Wednesday, October 4, 2017

I HATE ISRAEL, BUT NOT THE JEWS


A few years ago I liked a post on Facebook and almost immediately was reprimanded by a friend, who was very angry I had agreed with a pro-Israeli opinion. It was then a discussion started. Facebook is the worse place for this kind of thing, since people use words that can be easily misinterpreted and usually it doesn't go anywhere. People never change their minds on Facebook. But there I was, surprised, confused and upset, trying to understand my angry friend.

After a lot of back and forth she came up with this "I hate Israel but not the Jews". How could I reply to this? It made me even more confused. Could you really hate a country? And furthermore, question its existence? Could I be against Canada, France or India? No, I guess. I could be against their political decisions and government views but not against their proper existence, that would be absurd. Right?

My friend's repulsion of anti-semitism but Israel hatred kind of steered me away from the discussion and it made me think on my own. It was then much later that I understood her words. I understood by reading, reflecting and talking to other people. Little by little, a couple of things became very clear to me and helped me in my logical thought.

The first one is that the Jewish people were persecuted for thousands of years, name the slavery in Egypt, inquisition, pogroms, etc, the most relevant and recent event being the Holocaust. Anti-semitism always existed. When the Holocaust started to happen and Jews were being murdered, NOBODY intervened. War did not erupt to save the Jews, communists, gypsies people with disabilities or hommosexuals, but because countries self interests were being threatened.

Then Israel was created, the only safe haven for the Jewish people. Now they would be persecuted no more because they have a nation to defend them, something they can rely on, which never existed before. Israel is not perfect but it is, amongst the 196 nations, the only one Jewish State in the world .

Because of that, the second thing clear to me is that if Israel ever ceases to exist, all the Jewish people will fall along with it, becoming endangered and left at the mercy of sheer luck once again. The pogrom era could come back, anti-semitism would flourish even more, other nations could do whatever they wanted with their Jewish population, like they did many times. 

So now I could go back to my friend and resolve the contradictory sensation I had. I wished I could have said at the time: "My dear friend I'm sorry to tell you this, but if you hate Israel and question its existence, you might not even realize, but deep inside, somewhere in your uncousciousness, you do hate the Jews as well." 

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