by Hillel Fuld. Hillel Fuld is a tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist who writes, posts, and Meerkat’s frequently on the tech industry, with a special focus on the tech industry in Israel. He lives in Israel.
I was wrong and I know that now!
I had a very scary wake up call this morning. You see, human nature is to want to believe in good, and human nature is also to be influenced by something that someone of authority keeps repeating to you over and over. And that is why, whether or not, I would verbalize it, I was wrong about our situation with our neighbors.
Let me tell you what happened. I stopped to get gas on my way to work this morning. The gas station was the same station I have been filling up in for years and the staff is the same staff I have been buying my energy drinks and gum from for years. Yes, they are mostly Arabs, but they are friends.
I joke with them, I smile with them, I laugh with them, and we always wish each other a good day as I leave the station.
That is why I thought to engage the nice Arab man behind the counter this morning as I paid for my stuff.
“So what do you think?” I asked him,
“About what?” he replied.
“You know, about the current situation…”
“Oh, it is very bad”, he replied.
I sighed a sigh of relief. I am not crazy and there are normal people on “the other side” too. Thank God, there is hope.
“Your government and police keep shooting innocent people for no reason.” He said.
I dropped my energy drink. No, literally, it fell out of my hand out of total and utter shock. I asked him to repeat what he had just said because I literally did not believe what I had just heard.
“Yes, there are some people who make mistakes on both sides, but that doesn’t mean your government should kill innocent people!”
I proceeded with caution. “Wait, Palestinians that are being shot are not terrorists who just stabbed or tried to stab someone? We are killing innocent people for no reason?”
He looked at me as if to say “Come on… You really believe that?”
“You didn’t see the videos and pictures of how the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) brutally kills kids and plants knives on them after?”
As my state of shock and horror deepened, I couldn’t bring myself to walk away. I had to dig deeper. “Did a Palestinian attack innocent people in Beer Sheva last night, kill one and wound many others?”
“I don’t know if it was a Palestinian. Someone did…”
I was speechless. I wished him a good day and walked out trembling.
I was wrong. The press and my colleagues who still believe in a peace process, despite the fact that I would never have admitted this before, influenced me. I forced myself to believe that the extremists are the ones doing this and the normal people, the Israeli arabs, the ones that work in Sonol gas stations and the moderate Palestinians don’t want this.
I was wrong.
Wait, wait, relax! Don’t attack just yet!!
Are there innocent Palestinians? YES. That is a fact. There are.
Now, here is the question. Name a war that you believe was justified. Did you choose one? Who died in that war?
Can we agree that attacking Nazi Germany in World War 2 was justified? Good. Now tell me, were there innocent Germans?
You see, there has never been a war in the history of mankind that didn’t involve innocents on both sides. It doesn’t exist and yet, sometimes war is sadly justified.
I am not a military or political expert so I cannot tell you what that means for us or how one wages war on an enemy within its own borders, but I can tell you that this man, an innocent Arab working in an Israeli gas station who knows, and is even friends with Israelis truly believes Israel is murdering innocent Palestinians on the street.
What is next for this man? He is obviously severely brainwashed, he has access to many Jews throughout the day and he is angry. Very very angry that we are killing his innocent brothers and sisters, then planting knives on them. What is his next move?
I will call Sonol to report this guy but you see, it doesn’t matter because he is one. There are thousands and tens of thousands of gas stations and construction companies and movie theaters that are employing people who believe these lies. Truly believe these lies! I looked in his eyes. He 100% believed what he was saying with zero doubts of its accuracy.
We have an enemy who declares that it does not want land, who burns our holy sites making it very lear that this is not about Al Aqsa or anything else, but about Jews, dead Jews.
The world will have you believe otherwise, your colleagues will have you believe otherwise, but the reality is, when one side knows it is at all out war, and the other side believes what is most important is to avoid insulting someone by discriminating against them, what you have on your hands is a very very dangerous situation.
This was my wake up call.
To those who will say, this is “evidence of nothing”, I ask, what has to happen for you to realize what you are up against?
Arabs employed by Israeli companies attacking Jews? Done.
Mass protests in the streets of Gaza calling for the death of all Jews? Done.
Mass production of lies painting Israel as a murderous entity spreading throughout all layers of Arab society? Done.
So what? Or will you never admit that there is ever such a thing as an enemy that needs to be treated as such? Are you so open minded and pluralistic that the concept of a cruel enemy that wants your death and the annihilation of your nation is something you will never accept no matter what happens?
If that is the case, I wonder what you would have said in World War 2. Was that also an unjustified war because innocents, millions of innocent lives were taken? If that is your opinion, that world war 2 was unjustified, then say it loud and clear and then I will know that we have nothing else to say to each other.
If you believe that some wars are justified despite innocent lives being lost, then think long and hard if an entity that declares its goal is to murder all Jews, is supported politically and financially by ISIS and its supporters, and carries out horrendous terrorist attacks against children, parents, grandparents, and just random Jews is a war that is just and worth fighting…
The answer should be clear.
And here is the kicker!
As soon as I hit Post, I will begin to get messages from my leftist colleagues and friends saying "There is no 'Them'. Stop generalizing. The ironic thing about that statement is that it undermines everything the very people you are defending stand for.
You claim "they" want land. You claim "they" want the "occupation" to end. You claim "they" want the status quo of Al Aqsa to not be broken. Who is this "they" you speak of?
"They" are a collective when it comes to your agenda, then "they" need to be held accountable for their collective decision to embrace terror. If there is no "they", then I am glad we can agree that there is no one who should have a state or any other national goals.
Because, remember, there is no "They!"
If there is a "they", then we are at war with them and you need to decide what side you are on. Ours or "theirs."
Now excuse me while I call the office of the gas station and warn them of an upcoming attack from one of their employees.