The truth is not complicated. In fact it’s right in front of our noses, staring us straight in the eye. You can be near-sighted, far-sighted or half-blind and still be able to see it – that’s how clear it is. So why does the world insist on spreading lies and continue to refuse telling both sides of the never-ending story of the Palestinians and the Israelis? Why do they go out of their way to avoid telling it the way it is, and to always portray Israel as a villain? And why are the deadly attacks against Jews all over the world uninteresting and not newsworthy?
I’ve been trying to understand this for so long, but no matter how much I try to wrap my brain around it, I still don’t understand. I want to believe it’s due to ignorance and not done on purpose, but it just doesn’t make sense.
I thought that the world, much like people, would grow wiser with time and experience. Instead it has a very short memory, and it’s chilling to feel the cold winds that yet again are blowing over Europe and the rest of the world. The only difference is that the Jew hate now also includes the Jewish State, and this obsessive, eternal hate is now conveniently hidden behind less nasty words like ”legitimate critique”.
A few weeks ago, my native country of Sweden, recognized “The State of Palestine”. The newly elected government, a coalition between the left and the green parties, was quick to decide to make this declaration – so quick actually that one could think there are no other issues, international or domestic to deal with. According to the foreign minister Margot Wallström, this would be a great incentive to get the peace talks going again. That Israel’s “peace” partner(s) are terrorists is something she conveniently failed to remember or mention, or take into consideration. Neither did she care to comment on, or condemn, the recent vicious attacks in Jerusalem, including the murder of five innocent people in a synagogue. Now other countries in Europe follow suit, and it seems that the madness is spreading fast, much like the deadly Ebola virus.
That people in general are uninformed and ignorant when it comes to Israel is one thing. But a foreign minister? Highly educated journalists? World leaders?
And this leaves me, no matter how hard it is to face, with yet another truth staring ME straight in the eye, and it’s both sad and horrifying. The world really hates us, hates me, for no apparent reason whatsoever except that Israel is a Jewish State and Jews live in it. And if a Jew gets attacked or killed it’s nothing, just a repeat of the same old anti-Semitic story that’s been told for almost 2000 years. It doesn’t even make the headlines, and if it does, it’s met with comments like: “Now, it will be harder to criticize Israel”.
I made Aliyah this spring, and experienced my first war this summer. For the first time in my life I went through what natives here grew up with – sirens, missiles, terrorist attacks and running to shelters. It was hard, but even harder to see how the world dealt with it. The media back in Sweden continued with their biased reporting, twisting headlines and content against Israel – always making us the aggressor and the Palestinians the victims. The fact that Hamas was sending thousands of missiles over us with the intent to murder wasn’t important – we were protected and didn’t die, hence it didn’t count. The three teenage boys that were brutally kidnapped and then murdered before the war was described as settlers, insinuating that they only had themselves to blame. No matter what happens, if we DON’T die or if we DO, we never get any real support because Jews and Israel can only do wrong – no matter what.
I am so proud to be an Israeli, and I wish I could still feel the same way about my native country. But I can’t. This is not the country I grew up in. When I was 15, Ferenc Göndör, an Auschwitz survivor, came to my school to tell his story. I remember him saying that anti-Semitism can always rear its ugly head again, even in a civil country like Sweden, and I didn’t believe him. Not in Sweden, the country where we are brought up to believe in solidarity and equality to all, the country that always stays neutral, honest and true. Boy, was I wrong. My thoughts and feelings for this country are forever shattered.
The truth. It’s staring us all in the face, no matter what side you’re on, and it’s ugly, inconvenient, harsh and very sad. Can we handle it? Do something about it? The verdict is still out.
(Originally posted on my blog at The Times of Israel, December 9, 2014)