So What? Diagnosing Israeli Submission
Ahed Tamimi hits an IDF soldier (Image credit: YouTube Screenshot)
So what if a "Palestinian" girl smacks an Israeli soldier across his cheek; turning the other cheek is a classic Jewish ideal, isn't it? Oh, excuse me, it isn't a Jewish ideal - just a Jewish practice.
So what if she spits in his face? Maybe it was really rain, and we should not jump to conclusions. So what if she kicked him and hit him repeatedly? Perhaps he was standing exactly in the path of her limbs as she merely exercised them. Besides, it was “occupied territory.”
Anything is possible in the quest for "quiet" and "good press" in the eyes of the world. Have not decades of "restraint" won us tons of friends and admirers?
So what if she repeatedly cursed the soldier? "Sticks and stones can break my bones…” Or maybe her exact words were lost in the translation and the whole thing is a mistake? Sort of like how "jihad" really means peaceful introspection.
So what if an Israeli soldier (someone's son or father) quietly absorbed the humiliation as the cameras recorded the shame for the world to see?
Israel is debating this latest "incident," and as can be expected, the well-known voices of "reason and temperance" praise the "restraint" of the soldier. These are the same voices that brought us Rabin/Peres and Arafat and Oslo; Ehud Barak and the hysteric withdrawal from South Lebanon into which Hezbollah immediately entered and butchered our SLA allies whom we abandoned. These are the voices like Ariel Sharon who expelled thousands of Jews from Gush Katif and northern Samaria and helped create "Gazastan" with its periodic torrent of rockets and death tunnels. Add to the list Ehud Olmert and the exceptionally brutal expulsion of Jews from Amona.
All of the above assured us that their criminal follies would make the world love us. These moderate and experienced types applaud the model behavior of the humiliated soldier, representing the mature, rational Israel - the Israel that the world will learn to love.
Part of a Pattern
There was a time when this humiliating scene would not have happened. It was not even a thought, not in the minds of Jew or Arab or any observer. Something has changed. Some of us have become tired. They tire before our enemy does; they do not have the spirit to endure.
I have seen and felt that change in the 40 years that I have lived in Israel. Apparently, I came just as the winds began to turn. One could feel it and smell it. I arrived just after the historic Anwar Sadat visit to Jerusalem from Egypt when our ex-Nazi neighbor was accepted as a Messiah. An Arab leader finally smiled at us! Hallelujah! (He remembered to wear a tie of interlacing swastikas - just in case we took him too seriously)
Anwar Sadat wearing a swastika tie while talking with Menachem Begin (Image credit: Ya'acov Sa'ar/Government Press Office of Israel)
Nothing he said - no demand, no threat - could wipe the smile off the faces of those who embraced this true Messiah. He mesmerized many of us. Israelis began a mass "return Exodus" to Egypt, which lasted until Israelis began being gunned down in the land we so wanted to adore and to have adore us. Alas.
Same goes for the initial mad rush into Jordan after our peace treaty with them in which we assured them access to our water, agricultural assistance, and the very stability of the king's throne. We only sought their smile but were rejected again. What were we doing wrong?
The same "moderate voices" (Rabin, Peres, and Barak) urged Israel to give the Golan Heights to Assad in return for the dream of "eating hummus in Damascus."
Israel’s Love Obsession
Why are we so love starved? Two thousand years of being spurned, humiliated and scorned may have something to do with it.
Having our own country - a strong, wealthy, free country was supposed to finally change this. For many, it has not.
I have observed that relatively few G-d fearing Jews in Israel seem to share the same love obsession. I wonder if that is just a statistical coincidence. The irrepressible hunger for a warm touch, some acceptance to make up for millennia of love privation still has some of us in its grip.
There are those who still feel that it is better to be spat upon than be accused by the "world" of unacceptable behavior, i.e. Jews refusing to lay down and to be walked upon. We don't want to upset anyone out there now, do we? We do not live alone in this world; after all, to whom can we look for our salvation?
So now this "Palestinian" teen is a hero and an example for millions like her who view the YouTube clip and will now dare to act, if they did hesitate before. Rest assured that there will be top Jewish lawyers, journalists, and the like falling over themselves to defend this "hero of the resistance to occupation" and quelch the voices of " irresponsible simplistic” Jews who have had just about enough.
For some, it can be said, "you can take the Jew out of the Exile but you can not remove the Exile from him."
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