Public Comment

Correcting Sapir’s Facts on Israel and Palestine

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

That millions of radical Muslims use the clarion call of “Zionism” as an enemy philosophy justifying advocating for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state is, I guess, to be expected. 

We expect it because radical Islam, and possibly a good percentage of moderate Islam, believes the entire Middle East and possibly the entire world, was meant by Allah to be Muslim and will stop at nothing to see this destiny fulfilled. 

It is much sadder and more frightening when Jews like Marc Sapir join them. 

Much of what Sapir writes in his recent anti-Israel rant is directly out of the modern radical Islamic propaganda handbook. 

First, I, too, spent several weeks recently in Israel, and came away with an entirely different picture than he evidently did. 

Sapir’s first error is in his characterization of the word “Zionist.” Zionism is the belief that the Jews should have a state in their ancestral homeland—nothing more or less. But he uses it like a curse—like Nazism or some other heinous philosophy. Shame on him. 

The defensive measures Sapir describes having been taken by the Israeli government, he forgets or fails to mention, were instituted in response to a seemingly unending wave of suicide-murders targeting Israelis. No check points or barriers would be necessary if the Palestinians weren’t trying to murder the Jews. The Palestinian terrorists have and continue to target civilians, and there are some Jews, myself included, who feel, considering our history, that allowing our people to be murdered with impunity is a really bad idea. 

Sapir belittles whatever “incorporation” there has been of Palestinians into Jewish Israeli society as tokenism, but I wonder how many Jews have been “incorporated” into Palestinian Arab life, even as tokens. Jews who find themselves in Palestinian territory have a better chance of winding up lynched than incorporated, and there are bloody images burned into the consciousness of anyone keeping up with these things, that prove it. 

Sapir also appears in need of a basic Mid East history and geography lesson, where, with even the most rudimentary research, he would learn that the real “occupier” of the land is not Israel but the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians. There has never, in the history of the world, been a Palestinian Arab nation, so how did that land become theirs? 

A look back at the region’s recent history would show Mr. Sapir that most of the area first designated for a Jewish state was gobbled up by Jordan, and a good portion of the rest, squatted on by what has since the 1960s been called the Palestinians. 

I wonder why this self-proclaimed Jewish man would seem to advocate the destruction of fully half the world’s Jewish population, which lives in Israel, but then wonders why anyone might suspect him of being a “self-hating Jew.” 

History, semantics and the reality on the ground has made it impossible to separate anti-Semitism from anti-Zionism. They are the same animal and actions based on either have the same result—dead Jews. A rose by any other name, as it were. 

Sapir says the State of Israel would like to eliminate “what it calls its Arab demographic problem.” But I’m sure even he realizes that what Israeli authorities mean is not to exterminate the Israeli Arabs or even the Palestinians, but to eliminated the threat of annihilation to the Jewish state and the Jewish people posed by a growing population of Arabs within Israel proper, not to mention actual Palestinian terrorists. 

It is disgusting that Sapir uses the word “ethnic cleansing” with respect to what Israel wants for the Palestinians, when I’m sure he knows full well the difference between the violent, deadly connotation of that phrase and what Israel would ever consider doing. 

Israel is a major military power and if it wanted to kill all the Palestinian Arabs it could have done so in short order a long time ago. That is hasn’t despite all the violence directed at it by the Palestinians is a testament to Israel’s humanity and longsuffering restraint. 

If America were attacked as often and as mercilessly as Israel has been, the attackers would already be gone. 

Mr. Sapir, and others of his type, should be ashamed. 

Rachel Raskin-Zrihen is a Vallejo resident.