One sin I won't be striking my chest for this Yom Kippur

And neither should you.

Gerald A. Honigman

OpEds Fatah praises Har Adar terrorist
Fatah praises Har Adar terrorist

When is the last time you read a New York Times editorial demanding support for a state for some thirty-five to forty million truly stateless Kurds--instead of the folks who repeatedly demand a 22nd Arab state be born at Israel's great imperilment? When is the last time students heard a university professor speak out this way in between frequently placing Israel and Zionism under the high power lens of moral scrutiny? 

Jews, on the other hand, can honestly say that they have repeatedly tried to reach an honorable and just solution to their problems with Arabs.

While wanting to put an end to their own perpetual nakba (as Arabs refer to the rebirth of Israel–“the catastrophe”), Jews nevertheless agreed to one compromise after another over the past century so that Arabs could gain their additional state (and second, not first, in “Palestine”...since 1922, Jordan sits on about 78% of the original 1920 Mandate).

That Arabs want their new, additional state to exist in place of Israel, not along side of it, has always been the problem. Fatah's and the PA's Mahmoud Abbas--Israel's "peace partners"--recently told Hamas not to worry about recognizing a state of the Jews as their neighbor because he and his buddies have no intention to ever do so. 

The issue has always involved Arabs not granting anyone else (i.e., not only Jews) but themselves political and national rights in the region--with the possible exception of some of those whom they Arabized and/or Islamized in centuries past. While this holds true for Turks, Afghanis,  Pakistanis and Iranians, for example, this is not the case with Kurds, Black African (Muslim and non-Muslim) Sudanese, and Imazighen/"Berbers." For the latter peoples, the issue becomes more of a clash of nationalisms than of religion.

The ongoing forced Arabization process is thus still under way centuries after Arabs burst out of the Arabian Peninsula and spread out in numerous directions in their imperial conquests of the region. And while they demand that Jews confess and address all of their alleged transgressions, Arabs see their own subjugation, enslavement, colonization, and settlement of other peoples and lands (including in the Mandate of Palestine, where most Arabs were newcomers themselves) simply in terms of their own alleged just dues.

Furthermore, too often the world at large has granted them a free pass.

In terms of Arab-Israeli politics, Jews are continuously accused of countless sins by much of the rest of the world. Yet, as is noted in terms of another major Jewish holiday–Passover–Jews consider it regrettable that any hardship at all has to be suffered by anyone–even enemies sworn to their own destruction.

Still, even as they symbolically remove drops of wine from their cups at the Passover Seder dinner to diminish the joy of deliverance from bondage because Egyptians were killed, they must take care not to offer apologies for wanting to put an end to their two thousand year-old nightmare. Pathetically, too many Jews indeed so indulge.

The rebirth of Israel represents the wish to finally put an end to the horrors of massacres, demonization, forced conversions, expulsions, ghettoization, pogroms, dehumanization, inquisitions, dhimmitude, and so forth--culminating in the Holocaust. 

Jews became weary of being labeled either "killers of G-d" by the Christian West or kilab yahud (Jew Dogs) and "killers of Prophets" in the Muslim East--and treated accordingly. History finally forced them to do what was necessary for their own survival in their quest for a small slice of the relative justice pie, working, with G-d’s help, for the prophetic resurrection of the Jewish State.

When discussing the Jews’ sometimes flawed struggles to rid themselves of their perpetual scapegoat, victim, and whipping post par exellence status, there is no shortage of critics pointing out their imperfections. 

Arabs and their supporters elsewhere offer no confessions, do not seek to atone for, nor ask for forgiveness from G-d nor man for blowing up buses, restaurants, schools, and such–nor beheading infants, slitting the throats of other children and parents in their sleep, etc.
Yet, Arabs and their supporters elsewhere offer no confessions, do not seek to atone for, nor ask for forgiveness from G-d nor man for blowing up buses, restaurants, schools, and such–nor beheading infants, slitting the throats of other children and parents in their sleep, etc. and so forth. On the contrary, they are proclaimed heroes and are given financial and other awards and commendations.

Indeed, the same Arab and other Muslims who loudly proclaim Israel’s “original sin” show no signs of remorse for deliberately targeting innocents, conquering, subjugating, enslaving, and/or massacring literally millions of other native peoples–still going on to this very day.

As the New Year 5778, begins, Jews, like all other peoples, have a lot–both individually and collectively–to work on and to deal with in terms of both G-d and man. The latter will include continuing to try to find an honorable solution to problems involving Arabs. But to do this, they must have true partners for peace–ones who recognize the rights of Jews as well as their own, and understand that others besides Arabs are also entitled to a share of justice in the region. 

Unfortunately, such an improvement in behavior and actions is not how Arabs are used to dealing with any of their own competitors. Furthermore, everything that Arabs say, write, teach and preach to their own people works against this ever happening. Under such circumstances, no amount of Israeli concessions will ever be enough.

Until such a day arrives, however, Israel must do what it must do to thrive, not just survive. And one of the demands of this requires Israel to stand up firmly for its own just demands. It was promised, after the attempt on its life in June 1967, that it would never have to return to the suicidal armistice lines--not borders--imposed upon it in 1949, regardless of what any American President, perpetually hostile State Department, or others may threaten. 

Before the United Nations decides to act to create that 22nd Arab state, Israel must insist on the UN honoring its own earlier Security Council Resolution (242) from 1967 which promised Israel secure, defensible, and real borders to replace those fragile lines. A territorial compromise in the disputed territories--as Lord Caradon and all the other architects of 242 testify to--is thus a must, regardless of what Arabs and their supporters demand.

This is not to say that all hope must be given up regarding a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israel conflict. But it is to say that deceiving ourselves will only lead to even more serious problems ahead.

Of all of the real sins that Jews must strike their chests and seek forgiveness for during this Holy season, they must remind themselves that the rebirth of the Jewish State and their struggle to survive and live in dignity are not to be counted among them. 

By any reasonable, objective standard, any fair comparison of the Jews’ own imperfections in these regards with those of the very Arabs, Turks, and Iranians who take them to task on such issues is nauseatingly laughable, indeed

Personal note: 

Regarding the High Holidays, like many other folks, I have many things to give thanks and to try to atone for.

One of the former is my ability to even write this perpetually timely message now. Having been seriously ill from late 2013 until late 2016, I surely was not able to do so then. Hence my abrupt exit from assorted worldwide media outlets including Arutz Sheva.

Praise G-d for allowing me to once again share these both old and new thoughts with you. G.H.