A letter from an Arab to a Jew that you must read

The people who help change the world are often the last people we would expect. They are the ones who have views that run counter to the views of people from their own ‘culture’. They are people who look beyond what they have been taught by others and who see reasons for doing things differently. This open letter from Arab Fred Maroun to Jews who support BDS is a great example of this. Both he and the Jews he is writing too are examples of people who run a counter current to their own communities. Both have the potential to create change. I will let you decide which side has the most harmful  beliefs and aims.

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Fred Maroun

Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere


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You are Jewish, probably young and probably American, but you may be European or even Israeli, and you may not be so young any more. You have embraced the Arab battle against Zionism and you support the BDS movement, which as I demonstrated previously, aims for a single binational state in place of Israel and the Palestinian territories, and aims for the “return” of millions of Palestinian refugees who would make Israel overnight an Arab state.
Your position interests me because I am the same as you and yet I am your opposite. I am the same as you in that I am in the countercurrent of my own community, but I am the opposite of you in my ethnicity and in my allegiances in the Israel-Arab conflict. I am an Arab who supports Jewish nationalism.

Your position is much less selfish than mine, I must admit. While I support Israel because I see huge benefits for my Arab compatriots in emulating Israel and in adopting its human rights and democratic values and its enterprising spirit, you support Arabs while knowing that you and your community will get less than nothing in return.

Since you are educated (I assume that you are educated since you took a bold stand that most people in your faith community disapprove of) then you know that Jews like you were ethnically cleansed from all Arab countries. You also know that when Jews like you faced the Holocaust, no country in the world provided them a safe haven.

Despite this knowledge, you selflessly want to give up Jewish sovereignty over the only part of the Middle East where Jews are still allowed to live, and the only safe haven for Jews who face discrimination and violence anywhere in the world. I have to admit that this level of selflessness is well beyond my capabilities.

You have assured your friends that your stand is genuine and not meant to appease the anti-Semites. You have insisted that your opposition to Israel is not conformism to the anti-Zionist orthodoxy of the radical left.

Yet, I have difficulty rejoicing because while you are willing to sacrifice your own people, I am not willing to sacrifice mine. The demise of Israel as a Jewish state would affect much more than your people. It would also extinguish the only hope remaining for progressive Arabs like me.

For us Arabs, whether we are Palestinians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Egyptians, Syrians, Iraqis, or any other variety of Arabs, we know that there is only one place in the Middle East that respects our liberal values, and that is the Jewish state of Israel. We obsessively hold on to that hope.

Your stand against Israel, if it is successful, would help some Arabs, I admit. It would help terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbullah. It would help Arab despots who rely on anti-Zionist rhetoric to remain in power. It would help, and in fact it already helps, the Palestinian leadership avoid making peace with Israel, which keeps the Palestinians stateless and fully dependent on Israel and on Western charity. Your stand undeniably helps ultra-conservative and reactionary Arab forces.

You have heard many stories of Israeli abuse of Palestinian human rights, and that is what encouraged you to take the stand that you did. You also believe that Jews are imperialist invaders in the Middle East, and that they re-created the Jewish nation at the expense of the Arab residents.

When you learn that the vast majority of the accusations of human rights abuses against Israel consistently turn out to be false, you remain satisfied in the knowledge that some of them turn out to be true. When you are reminded that your own people, the Jews, have lived on the land of Israel for over 3000 years and that they had a long history all over the Middle East (until they were ethnically cleansed), you dismiss it because it contradicts your narrative.

When you are asked why you want to penalize the Jews of Israel while not penalizing Arabs for the much worse crimes that they commit against Jews and Arabs, you say that you are only concerned about improving the behavior of your own people and that it is up to Arabs to worry about improving the behavior of Arabs. Your response confirms the importance of my stand, which is to try to improve the behavior of Arabs. Unfortunately, while you seem to complement what I do, by demonizing Israel, the only real hope for the Arab world, you are also making my struggle much more difficult.

So here you are. A Jew who insists on an impossibly high moral standard for Israel even if it brings an end to the security or even existence of your own people, and even if it undermines the Arab struggle to achieve modest liberal values that Jews have achieved long ago. You take a left-wing, progressive, activist stand and yet your stand aids the anti-Semites and the most right-wing reactionary Arabs.

Which brings me to my question. Is there perhaps some other cause that you can support instead of the Arab/Palestinian cause? Preferably a cause that does not involve Arabs?

-blogs.timesofisrael.com

 

 


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  • Ben

    I think if I were Fred, I would be looking over my shoulder from now on and increasing my life insurance. I doubt whether his views would be welcomed by many Arabs and Moslems.

    • IKIDUNOT

      Didn’t realise terrorist (murder) attacks are covered by life insurance….

      • spanishbride

        Given the number of daily stabbing attacks against Israeli citizens inside Israel I have to wonder if they can get life insurance there.Just as a smoker has to pay more for life insurance I seriously wonder if being Jewish means an increased premium if you live in a Muslim country or next door to one?

        • IKIDUNOT

          I have to check that with my family in Jerusalem….’funny’ enough, they don’t seem to be that worried and just go about their daily business….

          • biscuit barrel

            There seems to be plenty of others ‘worrying for them’

  • phronesis

    He recognises that it is the culture of the arabs that is holding them back. The left support the arabs against Israel for the same reason they support the poor against the rich. They hate having it rubbed in their face that their lack of success is solely a result of their inferior beliefs and culture.

  • rexabus

    It’s writ large in the muslim holy book to hate and destroy the Jewish people. How can we expect any real change in the immediate future when the instruction book for how to be a good muslim and Arab is telling them this rubbish

  • biscuit barrel

    Isnt it a bit rich for a presumably maronite christian arab from lebanon ( who now lives in Canada) to have all the answers for israel/palestine?
    Lebanon is Israel?palestine problems in overdrive
    Arabs can be Christians or Muslims or Druze, Muslims can be Shia or Alawaite or Sunni.

    • spanishbride

      Lebanon used to be a Christian country until the Muslims took control after being welcomed in as mainly refugees from war. I think he has every right to have an opinion on this issue.

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