Saturday, May 11, 2013


An eye for an eye, not a hand for a stolen loaf of bread.
As a Jew, I can no longer remain silent. I have not weighed in on the middle east because the problem is so enormous, so old, covered and torn to pieces by pundits and politicians all over the world for so long, I have felt my two cents worth would serve no purpose.
In 1947, Jewish people, remnants of the millions murdered by European Christians - not only in World War II, but for centuries - returned to the Promised Land, and America that had closed its eyes to the Holocaust finally supported Israel.
I hate injustice. I understand why Israel is fighting the Palestinians. While I will not forget the Holocaust, while I will not forget that it was not only the Germans who robbed, humiliated, tortured, betrayed and murdered Jewish men, women and children, neither can I ignore the fact that Jewish people are still human beings - good, bad and everything in between. We have our angels, our saints.
We also have criminals - thieves, embezzlers, murderers. One benevolent hospital volunteer who has family in Israel told me that, if she could, she would kill every Arab child so they can't hurt the Jews when they grow up. Jews are human - for better or for worse. The current Israeli government and right wing extremists leave me cold and sad and angry.
Israel blames the terrorists, but Israel was won by terrorists, Haganah, The Stern Gang and Irgun. Desperate to regain the biblical homeland, Jewish extremists did not fail to bomb and maim and murder.
The terrorists of our time make a lot of noise about Allah but, in truth, the conflict in the holy land has little if anything to do with Jehovah or Allah or the Prophet or any deity. It is all about land, food, independence, security. It is all about power. It is a down and dirty flesh and blood battle about earth, not a struggle for a Spirit in the sky.
The Muslim leaders use their own people as cannon fodder to achieve their own goals. They fire them up with speeches of hate to ensure they will keep them under their control.
The followers blame their god for the atrocities they commit, just as the Crusaders did. We murder and maim to satisfy our god. And because we serve our god, he will give us what we want - here on earth - or in heaven.
How childish, arrogant and self-serving for anyone to claim they have special status with the Creator. If God favoured one group over another, the members of that group would not become ill and die. They would always win and prosper. Who dares to claim God as their personal servant?
Israel must defend itself. It is clear she is surrounded by extremists, lunatics and fools eager to crush the life out of the Jewish people. But who is David and who is Goliath now? Who are the good guys and who are the villains now? How bad do we have to be in order to defend our good?
Raised in a Jewish home, we were taught that Jews had to be better than everyone else. We could not even be admitted to McGill University unless our marks were far higher than those of non-Jews.
So we had to work harder, study harder than everyone else. That made us superior students and reliable employees. McGill University forced Jews to become excellent doctors and cunning lawyers.
Jewish children had to be cleaner and more respectful to teachers, doctors, parents. Jews had to be more compassionate, more charitable. We had to avoid people who used alcohol or engaged in sex outside of marriage or played cards for money.
My father was a hard-working man. We were not rich, but we were respectable. At least most of us were. But there was a thief or two in our family and there were girls who partied among my school mates and neighbours. They were shunned without fanfare. Children were warned about them in the privacy of our homes.
I want to see an Israel that lives up to the high standards I was taught. I want Jews to be respectful to non-Jews, and compassionate and fair and just, an exemplar to future generations of people of all faiths - or mere idealists who follow no religion. Give the future someone to look up to. 
Of course Israel must defend itself and the land and the holy places, but I think the present Israeli government and the settlement defenders have gone far beyond what is right and fair.
The Israeli right wing extremists are being cruel and provocative and arrogant. Do they really believe they are the favoured children of God, or are they just selfish and greedy and vengeful?
Isn't Israel big enough for the Jewish People? Can't you leave a bit of farmland for the people of Palestine?
It would help so much if the Palestinians controlled their own extremists but, as I was taught, Jews must be better than others.
I cannot support Israel's actions just because they are my blood. My own Jewish family members robbed me and tore apart my family. Being a Jew is not a guarantee of virtue or a free ticket to being loved and respected.
By their fruits shall ye know them.
Phyllis Carter

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