Update: January 18. 2013: Excellent video link provided by reader, Karen Kress.
Not to brag, but it only took me 18 months to find a good butcher in Jerusalem. And I really didn’t find it on my own. Our good friends, Eddie and Lisa Putnam (we miss them), told us about the place, Shoshani and Son on Emek Refaim in the German Colony, a family business operating there since 1952.
Shoshani’s prices are reasonable, the beef is (sometimes) marbled with fat, they stock real brisket and…..they speak English!
When I mentioned to the owner that he, his son and his brother looked very much alike, he answered…
You have insulted my help.”
Coincidence? Because it happens that I was thinking about insults, or a particular insult, as I walked to their shop that morning. Passing well-dressed Israeli children on their way to school, young working adults rushing to catch buses, dog owners exercising their pets and drivers exercising their inviolate Israeli right to lean on their car horns, I thought about the insulting myth of “apartheid Israel.”
Israel isn’t blameless in this ongoing tragedy but the apartheid myth is a lie. It is topical for one reason, racial and religious enmity toward Jews.
The international press, churches and foreign governments point to “Palestinian” victims here but, without debating the number, who has victimized them? When Reuters and CNN flash images worldwide of injured children, even in the instances when the photos have not been doctored, staged or incorrectly attributed, it is almost always the case that the injured served as human shields for the countless “heroes” of Jihad called into continual service by unrelenting racial and religious hate. Can you imagine the guys above in suicide vests ever hoping to open a butcher shop?
That is not to deny that there are bad-intentioned Jews in Israel who hope to be as murderous as their neighbors. Hate breeds hate. The wall that separates East from West Jerusalem is a shock to the eyes. But how many more bus bombings, cemetery desecrations, rapes, stabbings, murders and rocket attacks would the world have required of Israel before granting her the right to defend itself against barbarism?
Who are these Jews and peaceful Arabs in Israel?
Our dentist lectures at Harvard. Our landlady worked as an occupational therapist. The couple downstairs are studying for a medical degree and a PhD in solid-state Physics. The students across the hall are musicians. A good friend upstairs teaches English to native Hebrew speakers. Two Arab men, Israeli citizens, work here at the apartment regularly and are delightful, hard-working people who, like the Israeli-educated Arab doctor I met in Ulpan, have no interest in murder, Jew-hating or Jihad.
What might Israel be in the absence of hate?
At a recent public meeting hosted by the Jerusalem Municipality I met a beautiful 85-year-old woman (who told me, first thing, that she was “much, much older” than she looked) and who sat beside me for a moment to volunteer a bit more about herself. She was born in France but moved to Israel 45 years ago at about the time of the ’67 war. With a constant sweet smile she complained to me about the Israeli government, taxes, local politics, shopping, weather…the works.
But then she summed up by saying, “Absolutely everything is wrong with Israel,” adding while smiling even more sweetly, “but it is the only place for a Jew.”