Hebron attracts all sorts of interesting people, who say all sorts of interesting things. Not too long ago, when the Meretz party came to tour, former (thank G-d) MK Musi Raz told me, in answer to a question that, no, Hebron should not be Judenrein. Rather it should be (in Hebrew) ‘mitnachalim-rein’ – in other words, ‘cleansed of settlers.’ He was referring to people like me, my family, my friends, and all the others who live here.
This morning I received notification of a large group of diplomats on their way into the city. Outside Ma’arat HaMachpela I found a delegation of Germans, from the consulate, embassy and from Berlin, congregating around a representative of ‘breaking the silence,’ listening to his anti-Jewish Hebron tirade. Spoken in a soft voice, seemingly presenting a ‘balanced’ point of view, he ranted about the ‘poor arabs’ and the ‘big bad Jews’ who oppress them.
This is nothing new. This organization, funded by the EU, and many foreign governments, was blamed by the Israeli government for assisting the infamous ‘Goldstone’ research and report. Need more be said? They work tirelessly to besmirch Hebron’s Jewish community, the IDF and Israeli policy in this holy city.
However, today, my focus was not on them. It was on the German guests. I approached one man, held out my business card and introduced myself. He ignored me. I asked if I could too speak with the group. He ignored me. I asked if he would take my card. He ignored me. I asked is he would speak with me. He ignored me. Finally he said something. “It’s not personal.” Wow!
I approached another man, and asked if I could speak with the group. He told me I’d have to set it up with the German consulate in Ramallah. Then a woman came over and told him to stop talking to me. So he stopped.
Then I found the ‘leader’ who said his name is Tobias, an employee of the German Foreign ministry in Berlin. He did speak to me. We actually had a long conversation. When I asked if I could also address the group he told me that they choose who they want to hear. What, not me too. Well, he said they’d already talked to us, a few years ago.
He told me that perhaps we could have a meeting with an ‘official’ German delegation in Tel Aviv, because ‘you are aware of our legal position when it comes to Israeli settlements in the West Bank…’ and a talk at Beit Hadassah would ‘complicate things.’
I told him that it would be preferable to speak in Hebron, but that if necessary we’d be willing to talk to them in Tel Aviv. ‘Tel Aviv is also a part of the state of Israel, even though it’s not mentioned in the Bible. We are about 4,000 years old and Tel Aviv only about one hundred.’ He then interjected that it’s the capital of Israel, to which I answered that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. He retorted, ‘the internationally recognized capital,’ to which I answered, the international, eternal capital of Israel is Jerusalem and all countries, especially Germany, should accept that.’
The Germans haven’t changed. In my opinion, their outward civility does not and cannot hide their inner animosity to the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Hearing a left-wing Israeli spout hate in Hebron is legitimate; listening to a resident of Hebron’s Jewish community speak about Hebron is illegitimate. A balanced approach to learning.
We will celebrate the Purim holiday. We commemorate G-d’s great miracle, saving the Jewish people from the attempts of the wicked Hamen to exterminate them. Hamen was an Amalakite, a people known to be the root of all evil, as is taught in the Torah. There is a positive precept, or commandment in the Torah, to literally wipe out, or in modern jargon, delete Amalek from existence.
That is not to say that there is a Mitzvah to try and annihilate Germans. But, anyone with eyes in their head, having studied a little bit of early 20th century history, would be well advised to beware of Tobias,’ and other such germanely Germans from the Deutchland.