Friday, November 12, 2010

Blind Sided

It is always important to make observations from all angles, from all views. To understand a situation we must sometimes look from the inside out and vice-versa. The point being, two dimensions are not enough, even 3D doesn’t cut it all the time.

For the past three weeks I have been in the US speaking and meeting people from all walks of life, from all religions, creeds, races, whatever you want, but a well colored spectrum. We discussed Israel, the situation, the chances of peace, loyalty oaths, you name it…we discussed it.

Over all, these were not political discussions, although obviously politics did come up, these were open dialogues between people, held in a civil manner in order to understand the situation in Israel better, to hear another side and to reach an in depth connection to a land and people we share in in our hearts, (however, not with everybody I met).

This was not a “tour” of “preachin’ to the choir” as I met with many that do not share my views at all, and there were even those that tried to keep me from speaking, even though they never met me or heard me. You see, in their eyes, I am a criminal… I live in Shilo, which is in Samaria, which in their eyes exists in the “occupied Territories” (forgive my using that term).

A common denominator that I discovered was that most, and I mean both sides politically, if you will, are very ignorant regarding what is really going on.

I was alarmed at how many caring Jews were hijacked by the “Left Wing”, J Street and so on, it was actually scary to see many people “zombied” into toting the company jargon and logo. People who consider themselves the academia, the intellectual elite, the liberal, the caring have been programed to generalize, to stereotype an entire population, to stop thinking, not to look at possibilities, and what I consider to be criminal… to grasp a racist and biased point of view without even looking at facts or faces.

I never knew I was such a threat to free thinking. I was told that there had to be other “groups” who hold opposing views while I was present. I was even turned away by some schools where I simply offered them a chance to ask a “settler” any question they would like, only because they never get to.


As much as I was alarmed and I was ecstatic at the results…those that attended became involved in great discussions, we didn’t have to agree with each other, we spoke to each other, we thought together and we worked together. This is what apparently scares the “other” side.

We brain stormed regarding the situation, the peace process and at the end the various sessions (till now), they went away with a different view about Israel, Judea and Samaria and the possibility and possible results of the forming of a new Arab State in the region.

We didn’t necessarily agree, but they felt more informed and able to form better opinions regarding the passionate topic of Israel. Many were incensed that their own leadership has managed to hide many facts from them and continues to keep them in the dark regarding Judea and Samaria and the diverse population living there. They indeed felt betrayed by the media, the misinformation, the lack of information, and the unfortunate chances that they missed when visiting Israel to see things for themselves, so they could decide on their own.

We spoke of Human Rights, not just for the Arabs, but also for the Jews. The idea of turning 300,000 Jews into refugees did not really occur to them. Where would anybody house them? Who would employ them? Would this even bring real peace? We spoke about everything, good and bad. We even reached conclusions, but that’s for another piece. These talks went on for over 2 hours, each. Obviously I can’t write all that we spoke about, but it was great!

It was exciting for me to be part of this as we worked at becoming friends and not adversaries, working towards a common goal, the good of Israel and it’s people, and the good of the Jewish Communities outside of Israel, instead of splitting our people up even more.

I learned to appreciate what I had even more. I have been blessed with living amongst very strong Jewish people. My neighbors and community embrace all that made us into a strong and special people. On the Zionist side, it is we, the communities of Judea and Samaria, the Jordan Valley, who continue the Zionist dream that brought about the State of Israel. The same idea of reclaiming our land, our history, of becoming a strong people continues on from the days of early Israel. When we are threatened, we have an army of strong Jews…we don’t have to hide who we are and how we think, how we all think. Our kids do not have to be afraid on College Campuses if they are “Pro Israel”, or if they wish to wear a Kipa. They are not forced into hiding their feelings or how they wish to worship.

Our security situation in Israel is actually dire, we all have our dangers and the diaspora communities are facing a situation that is spiraling downward. Backed by Arab Funding, Anti Israel Funding, the European Union and so many others groups who claim to be “Pro-Israel” and Human Rights, they are being ripped away from Israel, most are not even aware of it.

They are being Blind-sided, hit from behind.

I realized that deep down that we in Israel, especially we who live in Judea and Samaria must somehow help our fellow Jews in the diaspora even more. I am well aware of the “ballagan”, the mess we have in Israel, it is at times a circus that competes with Barnum & Bailey, it is the material that Mel Brooks would have a field day with, but we are there, and it is ours.