Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Mystery of Hate.

by Yair Lapid


Hundreds of years of fighting, six and a half wars, billions of  dollars gone with the wind, tens of thousands of victims, not including  the boy who laid down next to me on the rocky beach of lake Karon in  1982 and we both watched his guts spilling out. The helicopter took him  and until this day I do not know whether he is dead or survived. All  this, and one cannot figure it out.


And its not only what happened but all that did not happen -  hospitals that were never built, universities that were never opened,  roads that were never paved, the three years that were taken from  millions of teenagers for the sake of the army. And despite all the 

above, we still do not have the beginning of a clue to the mystery of  where it all started:


Why do they hate us so much?


I am not talking about the Palestinians this time. Their dispute with  us is intimate, focused, and it has a direct effect on their lives. Without getting into the "which side is right" question, it is obvious  that they have very personal reasons not to stand our presence here. We all know that eventually this is how it will be solved: in a personal  way, between them and us, with blood sweat and tears that will stain 

the pages of the agreement. Until then, it is a war that could at least  be understood, even if no sane person is willing to accept the means that are used to run it by.


It is the others. Those I cannot understand. Why does Hassan  Nasralla, along with tens of thousands of his supporters, dedicate his life, his visible talents, his country's destiny, to fight a country he  has never even seen, people he has never really met and an army that he  has no reason to fight?


Why do children in Iran, who can not even locate Israel on the map  (especially because it is so small), burn its flag in the city center and offer to commit suicide for its elimination? Why do Egyptian and  Jordanian intellectuals agitate the innocent and helpless against the peace agreements, even though they know that their failure will push  their countries 20 years back? Why are the Syrians willing to stay a pathetic and depressed third world country, for the dubious right to  finance terror organizations that will eventually threaten their own country's existence? Why do they hate us so much in Saudi-Arabia? In  Iraq? In Sudan? What have we done to them? How are we even relevant to  their lives? What do they know about us? Why do they hate us so much in  Afghanistan? They don't have anything to eat there, where do they get  the energy to hate?


This question has so many answers and yet it is a mystery. It is true  that it is a religious matter but even religious people make their choices. The Koran (along with the Shariaa - the Muslim parallel to the  Jewish Halacha) consists of thousands of laws, why is it that we occupy  them so much?


There are so many countries who gave them much better reasons to be  angry. We did not start the crusades, we did not rule them during the  colonial period, we never tried to convert them. The Mongolians, the  Seljuk, the Greeks, the Romans, the Crusaders, the Ottomans, the  British, they all conquered, ruined and plundered the whole region. We  did not even try, so how come we are the enemy?


And if it is identification with their Palestinians brothers then  where are the Saudi Arabian tractors building up the territories that  were evacuated? What happened to the Indonesian delegation building a  school in Gaza strip? Where are the Kuwaiti doctors with their modern  surgical equipment? There are so many ways to love your brothers, why  do they all prefer to help their brothers with hating?


Is it something that we do? Fifteen hundreds years of anti-Semitism  taught us - in the most painful way possible - that there is something  about us that irritates the world. So, we did the thing everyone  wanted: we got up and left. We have established our own tiny little  country, where we can irritate ourselves without interrupting others.  We didn't even ask a lot for it. Israel is spread on a smaller  territory than 2% of the territory of Saudi-Arabia, with no oil, no  minerals, without settling on another existing state's territory. Most  of the cities that were bombed this week were not plundered from  anyone. Nahariya, Afula, and Karmiel did not even exist until we  established them. The other katyusas landed on territories over which  no one ever questioned our right with regards to them. In Haifa there  were Jews already in the 3rd century BC and Tiberias was the place where the last Sanhedrin sat, so no one can claim we plundered them  from anyone.


However, the hatred continues. As if no other destiny is possible.  Active hatred, poisoned, unstoppable. Last Saturday the president of  Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called again "to act for the vanishing of  Israel"' as if we were bacteria. We got used to it so much that we  don't even ask why.


Israel does not hope and never did for Iran to vanish. As long as  they wanted, we had diplomatic relations with them. We do not have a  common border with them or even any bad memories. And still, the y are  willing to confront the whole western world, to risk a commercial  boycott, to hurt their own quality of life, to crush what's left of  their economy and all that for the right to passionately hate us.


I am trying to remember and cannot: have we ever done something to  them? When? How? Why did he say in his speech that "Israel is the main  problem of the Muslim world"? more than a billion people living in the  Muslim world, most of them in horrible conditions. They suffer from  hunger, poverty, ignorance, bloodshed that spreads from Kashmir to  Kurdistan, from dying Darfur to injured Bangladesh. How come we are the  main problem? How exactly are we in their way?


 I refuse to accept the argument that claims "that is just the way  they are". They said it about us so many times that we have learned to  accept this expression. There must be another reason, some dark secret  that because of it, the citizens of South Lebanon allow to rouse the  quiet border, to kidnap the soldiers of an army that has already  retreated from their territory, to turn their country into a wasteland  exactly at the time they finally escaped twenty years of disasters.


We got used to telling ourselves worn expressions - "it's the Iranian  influence", or "Syria is stirring behind the scenes" - but it is just  too easy explanation. Because what about them?


What about their thoughts?   What about their hopes, loves, ambitions and their dreams?  What about their children?


When they send their children to die, does it seem enough for them to  say that it was all worth while just because they hate us so much?



Yair Lapid


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.




P.H. Atherton said...

Even "civilised" Europeans and other elitist Westerners ask these same questions. They think there is a reason to hate Jews, one which will excuse the hatred and pardon their oil producing friends.

Remember, the very existence of a Jewish State is an affront to the religion of Islam. Their prophet said the Jew would be wretched and wandering, and so he's been proven wrong. This is a huge slap in the face for Islamists.

There is massive jealousy for the prosperity of the Jewish state compared to their own. The efficiency with which the Zionist pioneers colonised and cultivated the land which, under Islam, had been arid and inhospitable for centuries, exemplifies that jealousy greatly.

If only the "civilised" world was as acutely aware of the hatred, as the Jewish nation is. Maybe if they were on the receiving end, they would understand. They will continue to waste their time trying to excuse the hatred.

Anonymous said...

The main reason why so many people around the world hate the Jews stems from only one fact, and that is the realization that Jews are the only people on earth that listens to and talks directly to God. God hears the prayers of the Jewish People and answers them. No other People can make such a claim and be truthful to themselves and others. This is the reason why antisemitism exists.

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