In an age of terror, racism, hatred and bigotry, fake news and the dark tides of antisemitism, the Nation of Israel and her people are constantly singled out by the United Nations and the Media as an apartheid state while Zionists  and our ideals are continuously demonized and accused of being Nazis. In the face of all these accusations, a few brave young men and women from all over the world have risen and are uniting as we speak, standing up against all of it. They are ready to fight back and expose these lies for what they are, by shedding the light of truth upon a misinformed world. Let the Star of David shine over the world once more, burning through the dark clouds of hatred and indifference, ignorance and deceit. Allow me to tell you the story of these unsung heroes, these rising leaders, these Shields of Zion.

Just yesterday, I returned from a four day journey which led me to Boston, Massachusetts, that near four hundred year old bastion of liberty, which witnessed the birth of the American Revolution with the “shot heard round the world” at Lexington and Concord in 1775. America’s patriotic message of liberty, justice and equality for all men and women has since spread like fire throughout the nations of the world. Among them have been several modern states, none of which have broken the shackles of oppression, shaken the dust of exile off of their feet and declared their own freedom and self determination as  one such nation,  inspired by the same principles two centuries later, ironically liberated from the same imperial force, the State of Israel.  I was joined by over seventy students, community leaders and activists from all over the world, all of whom came for the same reason, united by a common mission, to defend Zion – Israel, against all the lies spoken of her in the media and on college campuses across the United States, Europe and the world.

Among the most common political battlegrounds of our day, are unfortunately our universities and academic institutions. In the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France and many other counties, Jews and their Zionist allies from all walks of life have been targeted and subjected to the most vicious attacks, humiliations, and even anti-Semitic threats reminiscent of, dare I say it, Nazi Germany in the mid twentieth century.  These students, who simply believe in the right of the Jewish people to live peacefully in their own country, just like any other peoples, are unfairly punished and accused of being supporters of the “Zionist regime,” which is in turn falsely accused of war crimes and human rights violations. But one thing our attackers never fail to accomplish, is using their protest of the Israeli Government’s policies as an excuse to attack the very existence of a Jewish State in the world.

Jews Attacked on College Campuses

Jewish Institutions vandalized… THIS IS IN THE UNITED STATES!

Jews Attacked 2

These are just some examples of a dangerous trend rising not only in Europe or elsewhere, but right here in the United States of America. I have spoken to several students in my community and beyond who have informed me of various incidents, attacks and public humiliations which they have suffered. It is becoming dangerous for Jews on college campuses, the very places which must be institutions of education and higher learning are becoming havens of hatred and bigotry. One student from London told me he would never dare to wear his kippah (Jewish head covering) in public for fear of being physically attacked or even worse. Another student from Paris told me it has become dangerous to be even remotely identified as a Jew or have any connection to Israel. On my own campus last year, a celebration for the one hundredth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration was canceled due to a bomb threat made by a student, the target being the vary event I was supposed to attend, and which my own student group was co-sponsoring.  I have even spoken to students on campus, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, who have criticized me for supporting Israel, which they say is responsible for committing genocide and ethnically cleansing the Palestinian people. What is the source of these students’ radical opinions? For one, I have met several professors on my campus and others, who have all held similarly bitter views towards the Jewish state, many of them being party to the support of organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine.

Besides these accusations being baseless, what does any nation’s policies have anything to do with its basic and natural right to exist?  Why are Jews harassed, humiliated, physically attacked, and in some places of the world, much worse, in the name of “Justice for Palestine?” To answer these questions we must answer two other questions: 1.) What is Zionism? 2.) What does it mean to be Anti-Zionist? We can also answer other essential questions such as: What is apartheid? What is genocide? Does the Israeli government actually seek the destruction of the Palestinian people? Do Palestinian leaders call for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews? Is this a religious, or even an ethnic conflict at all, as many would suggest? Is peace even possible? Is it possible for Israelis and Palestinians to coexist and finally bring an end to this long and bloody conflict? We do not deny that the Palestinian people have indeed suffered, and continue to suffer in Gaza, the West Bank, and in refugee camps across the Middle East. But is Israel’s existence really to blame for all of it? Who is the real culprit in this crime scene? As Thomas Jefferson himself stated in America’s Declaration of Independence, “Let facts be presented to a candid world!”

     The images and video I think speak for themselves. But allow me to continue to divulge to you the truth of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

The world has been deceived my friends, but not by Zionism, but the radical forces of Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and many others… They do not represent the Palestinian people or the peaceful tenants of Islam. The media shows you the Palestinian plight every day, but they ignore the plight of Israel. The double standard must stop! For instance they do not tell you that Zionists, include Christians and Muslims, Druze, and other minorities who proudly serve in the Israel Defense Forces. So what is Zionism?  What does a Zionist look like?

The “wise and all knowing sage” Google defines Zionism as “a movement for (originally) the re-establishment and (now) the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel.”

As you heard, Zionism simply means the belief and support of the right of the Jewish people to self determination, living freely and peacefully in their own land. And as you heard, the Palestinians have been offered a state of their own time and time again, and actually, this has been happening since 1947, and their leaders have continued to reject every offer. Instead, Hamas actively engages in terrorism, while the Palestinian Authority continues to praise suicide bombers and encourage stabbings, shootings, and vehicular attacks in the West Bank. Palestinians continue to indoctrinate their children with hatred, raising a generation of killers rather than peace partners. It is a sad reality, but it is a truth which must be addressed, and education is the key to changing all of it. I personally do not believe in a two state solution, but I am practical and willing to accept one if our Palestinian  neighbors prove to us they will no longer continue to seek the destruction of my family, my people, and myself. But the conflict indeed existed long before 1967, proving that the conflict is not about Gaza or the West Bank, it is about the Palestinian political leadership keeping their own people oppressed while seeking the complete and utter destruction of Israel. Thus we answer the second question, what it means to be an Anti-Zionist. To be an Anti-Zionist is to deny the recognition of the Jews, an indigenous people, to their own land, and that my friends is a true example of racism. If a Palestinian State is established in the West Bank, will Jews and other minorities even be allowed to live there, as Israeli Arabs live in Israel as full and equal citizens under Israeli law? Why has Israel agreed to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to their own state, while the Palestinian Authority repeatedly refuses to recognize the right of Israel to even exist? I think anyone can logically see what’s wrong with this picture.

Now let’s play devil’s advocate, and say the Palestinians are right, and Israel came and stole Palestine and a new Palestinian State is established not just in the West Bank, but “from the river to the sea,” as “peaceful protesters” so often chant. Where do we the Jews fit in to the picture? Where do we belong in the world? Where will we go? For millennia Jews have wandered as a homeless people. Shall we be doomed to wander forever? Shall we always be subject to the whims of the nations just as our ancestors? Shall we again be the victims of random radical voices who call out, “Death to the Jews?” I am not seeking to delegitimize the fact that Palestinians suffer a great deal of injustice; I am simply saying that it is not the responsibility of the Jewish State, but the fault and blame is on the Palestinian leadership. Israel’s fight is in no way to ethnically cleanse the Arab inhabitants, it is the fight of a tiny Jewish state for survival against the gargantuan fury of the Arab world expressed through the raging Palestinian narrative. It is not a religious war, it is not a war of race or ethnicity. In Israel Jews and Arabs coexist peacefully, Druze and Muslims serve in Israel’s army, yes Muslims serving Israel voluntarily and fighting against Hamas and Hezbollah. But of course you never hear their voices in mainstream media, because tragically some seem to think peace doesn’t sell as well as war. If you don’t want to listen to me, listen to these beautiful people living in Israel.

Or listen to my beautiful friend and brother from another mother… (WARNING: Video contains some disturbing images. But the world needs to know.)

These are the real voices the media refuses to interview, they are the evidence that Zionism is not racism in any way shape or form, but is for all who support the right of Jews just as for Palestinian Arabs or even Kurds and any other people, to live independently in their own natural land. That’s all it is. Does discrimination exist? Yes, unfortunately every country and culture has some small pockets of ignorant individuals. Is Israel perfect? No, we have many internal problems like any other nation, ok, maybe a little more, have you been to a Knesset session? Oy vey! But one thing is for sure, Israel is a democracy, and an island of freedom in the middle of a region filled with violence and intolerance. Think of it as a really nice house in a really bad neighborhood, everybody just wants a piece of it.

And so she must fight on, and on, and fight for her life, against the rising tides raging against her from all sides. And we in the diaspora, Jews and non-Jews alike, who support the rights of a free people in their own land, must do everything in our power, risk persecution and suffering humiliations or even losing friends, for the survival of the only country in the world Jews can call their own, and the only real democratic country in the Middle East. Think of that the next time you encounter movements such as SJP and BDS; remember if you choose to persecute and attack our young people who are simply defending their people and culture’s right to self determination, you are being the aggressors. Remember that at the end of the day, we are all members of the human race and we all want to live and watch our children grow up in peace. In my next series of posts, I will explore and discuss each and every religious and ethnic group of peoples who call Israel home, and how only the Jewish State actively protects all of them. From Israeli Arabs, Muslim and Christian alike, to Druze and Bahai, Kurds and others. We will talk about the LGBT community living in Israel and how they feel living there every day.  You may think this all sounds like propaganda, but I hope my article will encourage you to either visit Israel yourself, or talk to Israelis. Don’t be afraid to ask all the questions you may have, we want to answer you. For in the end, I too am Israel and Israel is me. They are my people and my home, and I also would like a peaceful resolution to this old conflict. At the end of the day it’s like my brother Muhammad said, we are all human beings, and this is a struggle for humanity. Please, in the words of John Lennon, “Give peace a chance.” Just… imagine…

Peace

 

 

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