Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I turn my back for a minute, I go on vacation for a few days, and all hell breaks loose. There were suicide bombings in Ahmedabad, India, killing 75, and in Istanbul, Turkey, killing a dozen. Then there were internecine killings in Gaza and the West Bank between Hamas and Fatah.
My theory about this is that because Israel is a harder nut to crack, they turn on each other. As the security fence keeps out terrorists and bombers, and Israeli intelligence tracks the bad guys, so they are less and less able to effectively attack Israel. They use paltry rockets and E. Jerusalemites who drive tractors to try and kill a few of us. But, it makes no basic difference. So being a violent culture they turn on each other, since each one claims that they have the key to the Palestinian future. As far as I'm concerned they can kill each other. But, it makes it less and less likely that there is indeed a suitable Palestinian partner for Israel to make peace with.
I just spent a few days in London, where as far as I can see many different cultures inter-mingle peacefully. We saw an area where Caribbean Blacks and Turkish Muslims coexist within the larger British society. The Muslims should be trying to learn from the British how this is done rather than trying to change the system and introduce Sharia law. After reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Husseini (the author of "The kite runner") and learning in detail how women were treated under all the various Afghan regimes, particularly the Taliban, the Muslims in Britain should realize how lucky they are to live in a tolerant, liberal, democratic society. Unfortunately, they will still try to undermine it and replace it.
Nevertheless, the UK is not for me. Anti-Israel sentiment is a staple of British culture and is widely disseminated in the media and in ordinary people's opinions, including many Jews. We went to my niece's wedding in Southend, and it was crowded partly because this was the first Jewish wedding there for some years. Most of my cousins have inter-married, and there is very little likelihood of any Jewish content in the lives of their offsping. In a few generations there will be hardly any Jews in the UK, apart from the Orthodox core. We are witnessing in our generation the turning point, the fulcrum, in Jewish history when Israel contains more Jews than the rest of the world combined, and the curves are expected to diverge.
What this will mean for Jewish history and Israel is difficult to fathom, but for the first time an Israeli PM (unfortunately Olmert) has made a speech in which he asked how Israel can help to support Jewish life in the diaspora, rather than the other way round as it always has been. We'll have to start learning to live with that.


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