CounterPunch / January 1, 2021
If you are Jewish and living outside of Israel, what are you waiting for? Israel awaits you. What’s taking you so long? Uncle Bibi wants YOU!
As a Palestinian living in Palestine, I anxiously await your arrival. I have spoken directly to thousands of you over decades about Israel and its actions. Most recently, I had a conversation with over 100 of you on Zoom. The conversation and audience questions were all too familiar, like the hundreds of past encounters—cordial, frank, and informative to us both. However, this last one ended on a note that stuck with me for days. The interviewer, a well-established and respected Jewish thought leader in the U.S. closed the session with a message of hope that Israeli scientists would clone me. Although flattered, I got off the call and thought: Why clone me? I’m just communicating what my community has been saying for decades. There are already plenty of Palestinians saying the exact same thing.
Upon reflection, I thought maybe I came across as too liberal, too Ohioan, and too accommodating. That is, not as angry as I really am. Thus, I ask you to indulge me in a rare rant. As Jewish friends, cousins even, I need you to read this, from me directly. I will not be long and promise to come back to my normal self before it ends. So, here we go.
Start of rant
Your “light unto the nations” shpiel [spiel] uprooted an entire indigenous people. You then claimed Israel is reserved for Jews forever. However, your subsequent actions contradict that. Every day that you delay your arrival here, a benighted Palestinian refugee thinks he might return. You simply cannot let that happen; God forbid. Israel did not win successive wars and undertake major military onslaughts to remain at risk forever. No, you must join in protecting the only (well, maybe second) place in the world that is yours. Israel must hold back Palestinian refugees at all costs. So, make sure your place in the sun is protected. You can only do that by filling the Levant with fellow Jews. Yet you remain absent. Why? C’mon. Get with the program. Israel needs you now more than ever!
Join fellow Jews in Israel. It’s easy. After displacing two-thirds of the original population, Israel passed the Law of Return. Its gist is simple: any Jew in the world…regardless of where born, what language is spoken, what citizenship currently held, or how religious…has a place here. ALL Jews have a fast-track, and carte blanche right, to Israeli citizenship: no barriers whatsoever. The Law applies to children and grandchildren, too. Plus spouses. And the spouses of their children and grandchildren. Such a deal!
Every lawmaker and parliamentarian who seek re-election knows there’s no place like Israel, a Jewish home for ever-homeless Jews.
Imagine the chutzpah, then, of Palestinian “terrorists”—who surely must have left of their own “free will” in 1948 and 1967—claiming the same rights for their children and grandchildren in 2020!
So, fellow Semites, what’s stopping you from living here? You visit like Israel is your home. You also support it like you own it. And, in fact, you do. So why not reside here 24-7-365?
Now, some of you might say you can’t afford a home here. Fear not. The state, abetted by Uncle Sucker’s endless automatic aid, has solved that problem. When you arrive, you will be given the enticing option of living in a gated hilltop community in Samaria. All costs of living are subsidized. And the scenery: out of this world!
NB: Please don’t visit websites before moving into your beautiful new home.
You might get shpilkes noticing odd movements here and there in the valley below. Ignore them. They are the ungrateful owners of the land upon which you are now redeeming—dreaded Palestinians. However, you’ll get acclimated in no time. Soon you will gaze out your massive picture windows and see nothing but beautiful mountains and gorgeous blue skies.
Trust me on this.
So again: stop dawdling. Come quick. For starters, you could start a new start-up in the “Start-up Nation!” Now’s the time. Make your mark in Israel’s fastest-growing sector: the security and arms trade. There are ever-more customers for the Jewish State’s life-ending products all across the Arab world. Customers are fabulously wealthy and drool just thinking about holding Israel’s death-harvesting produce in their gory hands.
And just think: all such toys of death and destruction are made by dark side techies from what was formerly called The People of the Book.
Don’t worry about the stigma of participating in the new Middle East arms race. The prime minister, literally glued to his chair, provides cover. In his pitch-perfect English, your new leader tells the world how much it owes your tiny new home. Everything useful and modern…from cherry tomatoes to the microchips in phones to the latest/most-lethal drones.
It’s a truly beautiful fairy tale, one concocted to make you feel proud. It ensconces you in a cocoon of ahistorical fables, replete with evil, child-hating parents and good unicorn-riding Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers. The unbearable reality—which you will soon learn not to see-hear-speak—will be consigned to your nightmares.
Again, come walk-the-walk per all the talk you were taught over the years. Like Jews being threatened everywhere and all the time. And history constantly failing you. And no other groups suffering as you have. Ever.
Israel is now the only safe haven for you. Don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise.
Once in LOMAH (the Land of Milk and Honey), your children might initially get distracted by Israel’s hip nightclubs and start-up scenes. Not to worry. New TV shows like “Valley of Tears” will remind them of the horrors of yore. Such indoctrination will go bone-deep. Soon they will robotically recite all that was overcome to create their new home. They will then never relax. Or feel compassion. They will get that Tikkun Olam, “healing the world,” is for heels.
Sure, such HBO fear-mongering fare is aired to the world-at-large, but watching it in Israel amongst brethren has far greater meaning. Nothing will keep your children in line like seeing CGI versions of the Hebron massacre of 1929 or colourful scenes of suicide bombings from a few decades ago. Searing episodes of some form of “The Infernal Arab” will teach your children to fear natives as the Other.
Once here, take the family to meet the compassionate new nominee to head Yad Vashem (the World Holocaust Remembrance Center). Your children will go there anyway on school trips. Yad Vashem will banish any lingering doubts you might have about Israel’s purported “liberal values.” Holocaustomania justifies each and every abuse of Palestinians, despite Nazis having operated on a different continent entirely.
Come then: join fellow Jews in Israel! Convicted Jewish American spy Jonathan Pollard just arrived with his wife after serving 30 years in prison. He flew into Ben-Gurion International Airport in a private plane, belonging to the owner of the Israeli daily Israel Hayom Sheldon Adelson, from Newark International Airport in New Jersey and was greeted by Prime Minister Netanyahu who handed him his Israeli ID card. The excitement is unbearable.
You, your children, and grandchildren must no longer love Israel from afar. Besides, the reborn Hebrew language awaits you. Forget the few words you memorized or songs you sang. It’s time to learn real Hebrew, a cocktail of accents from Sephardi, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, African, and even American Jews.
You’ll fit right in, mistakes and all. After all, it’s not the language that unites Jews, it’s the Promised Land. Don’t fret about the clause “even to the ends of the world,” either. Zionism made sure to drop that, praise Jesus, and Amen!
By the way, leave Evangelicals behind when you come. Sure, they want you to be here, but for a different reason. They believe Jesus (unlike Palestinian refugees) will return. And when He does, if you don’t convert to Christianity, Evangelicals believe they will become evangels rising in a Rapture while you roast in endless nuclear hellfire meltdowns.
The time is now to uphold your responsibilities. If too old, make your kids move post-high school. They can then don with pride the uniform of “the most moral army in the world”. Your kids can play “Pin the Responsibility on Arabs.” And snatch Palestinian children from beds in the middle of the night. Or torture prisoners held without charge in Israeli prisons. Or practice sharpshooting by blowing out the kneecaps of unarmed, peaceful protesters.
Do you say you and your families would never do such things? Could never even countenance said actions? Okay. Fine. Join Unit 8200, instead. It’s the Israeli Intelligence Corps of the IDF. It eavesdrops on ordinary conversations of PWRTV (Palestinians who refuse to vanish). Heck, if your kids learn some Arabic in high school, the army might teach them how to spy on natives via laptops and cellphones, too.
Even if you don’t learn Arabic, no problem. The Knesset proudly demoted its standing as an official language. Still, you can pick up a few “colourful” words from your gardener, house painter, or plasterer.
In sum, your children will love the services they render their new country (or, again, maybe second). After you or your offspring finish mandatory military service, you will have many perks: proud pictures in uniform; substantial social-welfare benefits (from housing to education); a great addition to your CV; and job offers galore. Start-ups here are always looking for novel ways to help foreign governments spy on their own citizens; Why wouldn’t they, they have a free testing laboratory right next door? Having served in the IDF assures that you’ll be a big hit with potential employers/investors.
Look, you earned the right to live here on colonized land. You took it fair and square by terror. You also blindly supported Israel through donations, committee/community work, and even deafening silence during the decades-long subjugation of another people. The world calls it a military occupation but never mind the world, they are all wrong and also anti-Semitic. So, it’s time to come. You will have great neighbours in nearby illegal settlements. Plus, if coming from the U.S., you’ll see Trump, Ivanka, Jared, Friedman, Adelson, and others visiting regularly…even if arriving from Moscow. Sure, Don was voted out of office, but before that, you loved, passively or otherwise, his unwavering support of Israel.
NB: If you happen to run across Jared on your way here, ask him if he liked the couscous.
When you arrive, be forewarned: not all Jews in Israel will be people you want to associate with. Some have lost their way. More and more speak out, sometimes loudly, against the path Israel is on. They dare to oppose the policies of the only state you can call your own (or, maybe, the second). Such ingrate citizens! Israel took care of them, educated them, trained them, and sent them to maintain the peace with the barbaric people next door. Now they have the audacity to bite the hand that feeds them. Some malcontents even give talks to teenagers, telling them not to serve in Israel’s vaunted army. Imagine such self-hating Jews! And in Israel no less!
Those recalcitrant also run from the UN to the EU and back again, complaining that this great nation of yours is violating pesky international laws created after World War II. That is, post-Nuremberg laws passed too late to save European Jewry. And much too late to save the victims of Zionism, folks who insist on calling themselves “Palestinians.”
Still, rest assured: Israel’s mighty government machine knows how to deal with traitors, how to persuade misguided youths to wise up. Those who refuse to join the righteous IDF get imprisoned as draft-dodgers (nearly no conscientious objectors are permitted).
Troublemakers who think the right-to-assemble will protect them are banned from addressing high school assemblies. Successive Israeli governments worked too hard propagandizing students to illegally support “the only Jewish state in the world” to allow that to happen. As for the sick bastards who expose what Israel is doing in Gaza, they will surely burn in hell.
But never mind all that. Just hurry up and get here. Claim your rightful place in the country that commits war crimes every day in your name to hold your place. If you embark now, you can even vote in the next election.
Whatever you do, though, please don’t stay away because of the deluded dreams of Untermenschen calling themselves “Palestinians!”
End of rant
Thanks for allowing me to express myself in a way that I know will be hard for some to swallow and was even harder for me to write, yet one that I truly hope provides a long-overdue wake-up call. Don’t get me wrong. I will still talk with you at every opportunity and continue to gladly answer all questions, no matter how many times asked.
We Palestinians, more than anyone else, want you to come here. We need you too. And hope you will arrive by the thousands and tens of thousands. Only then will your love affair with The Idea of Israel meet the reality of Israel.
Finally, despite all you have done to us or has been done in your name, we cling to our faith that the great religion of Judaism—with its foundational pillar of social justice—will guide you to equality. That is, Jews being no better nor worse than others. For that vision, I will fight alongside you when you arrive and comfort you as you wake up. Which you will do after facts counter the falsehoods you’ve been fed. Then the dirty jackboots of occupation will be taken off our necks. Consigned to the dustbin of history, those boots will be refashioned into sandals…which we will wear hiking mountains together. And after the oppressive sands of Zionism wash away, we will also walk together on beaches…barefoot.
Sam Bahour is managing partner of Applied Information Management (AIM), a policy analyst with Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, a secretariat member of the Palestine Strategy Group, and chairman of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy