Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How would YOU feel?

Today I had a meeting with a rep from the Jerusalem Consulate. Apparently, he has a unique position - he is the only person in the Jerusalem Consulate who has anything to do or any contact with Jews (rather, Israelis) living in Judea and Samaria. Everyone else works with the Palestinians. Which is why if you check out the website, you will not see a single thing about Jews/Israelis living in the "West Bank" or Judea and Samaria - Yehuda and Shomron. It is as if we don't exist.....

The meeting was odd. It was cut short and none of us (the few Ariel Olim who were there really got a chance to talk) and the rep did not have a chance to ask the questions he said he had for us.
We started off introducing ourselves. When it got to my turn, I gave my usual shpiel about how we ended up in Ariel and he interrupted me and said that sounds familiar, he thinks he read about me in the Jerusalem Post. A couple months ago I was interviewed for an article which is what he was referring to.
He said that he actually had a specific question for me because he remembered me saying that I did not move to this area for political reasons or to make a stand. And then he went into this long drawn out roundabout way of asking "What would I do if/when Ariel loses it's status as an Israeli city and becomes part of a Palestinian State?" I was totally thrown off. It's not that I was exactly surprised that he asked this question. It just came on so suddenly, I guess. And it was directed at me. And the way he made it sound was as if he truly believed it would happen.
I did not know how to respond. Looking back, there are a lot of ways I could have answered. But at the time I said "Listen.....I am just a regular person trying to live my life. I want to raise my children in a place we call home, where we feel comfortable, and where we belong. In a place that I feel safe. I'm just trying to live my life in peace." I said that I do my part, on a small scale, to work towards peace. We have Arab workers that do landscaping and clean up in the city and I make a point to say good morning and smile to them. Because I am only one person living my life and that is what I can do. I just want to live peacefully and happily.
The problem is how can we do that with so many people that don't want that? They have no interest in living peacefully with us. They want to push us into the sea and wipe us off the face of the earth..... As far as giving them Ariel, it would be complete suicide. In terms of a defensive point of view (and I began rambling at this point and just forgetting my words in general), it would be crazy. And I don't believe it will ever happen. If G-d forbid, it does, we'll see.

I think how I should have responded is as follows:

Tell me this. What would you do? How would you feel if you were living your life, trying to be a good person and raise your children the right way and terrorists began trying to kill you off one by one? What if your friends were stabbed to death and their children's throats were slit by monsters? Their hearts stabbed?
And then what if your government let them win? And gave them your house, your city, and your life? How would you feel?

1 comment:

Critically Observant Jew said...

I'm infuriated to the question. It's the condescending tone that kills me. Because it's ok when expulsion happens to Jews.