I am against the expansion of settlements. Always have been, always will be. It poisons the atmosphere, it is against the principles of peace, it creates hopelessness and despair.
But does it justify stabbing innocent Israelis on the streets of Jerusalem or Be’er Sheva? Does it justify pulling parents out of their cars and shooting them in front of their children?
No. It does not.
The Palestinians have faced injustice. Yes they have. Around 700,000 who used to live in Palestine lost their homes between 1947-48. There is still a debate regarding how many were expelled, how many left at the behest of orders from the Arab world. This article explains more. But there is little doubt that they faced injustice and some faced expulsion.
So have my brethren from the Arab world, who once formed a massive community there. A community which has almost disappeared.
In 2008, Nathan Weinstock published a book entitled: “A Very Long Presence: How the Arab World Lost Its Jews, 1947-1967”. The book has been described as: “thorough, detailed, interesting and persuasive book, with more than 900 footnotes”.
Haaretz interviewed him about the book (the article has been reprinted in The Forward).
Here are some facts about the Jewish citizens of the Arab world, from the book, as quoted in his interview:
In 1945, Weinstock notes, almost one million Jews lived in the Arab world, whereas today there are about 4,500, the great majority of them in Morocco.
So what happened to them? According to Weinstock:
“In the course of my research,” he continues, “I found out that the story we had been told – that the Jews left the Arab countries because they were Zionists – was for the most part wrong. True, they had an affinity for the Land of Israel – that is certainly correct – but the organized Zionist movement was very weak in the Arab countries. The great mass of Jews left under duress. They were expelled. They were subjected to such enormous pressure that they had no choice but to leave.”
950,000 Jews were expelled from Algeria, Morocco, Iraq and other Arab countries. They have no chance of getting their homes and businesses back. Ever. Its finished. They also faced massive amount of heartache and hopelessness, until they found a new home in Israel, and a minority in Europe. And do you think they have forgotten about their trauma? would you?
Would that give the right to Jews from the aforementioned countries to go back and start stabbing and killing innocent bystanders in Algiers or Baghdad? And what would it achieve? and how morally wrong would it be? I leave the answer to you.