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A letter from an Israeli grandma

Dear Kim,

By chance I learnt about your Blog on The Times of Israel and I am writing to thank you for taking this important initiative. Your words of love and understanding are like a beacon at the end of a very long and dark tunnel!

To me as an Israeli I feel that one of the most frightening things in our world is the appalling anti-Israel sentiment which exists throughout much of the European and British media. To that we can certainly add influential American media, like The New York Times, where the obsession with “nasty Israel” is pathological. Obviously this hasn’t happened overnight but as a result of an extensive and very expensive campaign by the Arab nations over many years. They use American and European Advertising agencies, infiltrate trade unions, the Universities and other important centres in the UK and Europe and it has reached a stage where many decent people who don’t consider themselves anti-Semitic are unable to remember how this political situation started, who caused the wars and which side refuses to negotiate a final settlement.

The Arab leaders, unwilling to take responsibility for their non acceptance of the UN Partition in 1947 and the subsequent war and refugee problem, have kept the poor refugees as pawns in a vicious political game whilst Israel welcomed nearly one million refugees from the Arab lands. The situation was worsened in 1967 which must be the classic just war, where a tiny nation faced annihiliation and won.

I can remember the 1967 war, as a young mother with a 6 month old daughter and a husband fighting in a tank unit on the front. I can remember the 1973 war, now with three small children and again the same husband serving on the Syrian and Egyptian front with the tanks. I never thought then that we would reach the year 2012 without a settlement but that is the case and it is very sad indeed.

I am not blind to Israel’s mistakes and personally am opposed to the current settlement policies and the ongoing financial funding over the green line whilst so many projects and people within Israel don’t receive the support they deserve and need. To me the indiscriminate building on the West Bank is just a waste of public money and doesn’t strengthen us one little bit. However we need to respect every government even if we didn’t vote for it!

The people opposing Israel don’t seem to understand that there are many Israelis who yearn for a peaceful solution but choose to punish anyone just because he carries Israeli nationality. The recent effort to boycott the performances of our national theatre, Habima, at the Shakespeare Festival is a perfect example of this attempt to blame every Israeli for our so-called crimes. I often wonder if the eminent actor Emma Thompson, who was a co-signer of the letter demanding the boycott, feels personally responsible for the actions of the British army in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they murdered and maimed countless Muslims. Should she be boycotted outside Britain because of the actions of her army?

Kim – again I thank you for your kind words and intentions. Even if your Blog influences only a few people and encourages them to rethink their attitude towards this political conflict, it will be worthwhile.

With best wishes,

Ruth, an Israeli grandma

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3 Comments

  1. IA

    Ruth
    Thank you for Your fine letter and I certainly agree with you. My heart is bleeding and aching with all israelis who are blamed whatever they do and also are blamed for the attacks and all the aggression that the arabs and the rest of the world are doing against Israel. The world is accusing Israel, when it defens itself in a way that no other country in the world would be accused. It is very sad and very dangerous and I think it reminds us all too much of the Thirties and Forties in Europe.
    Your words about the actress Emma Thompson is certainly worth to think about.
    I think however that Israel might have more friends even in Sweden, than You might think, when you read the newspaper.
    In one aspect I disagree a little bit with You Ruth. I think that Kim is quite influential with his blog and I think that his influence will grow.

    I hope of all my heart that their will be a solution to the whole situation very soon and that the Israeli and Palestinians will be able to live in peace side by side as two separate states in the future.

    In the meantime I want to wish You and Your family and all Your country-men all the best.

    IA

    • Ruth

      I just wanted to thank you for the kind reply and good wishes. It is always a pleasure to hear positive things because we always have the impression that we are universally hated throughout Europe and especially in the Scandanivian countries.

      I am also glad to learn that this blog is reaching a wide audience. It is very impressive and I admire Kim’s tenacity and also bravery.

      All the best,

      Ruth (an Israeli grandma)

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