Why Should You Not Support Israel’s Right to Exist
I’m so sick of hearing all the reasons why people should support Israel’s right to exist. Things like this, for example:
Israel does so much good around the world.
The Israeli government and non-government organizations send agricultural and engineering experts, medical and mental health professionals and emergency search and rescue teams to disaster areas and developing countries in need. I know, because I am one of the mental health professionals IsraAID, one of the Israeli non-profit non-government organizations, sends to Africa and Asia, among other places.
It is wonderful working with people in their own lands, getting to know them up close and personal. It is very satisfying helping them achieve professionalism in my field in a way that promotes sustainability of programmes they run by themselves for themselves, reducing their need to rely on importing foreigners to do this for them. I am proud to represent IsraAID and, via IsraAID, Israel. But that does not mean it gives you a reason to support Israel’s right to exist.
Some people say you should support Israel’s right to exist because
Israel has the same democratic values has the Western World.
Yes, Israel is democratic, with a free press and open criticism of the government on the street and in the media. Yes, the Christian and Muslim citizens of Israel have more freedom of worship, including the freedom not to worship at all, than do Christians and Muslims in any other country in the Middle East. Yes, while there certainly is discrimination in Israel (not state-sanctified discrimination but the normal kind found in any country that has not yet reached perfection), non-Jews do rise to prominence in all professional spheres of life, even the army. But this is not a reason to support Israel’s right to exist.
Other people say you should support Israel because
Israel contributes so much to the world’s medical, agricultural and technological developments.
We really are quite remarkable and hardly a day goes by without the release of a new potentially life-changing innovation, such as medical technology or a drug, water-saving/purifying system, computer chip, or cellphone app. It has always been said that our greatest national resource is our people. There are many aspects of modern life that rely to some smaller or larger degree on Israeli creativity. But this is still not a reason to support Israel’s right to exist.
There are those who say you should support Israel
Because the Bible (and the Quran, by the way) says that God gave Israel to the Jews.
Without intending to offend any religious person, I, personally, don’t rely on the Bible for telling me I have a right to exist. So for me, this is not a reason to support Israel’s right to exist.
Some people say you should support Israel because of the Holocaust.
I think that’s a terrible reason to support Israel. If guilt is your reason for supporting a country, then when guilt fades and other emotions grow in its place (hum, this rings a bell somehow), then you may no longer support that country. Emotion is not a good basis upon which to determine support for or opposition to the existence of a country, just as it is not a good basis upon which to determine which candidate to vote for in elections and other political decisions.
Furthermore, if genocide is a reason to support a country’s existence, then the Kurds and First Nations peoples of Canada, only two examples out of many, should also have their own countries. Well, actually I think they should, but not because of the genocides and attempts to wipe them out. But just because.
And here we come to the only reason I think people should support Israel’s right to exist:
Because we Jews have the right to self-determination in our ancestral land (archaeology supports this contention). We are not asking for sovereignty in Uganda or India or some part of Europe or North America, but in our very own ancestral homeland. As a member of the human race, that is our right. Period.
We shouldn’t have to prove how good we are, how nice we are, how useful we are.
If you support human rights you should be consistent and support the right for the Jews to run their affairs in their own sovereign nation.
If you say we have lost that right because we are stealing land from the Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians and oppressing them, then you have not paid any attention to what the Oslo Accords say. Remember? That agreement signed by the representatives of Israel and the Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians? That accord divided up Judea and Samaria (the West Bank many of you like to call it) into 3 areas and gave Israel the right to control Area C and the newly-formed-because-of-the-Oslo-Accords-Palestinian-Authority-that-never-existed-before-in-history the right to control Area A. Joint control over Area B was agreed to by both parties. So exactly what land was stolen and exactly what occupation are you talking about?
The Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians are asking for the right to self-determination. Since the first Arab Palestinian state ever invented was given to the Hashemites, they want one they can truly call their own and that is why they should perhaps be recognized and a second Arab Palestinian state created once they agree that Israel should not be judenrein (because that is what they really want).
I say “perhaps” because we should really understand that the Arab Palestinian identity is something created by the Western World. But it does seem to have taken hold and Israel is being asked to pay the price of Western folly and lack of comprehension of the Middle East. However, this still does not detract from the basic human right of the Jewish People to self-determination in their own ancient homeland, Israel.
So there you have it! You should support Israel’s right to exist just because it is a natural human right.
Now, I think the reason world leaders insist on focusing on the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict instead of leaving us to work it out among ourselves is because if Israel’s right to exist as the Jewish indigenous homeland is quite simply accepted as is, there is the danger that all the other indigenous peoples whose homelands were taken over by colonialists will use Israel’s success against the Muslims (the most recent colonialists, who are still trying to wipe us out) as a model for standing up for their own sovereign rights. Think of the havoc that would create. But human rights is human rights is human rights.
But of course what is really happening is that people groups, including Jews, are being dehumanized. But it’s not just Israel and the Jewish people. As I read articles, it suddenly hits me that all groups are dehumanizing the other. All groups are shouting and screaming at each other, and almost no one is listening.
The voice of reason is being ignored.
At the end of the day, if we yield to this, it is the soup that makes an ideal meal for the wholesale slaughter of the other, whoever and wherever they are.
I have often thought that if I were God I would have destroyed the world a long time ago. Suddenly, I have a new appreciation for his tolerance in not yet judging all of mankind.
I guess, by making ourselves into God, we thought we could do better, but we are destroying ourselves and our world and each other…
I don’t know why, but those are the thoughts your article inspired.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with me. How nice to know that something I write strikes a chord in the reader.
It is only when people find where their true identity lies that the can be any hope of peace and acceptance of each other.
I also am sick of BiBi and everyone else demanding that someone agree with Israel’s right to exist… Israel WILL EXIST in spite of the world!..
What I am sick of is all those who think we have to justify our existence by being some superior kind of nation/people. I hope Bibi keeps on insisting on trying to get other nations to understand that.
As always, clarity. We spent the whole day with Ryan B. and others having this very conversation. And we will again tomorrow night at the BDS discussion that Ryan is speaking at.
This is a great article! ??????????
Wish I could have been there with you. Thanks for the compliment.