Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy (1 November 2017, 12 Heshbon, 5778)
How does it feel like to be a Jew in the Middle East?
The picture above shows an Israeli, Tal Flicker, who on October 26, 2017, won a gold medal in the under-66 kilogram category at the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam.
The Jerusalem Post reported:
Â The organizers claimed that, due to security reasons, the Israelis canâ€™t have their flag on their judo uniform and instead of having ISR [i.e. Israel] by their names on the scoreboard and on their backs, they would have to take part as representatives of the IJF, the International Judo Federation. For the same reason, they explained that should an Israeli win a gold medal, â€˜Hatikvaâ€™ would not be played.
That is the way it goes. The Israelis could in principle have refused to participate. Alternatively they could take what was offered and do the best with it which is what in this case they did.
Either way this is the Jewish and Israeli conundrum everywhere.
Jews live in the State of Israel. They live with other Jews. In most cases they are the only group (or at least an overwhelming majority) in the places they live in apart from a few guest workers, tourists, etc. Jews here live in a land which is theirs and which they are responsible for. This is their land and they feel it.
All around them are Arabs. The Arabs are also found besides them in the street and often at work. On the whole they get on with those Arabs they have contact with or else they manage to ignore them. Despite this Jews cannot go into most Arab areas even where the places concerned are technically part of the State of Israel. It is dangerous. In some cases it may be almost suicidal. The Arabs announce daily that they want to exterminate all of us.
Most of Europe appears to support the Arabs against us. Some of our own liberal and free-thinkers seem to agree with the Arabs. Others want to give them part of the Land, or who knows what else, in the belief that this will placate them.
If we were living overseas it would not necessarily be better. We would be surrounded by Gentiles. We would be guests in the land of someone else.Â
Â We might be respected and honored or we might be treated with contempt or a mixture of both. Whatever the case it would not be our own land.Â
Â Even if we began to think it was our own land the Gentiles, or something else, would sooner or later remind us it was not.
There may be numerous problems with living in Israel but the feeling is this is what we have, deal with it. Israel is where it is happening. This is the center of the world. We are the people. This is the Land. All the world either hates or loves us but certainly knows who we are. We wake up in the morning and apart from the usual problems feel good to be here.
Deuteronomy (NKJV) 11:
Â 8 â€˜Therefore you shall keep every commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and possess the land which you cross over to possess, 9 and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD swore to give your fathers, to them and their descendants, â€˜a land flowing with milk and honey.â€™ 10 For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden; 11 but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, 12 a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.