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Jews must remember: We are on the same team



Michele Engelberg

What’s the difference? Because I can “respect” Pulitzer Prize-winners but they aren’t necessarily on “my team”. If someone is on “my team” then there is camaraderie; even if there are differences of opinion, there is a common goal. This is what I believe Jews are to each other. This often happens when one travels and finds a Jew in an obscure part of the world. There is a bond.

Afterwards, I wrote that Israel’s leaders are merely trying to navigate the roughest part of the globe. They are NOT acting in anyone’s “name”, just as President Jacob Zuma is not acting in my “name”.

A recent letter states: “Jews… had the experience of being refugees. We know what it feels like to be unwanted by a host country while desperately needing a place of safety.”  This is true. This is why Israel is so important to most Jews.

There are over 45 Muslim countries (and another 17 with over 20 per cent Muslim populations) and 126 countries with Christian majority and one lone Jewish country.

With all the horrible persecutions in the millennia that have passed, the one glaringly obvious truth is that we Jews need our own country with its own army and judicial system. We cannot rely on the whims of a host country: sometimes they welcome Jews (for ulterior motives) and on a whim they can expel us, or murder us.

This theme is especially noteworthy at this Purim-Pesach time. Both holidays commemorate Jews being enslaved, persecuted in a host country and then going to the Promised Land – Israel – to set up a proper state.

Regarding refugees: Many Jews are sympathetic to Palestinians refugees but their situation is not Israel’s fault. The host countries should have absorbed them, just like Israel absorbed Jewish refugees from around the world. Perhaps the UN should have intervened long ago to offer incentive for the absorption.

Actually, their attitude towards refugees is a key reason why Muslim countries have remained backwards for centuries. Imagine if they absorbed the Palestinian refugees (as Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees).

Imagine if they declared that all people who live within their borders could become citizens and have equal rights – to education, to land, to all professions. What would these countries look like if all discrimination ceased?

Imagine all people (where practically possible) had access to better themselves? What would happen? The whole country would be uplifted! The whole region would prosper! When you give people wings, they fly! If you leave them to rot in refugee camps for decades they become bitter and warped. This has happened to the Palestinians who live in Muslim countries.




This letter had to be shortened due to space constraints. Although we take note of the letter writer’s explanation of what she believes the headline to her letter should have been, a headline is there to convey the general “message” or “feeling” of the writer. We do believe that’s what we achieved. – Editor 



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1 Comment

  1. nat cheiman

    Mar 31, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    ‘Michele, I agree with your sentiments that \”many Jews are sympathetic to palestinian refugees…………\”

    Whether or not it is Israels fault is also of no consequence. There has to be discrimination against palestinians/ arabs/ muslim etc for the reason that they have their OWN countries. ALSO, the quran is explicit in its disposition towards Jews and how Muslims must deal with Jews. In any event, Israel is for Jews, who live and govern therein.

    Muslims/arabs etc have their own countries, many of which are embroiled in wars/poverty/ ignorance/ starvation and the like.

    In nature, lions do not lie with sheep or baboons. They discriminate.

    There CANNOT be cameraderie between Jews and Muslims, whether they be palestinians/Egyptians or Yeminites. That is where JVJP err and fail dismally to understand that \”THEY\” ( muslims) hate JEWS. Most of the world hate JEWS, so consider Muslims and their quran, and then understand that Iran is not kidding, when they say they want to wipe Israel off the map.

    Winning against the ENEMY, is not negotiable to stay alive.’

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