Aussie Dave: This post was based on reports from various credible sources (like Israeli (television) this morning. But now Reuters has reported the metal detectors will stay after all.
Nevertheless, there are still valid points in this post, so I am keeping it up, with this update.
UPDATE (2 days later, 25/07): Israel indeed capitulates after chaos erupts at the embassy and the monarchy becomes unstable, and the metal detectors are removed.
I woke up this morning ashamed. Frustrated. So much so that I wanted to strip myself of my Israeli identity, to join a nation that actually is proud, that has courage in its convictions. A nation that isn’t so super eager to be loved that it sacrifices everything that means anything to it for the sake of a peace that will never come to those who show weakness.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. Nearly a millennium after the first temple was built, the Arabs conquered it in the name of Islam and built The Dome of the Rock on top and a mosque nearby. They even acknowledged our rightful ownership, calling it the Mosque on the Temple, just to rub in their colonial conquests. When we regained control in 1967, we gave it away to prevent a holy war that never came.
We Jews are so good-hearted and peaceful that often, especially at times like these, I would call us friarim, Hebrew for suckers. We are that doormat wife who sits at home while her husband cheats on her and feels that if she only catered to his every need and made herself permanently available to him 24/7, he would stop cheating. We are the wife who has no respect for herself anymore, feeling that if she was worthy of respect, her husband wouldn’t cheat. Meanwhile, her husband likes to dominate and revels in her submission, so she only feeds the monster further with her behaviour. This is an abusive relationship and we need to extricate ourselves.
We had the opportunity to run away from this marriage of convenience. We had the opportunity to show that we are strong. We squandered it, giving up our holiest site yet again.
In a vacuum it definitely appears admirable, but in the broader scheme of things, it’s pathetic. Not only pathetic, it weakens how others perceive our ties to our holiest site. If we are willing to cede control so easily, then others, especially those with a Middle Eastern mindset, will assume that it means our ties aren’t so strong. This eagerness to please and capitulate not only represents a dangerous precedent, it also reflects a pathology in Jewish culture that arose from years of subjugation and dhimmitude at the hands of the world, a dhimmitude we still experience under the Waqf, a last bastion of dhimmitude those sadists revel in.
This isn’t just an Israeli problem, it’s a Jewish problem. A pathology. My entire life I’ve been taught to shrink. Put my head down. Not draw too much attention to myself. Never say anything controversial. Never lose a single friend no matter what, even if it means hiding how you truly feel. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve defied these ridiculous rules since birth. I was born a fighter, not a doormat, and I have fought to this day for my right to be who I am and proud of it. I’m not about to capitulate now.
Today is a sad day in Jewish history. Binyamin Netanyahu taught the world that the Arabs are always right. That no matter what evil they do, no matter how much they kick and scream and cry, no matter how morally wrong they may be, they will always get their way. They are behaving like children so we have to behave like parents, and parents who give into every tantrum inevitably raise children who think they are always right and can get away with murder.
If parents give children an inch, they would take a mile. The same goes for Arabs. They want us gone. We are an affront to their honor. We need to start speaking their language. The way to compromise, which doesn’t even exist in Arab culture, is to:
- Make them think it’s their idea
- Assert dominance and make their lives so unbearable that they feel they would accept anything that doesn’t literally amount to their destruction. This would include keeping the metal detectors in place and employing a strong riot police presence to keep the petulant whiners in check.
- If the minimum we want is B, offer them 2B or even 10B and then they’ll feel like they’re getting a good deal when they settle at B. For example, if you suggest annexing everything and then work towards a compromise of just annexing part of Area C, the latter sounds positively congenial in comparison, making them more likely for them to accept it under pressure.
You would think this would be a crash course in How to Argue with Honor-Shame Cultures 101 that literally every Mizrachi or Sephardi Jew over the age of 70 could teach blindfolded. But old habits die hard, and the Western-born Ashkenazim who founded this country believe their style is the most moral. And so we continue with it. One step forward, two steps back.
Many argue that we cannot live in a vacuum, and that these Western methods have indeed given us peace. They have caused us to have good relations, at least on the surface, with European and other Western countries. They claim that the peace with Egypt and Jordan are due to these Western values and negotiation techniques. However, they forget that we employed the above three more Eastern steps before the Western-style negotiations could even begin. They also forget that Europe doesn’t care about Israel at all, they care about Europe, and Europe likes its oil and naively believes that by embracing those who share the values of those rioting on Al Aqsa, they will embrace Europe in turn. Appeasing Europe is therefore never good for us, but snubbing Europe also has its share of negative consequences since we can’t pretend we live in a vacuum. We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
Nowadays we have gotten too comfortable. We are Start Up Nation, we no longer have to fight to survive, to grow our own food, or deal with communist-like living conditions. We have forgotten our Pioneer spirit that got us here in the first place. Instead, we are too quick to throw in the towel, assuming Arabs are just like Westerners, and we give them everything they want because, and this will be a hard fact to swallow: Israelis no longer feel that Israel is a country worth dying for. They don the green uniform, most with pride, but they fail to grasp the significance, what this means, a 3800 year-old people who rose from the ashes and created a home for ourselves. A people who decided we can no longer afford to live at the mercy of diaspora countries who always have turned and always will turn on us at every whim.
Yet as the world has started to feel more connected with the international internet community, we are flooded with the illusion that we are all the same, that these reasonable people around the world surely want what’s best for Israel too. Unfortunately they don’t want what’s best for Israel, they want what’s best for them. Israelis have lived in a bubble for far too long. They have become extremely naive, as much as they call me a naive Canadian who is a prime target for being taken advantage of due to not yet “knowing the system,” they are the ones being duped by a more macro, global system, a system many of us immigrants who have lived in the diaspora and experienced antisemitism know much better than they do.
Israelis, now YOU are the friarim. And because I’m also Israeli, I don’t have to say I’m sorry.
This was the opportunity to right a wrong. To assert exactly the kind of dominance that Arabs respect. If Arabs feel that their opponent is weak, they will continue to try to destroy it. If they feel their opponent is strong, then they will negotiate. Israel has sent a clear message: we are weak. We are Jews. We gave you our hand so you can chop off our arm. Please do take advantage of us. Please do incite, threaten, and carry out violence against us to get what you want, and the more violent you are, the more quickly we will bend.
As of today, the Middle East no longer takes us seriously given that we are even considering taking the metal detectors down. We are a doormat to be exploited, and if we don’t watch our back, there may soon be a knife inside.