Thursday, 5 March 2015

Israel Apartheid Week and my Friend's Frank's comments

Frank displayed a Israel Apartheid week poster on his Facebook page and said the following to a comment on his page: " I am afraid not all Jews share your views - there are many in Israel and outside of Israel that support the view that Israel's behaviour towards the Palestinians has been nothing less than atrocious."

I am Jewish and perhaps I should hate and be a coward, blaming others and not addressing my problems. or the problems at home, e.g. with electricity, corruption, joblessness, etc. But I forgive, but I don't forget. I have regrets, but almost no guilt.

Guilt is in the moment. Regret is because of something that happened long ago that I was guilty about for a while. If I still had that guilt I would have learnt nothing.

God's very first lesson is forgiveness. And that should be our very first lesson. Our next lesson is in the 10th Commandment, do not covet: do not get angry; do not be jealous. Buddhists say these things are Mind Poisons and I agree.

Jewish people's main philosophy in life is to teach their children; to put themselves at work 16 hours a day, 6 days a week and to work to pay for their children's education.

Jewish people don't blame their oppressors. They find ways to work around the situation. In the late 19th Century, pogroms in Russia sent hundreds of thousands of Jews to New York, sometimes with just a suitcase and often with nothing. The Jews were not allowed to join the guilds in America which were for WASPs and others; a form of Apartheid. They bought or borrowed sewing machines and started making clothes, shoes, etc. Their children owned shops. Their grandchildren owned department stores. And their great-grand children are doctors, lawyers, etc. By 1950, the Jews owned the textile industry in New York.

Did they start with nothing? Perhaps. But no, they started with a culture of persecution, of being thrown out, and of starting again and again and again, for 5,000 years.

And I feel privileged to be part of this crowd.

Just because Frank is misinformed or ignorant of the facts of Israel, doesn't mean that I must hate him. Hate is another Mind Poison. I must love him. I must treat him as my greatest teacher. I must try my best to understand where he is coming from and why he is saying what he is saying. And I pray that perhaps he will cancel is skiing trip in December and rather go to Israel and see for himself and his family what its like to live and be in Israel, to visit the West Bank and Gaza as I have done. To do the most incredible tours and meet the most marvellous people. To be at a building site in Tel Aviv and meet the local "Palestinian" people who shared their coffee and a chat with me.

There is real love in Israel. There is hardly any violence, hardly any robbery, hardly anyone gets kills in road accidents.

Its time for the Frank's of this world to go visit Israel. To visit Jordan (the East Bank), Syria, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and other countries of the region and to get their own feeling and feel for what is going on there.

It's time!

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