Elia Dakwar, Israeli Christian Critiques Israeli Hasbara
Israeli Hasbara is lacking in one thing: courage, courage, courage — the courage to pick up the gauntlet and to begin some real research.
I am an Israeli citizen. I was born here. And like everyone else here, within two minutes of birth: boom! I was affixed with a label on which it is written: Name: **, Father’s Name: **, Mother’s Name: **
From that point, life begins. And, just as everyone else like me, I was raised and educated on the values of being an Israeli belonging to the Arab minority, who also belongs to the Palestinian people.
I followed the regular pathways in life while never forgetting the label because the label is ever-present, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ever-present.
In school, I was in the same class as Haneen Zoabi, and Jaffar Farah was with me at boarding school as were many other friends who, with the passing years, came to hold key positions in society. I studied, worked hard, and raised a family; I advanced quickly and succeeded in life. The truth is, I very much benefited from the freedom that comes with living in a democratic country.
With the beginning of the Arab Spring, the many veils hiding the identity and true values of the Muslim Arabs began to fall away. To the extent that they truly believe these values and are prepared to act to realize them, the result is ISIS – that is the essence of what every bona fide Muslim dreams of.
The fact is that they hate Jews, Christians, seculars, democrats, Buddhists, Shias, Druze, communists . . . actually every – yes, every — person who is not a Sunni Muslim. The fact is that they are compelled to kill them. Or to convert them to Islam.
At first I was in shock and I did not believe it. I began to do some research, investing many hours in my struggle to understand. I heard thousands of lectures given by Muslim clerics. For five years I have been reading only Muslim books. And at a certain point everything became clear:
They had begun a global murder campaign against all the values in which I believe.
I began to understand that there is no connection between what every Arab Muslim declares against Israel and the Jews and what is really happening. The problem is not the occupation and it is not this behavior or that behavior. The problem is not Israel and it is not the Jews, and it is not discrimination and it is not equality — no! Just no. The problem is much deeper.
Infected with the insanity of hatred are young wealthy Arabs living in countries that have no common border with Israel yet they hate her, and poor Muslims off in Somalia hate Israel. I discovered that the deeply buried connection is found within their religion, and as most people know, in Arab countries and societies there is absolutely nothing disconnected from the madness of this religion. Major Muslim books teach only hatred toward the other and it does not matter who “the other” is.
And now I, as a citizen and human being, totally deleted from my life the values attached to the label I was assigned at birth and discarded them because they are all lies. I grew up with democratic freedom. What is happening outrages me and distresses me.
The injustice committed against Israel daily is a crime. In my opinion, we reached the lowest point when even Hamas is winning the public relations war against Israeli Hasbara. Israel is not showing the world the true picture of Islam, a picture that is readily available from within their own books, their own videos, from the speeches in their mosques. Educating oneself about Islam and analyzing their materials provides proof that Muslims are taught to hate without any connection and in any context.
And more than everything, the truth must be disclosed to leftists in Israel and elsewhere. They must be encouraged to look deeper, beyond the Arab propaganda, in order not to be deceived in their naivety.
Elia Dakwar is a Civil Engineer living in Haifa.