormous damage is the Persians who wished to be free from the ayatollahs of Iran and were gunned down in the streets because then, (unlike now thank God) America stayed silent.
In my world, enormous damage is Israel being forced into ceasefires while under attack by Hamas. The bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul held hostage by Hamas just to torture their parents. Iran on our borders. Iran arming Hezbollah and Hamas in preparation to go to war against the only Jewish State…
But that’s just me.