“If I were an Israeli”

By Fred Maroun, TOI

If I were Israeli in 1948 when Israel declared itself independent, how would I have felt about the Arab refusal to create an Arab state next to a Jewish state, and their threat to destroy us?

During the war of independence, would I have been a good soldier as my cherished Jerusalem was under siege, my fledgling state was encircled, and one percent of my fellow citizens were killed?

Would I have been a good farmer, teacher, entrepreneur, engineer, or pilot as my country was relentlessly attacked until 1967 when we surprised the world by handily beating much larger enemies?

Would I have left Israel in 1973 when my nation was almost lost and my people threatened with massacre yet again under another combined Arab attack?

If I were Israeli, would I have tolerated endless terrorist attacks from Lebanon, first by the PLO then by Hezbullah, or would I have responded with force, incurring the world’s contempt?

Would I have kept my faith in humanity after we responded to many vicious terrorist attacks on our nightclubs, pizzerias, and buses by building a security fence, and the world chided us for daring to put our security ahead of the farming needs of some Arab villages?

Would I have continued to support equal rights for non-Jews when my government dismantled Jewish settlements and withdrew from Gaza, only to have Palestinians answer back with indiscriminate and continuous rocket attacks on me and my fellow citizens?

Would I have continued to support only surgical and careful military strikes as the world condemned every attempt that my nation made to stop rocket attacks from Gaza, and as Gaza terrorists were treated like heroes by foreign governments, politicians, and self-proclaimed peace activists?

If I were Israeli, would I have questioned my own past as so-called academics throughout the Western world pontificated about how we, whose ancestry dates back 3,000 years in the Middle East, are colonizers on our own land?

Would I have remained a democrat and a humanitarian as riots broke out throughout the world, condemning my country and vowing to wipe out my people, every time we dared defend ourselves?

If I were Israeli, would I have been outraged that my liberal and democratic society was called an “apartheid state” by condescending student activists throughout the Western world while none of the same students used that term to describe the deeply antisemitic and racist Arab nations surrounding us?

Would I have remained a liberal as the Western left scorned my respect for gay rights, women’s rights, religious rights, and ethnic rights, and supported Palestinian terrorists who torture gay people, treat women like slaves, mercilessly assassinate dissidents, and pledge to kill every Jew on earth?

Would I have continued to be a world leader in rescue missions and humanitarian aid as a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement was actively attempting to destroy my economy and my livelihood?

Would I have questioned my own history if after over 66 years of Arab refusal to accept us as a Jewish state, Western country after Western country threatened to recognize a Palestinian state that is sworn to my people’s destruction?

I don’t in fact need to answer any of these questions. I am not Israeli, and I am not Jewish. I am a life-long atheist and gay rights activist who doesn’t care much for nationalism or religion. What’s more, I am 100 percent Arab, and all my known ancestors are Arab, some from Egypt, some from Syria, and some from Lebanon. So I am not Israeli at all, and the history of Israel, ancient or modern, is not mine.

If I were Israeli, however, I would be proud. Proud that my people dared to resurrect a homeland from the still burning ashes of the past. Proud that we stood our ground and never allowed our many enemies to make us feel weak, small, or inadequate. Proud that despite the world’s disapproval, my nation is still here, still successful, still democratic, still egalitarian, and still ethical, even if no nation around us is any of those things.

Yes, if I were Israeli, I would be very proud.

Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere. More blogs by Fred Maroun can be found at http://fredmaroun.blogspot.com/. [Less]

December 16, 2014 | 3 Comments »

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3 Comments / 3 Comments

  1. A few good people VS the hordes of barbarians from the West and from the Near-East. IL will prevail. It is not either or.

  2. I am a Proud Jew and a Proud Israeli

    I am also a proud American.

    I have never quit although G-d knows at times it was tempting.

    I am Proud that I stuck. I never gave up on Israel who I was or my dreams.

    It was worth it! 🙂

    I am like the desert sagebrush who in order to survive burrows it’s roots very deep.