What is Wrong with Israelis?

    June 2010            
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What is wrong with us?

By Ze'ev Shemer

A dear colleague of mine, an Arab woman from Mazra shared with me a short editorial from the Jerusalem Post Kids edition, April 2010. She was bothered by a response that a child received to his Letter to the Editor.

In this response we can surmise what is wrong with our country. A boy, Ellie, is upset since he found out that his parents have plans to move to America. “…But I don’t want to leave! I’ve been trying to convince them not to leave but they haven’t changed their mind. How do I get them to stay?” to which the editors of the JP responded: “…moving to the US could be a great adventure! You will be the first to get all the latest TV shows, films, computer games, everything!” It is very clear as to what the JP writers understand to be important in life. I was embarrassed in front of my colleague, not only at the representation of a poor value system, but at the contemptuous lack of patriotism as well.

I would have expected the editors of Maariv and Yediot Achronot to come up with that foul expression of shameless discontent, and certainly from the editors of HaAretz. But it came from the Jerusalem Post. I guess I expected a bit more patriotism and idealism from them. Then again, people expect those qualities in Benjamin Netanyahu, but in turn they get the policies of his psychopathological Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. Policies aimed against those few Israelis who are driven by a true love of the land.

As I drove to Jerusalem I stopped at a gas station and inadvertently said something in Spanish to my son. The attendant immediately began asking me about South America and how much do I think a ticket could cost. I answered with my typical ‘Ein Kmo haAretz’ – there is nothing like our land. If only you could have seen her decomposed facial expression, and she had the immediate support of her workmate as they both affronted this country. Two girls who probably finished their army service not long ago, both disgusted with life in Eretz Israel. Two out of too many.

Young Ellie, I believe as you do that Israel is amazing. It is our land. It is the best country for a Jew to live in. TV shows and computer games are not life’s goals or pleasures. It is walking on our streets, riding our bikes, and hiking the trails of a land that is connected to us as we are to it. It is being able to do God’s will exactly in the place He chose for us. One of life’s greatest pleasures is to be able to be a free Jew in the land of Israel. I am sure your parents know this and they will never sever their bond with this country, as neither will you.

As for my colleague, she subscribed to J Post Kids to provide English material for her children. She took offense to that editorial, but how many of us, never even thought twice that something was wrong?


from the June 2010 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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