The recent firebomb attack by "extremist Jewish settlers" resulting in the death of 18-month old Ali Dawabsha, combined with the recent attack on the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem which saw the murder of 16-year old Shira Banki, has Israeli-Jews nervous, sad, and introspective.
Many in the West will tell you that Israeli-Jews are deeply immoral people. The Yishuv, after all, marched on the indigenous Palestinian population in 1948, driving between 600,000 and 700,000 innocent people from their homes and causing al-Nakba (the Catastrophe) which has, in large part, influenced Palestinian culture and politics ever since.
The Zionist Occupation of the Indigenous Palestinian People
Israeli-Jews are deeply racist toward Arabs who they oppress in a great variety of ways.
Jews humiliate the local Arabs by forcing them to go through check-points. Israeli soldiers often use Palestinian children as human shields during military operations. The Israeli-Jews continue settlement expansion and perpetually steal Palestinian land which they crisscross with "Jews Only" roads. While settlers enjoy swimming pools their Palestinian neighbors are robbed of water by the Israeli Occupation Authorities.
The IDF targets journalists and peace activists - even murdering Rachel Corrie, a young American from the Pacific Northwest who fought for Palestinian-Arab rights and dignity. For her troubles she was intentionally run-over by an IDF bulldozer, killing her.
Furthermore, the Security Wall (or Apartheid Wall) separates Palestinians from villages, farms, and ultimately employment, thus serving to further impoverish a people already poverty-stricken due to Zionist aggression.
Given the atrocities and war crimes regularly committed by Israeli-Jews against their Palestinian neighbors, is it any wonder that so many on the Western-Left have concluded that Israeli-Jews are immoral? Is their any wonder that anti-Zionism and the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS) is gaining steam? Furthermore, not only has much of the rest of the world concluded that Israeli-Jews - who represent about half the world's population of Jews - are immoral, but even the Israeli-Jews themselves are starting to believe it.
Crying in the Press
One need only survey some of the current introspection playing out in the Israeli and Jewish press to see that Israelis are losing faith in their own humanity.
In the Israel Hayom newspaper in Israel we see these headlines:
"Thou shalt not kill" by Nadav Shragai in which he is convinced that the murder of the toddler says something about the nature of Israeli-Jews and wherein he fears that the affliction of violence and hatred is now spreading among the Jews.
In "Fighting our inner racist", by Ran Reznick, we learn that homophobia and xenophobia are running amuck among Israeli-Jews.
Media personality and Israeli politician, Yair Lapid's contribution is "We are at war" and he thinks that the enemy comes from within.
In Ha'aretz, hard-left Gideon Levy is convinced that "We all torched the Dawabsheh family".
And, also it must be considered, if the Israeli-Jews are as immoral as even they are coming to believe, what does this tells us about their diaspora Jewish supporters all around the world? Nothing good, I am afraid. If Israeli-Jews are committing atrocities against the local Arabs then diaspora Jews are complicit in willingly supporting such atrocities and are, thereby, themselves morally compromised.
And then there is this:
On Sunday in Israel, Imad Abu Sharikh was hospitalized after a severe beating. We read:
Abu Sharikh told police he was heading to the mosque when three "right-wing extremists" attacking him, shouting "filthy Arab, expel all the Arabs!"
The report quickly made the rounds in the Israeli and Palestinian media, along with pictures of a bloodied and battered Abu Sharikh. The claim that he had been the victim of a racist attack by Jews was particularly sensitive, coming just two days after the death of Ali Dawabsha in an attack believed to have been carried out by Jewish extremists Friday.
The leader of the Arab Joint List party MK, Ayman Odeh, rushed to issue a condemnation and blame right-wing "incitement."There is only one little problem, however. Sharikh lied:
Not only did he lie, he lied specifically to defame Jews in order incite violence against us.
But while Abu Sharikh's wounds were indeed real, his story quickly proved to have been fabricated
Police soon arrested the three suspects - all of whom were Arab residents of the city.
Furthermore, we have no idea who killed Ali Dawabsha. It might have been Jews, but why would we be so quick to rush to judgment without significant evidence? We were told that this was a "price tag" attack and that the word "revenge" was scrawled in Hebrew on a wall of the house. Well, can we think of any reason why a Palestinian-Arab might ever want to commit violence against another Palestinian-Arab? Is it possible that someone else in the Land of Israel may know enough Hebrew to scrawl a few words on a wall, besides a Jew?
Is it even possible that the culprit was a non-Jew? According to what I read in the media they seem to have largely concluded that they know that the savages were Jewish. Just how do they know this?
I do not know if Jews are innocent of this heinous crime and that is not what I am arguing. What I am arguing is that you do not know either, but if one insists upon laying blame at Jewish feet with virtually no evidence, what does it say about ones inclinations toward Jews? And what does it mean that so many Jews are eager to go along with it?
As for the narrative above concerning Israeli-Jewish crimes against the "innocent indigenous" population, it is pure bullshit, as we say in the United States. It is the "Palestinian Narrative" comprised entirely of wild exaggerations and straight-up lies. It is the kind toxic anti-Zionist / anti-Jewish gibberish that many on the Left, and within academe, love to fling around like confetti.
What is true, however, is that this so-called "Palestinian narrative" of perfect victim-hood is having its intended effect on much of the rest of the world and thereby, inevitably, upon the tiny Jewish population. The Jews are among the most self-reflective people on the planet. This is generally a good thing, but it is not always a good thing. All virtues have their corresponding vices and the corresponding vice of "self-reflection" is paralysis and self-doubt.
The truth of the matter is that most peoples in the world are considerably more savage than are the Jews. I apologize if that sounds self-congratulatory, but one need only take a quick gander at the neighborhood around Israel to determine the truthfulness of the claim. But only the Jews fret to the degree that we do. We are now convincing ourselves, with much encouragement in the Muslim world and the West, to think that the rare acts of political violence by random Jews represents some sort-of terrible stain on the Israeli Jewish soul. There are all sorts-of "well-meaning" people who want to help the Jews overcome our alleged Nazi-like inclinations and they are perfectly happy to smack us over the head with a shovel in order to teach the lesson.
One thing is certain. If the Palestinian-Arabs had one one-hundredth the inclination toward moral self-reflection as do the Jewish people the conflict would have been long over.
Arabs throw molotov cocktails at Jews practically on a daily basis in Israel. Sometimes they throw them at houses, sometimes that throw them at cars, and sometimes they throw them at cops. And sometimes they kill people. When that happens do the Palestinian-Arabs, as a people, publicly choose to reflect upon their misgivings and misunderstandings of others?
I do not think so.
Handing out sweets to children, and dancing in the streets, in order to celebrate the murder of Jews is not the behavior of someone engaged in moral self-reflection.
The Jewish people, however, including most particularly, Israeli Jews, have nothing to apologize for.
If anything, as a people perpetually under siege by a much larger hostile majority, they are the ones who deserve the apologies.
Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.