The voices of the minorities for Israel strengthen the support by Tobias Petersson

 

 

The voices of the minorities for Israel stregthen the support

 

 

 

 

Who supports Israel today? And for what reasons!?

Israel for a long time was supported by only limited groups of people, Jews and right wing Christians. Today people from much more various backgrounds openly support Israel in social networks where the new political battle for support takes place.

 

Today we are of every color, we are Jews, Christians, liberal Muslims, Hindus and Atheists. We are Christian Arabs, Arab Israelis, Black, White, Hispanic, people from the gay community in Israel and globally, Arabs living under the oppression of Fatah and Hamas and we are all connected thanks to the World Wide Web. Together we add diversity to the support of Israel and many of us represents minorities in one way or another.

 

Earlier this year I visited AIPAC:s policy conference in Washington DC. There I noticed how this American pro-Israeli organization had realized how it has grown stronger by actively encourage members of ethnical minority groups and members of the gay community to join, contribute and affect their communities to make the public and politicians understand how important Israel is to stand up for.

 

So what do we all have in common with Israel and why is Israel important to us?

Well first of all we all have in common that we embrace democracy and democratic values. And that is a very good reason for supporting Israel. You may have heard it before and I will keep on saying it over and over again in my life: Israel is the only democracy int the Middle East. We as minorities also see Israel as a symbol of hope for a historically and unfortunately continuously persecuted Jewish population and for all of us minorities.

 

After thousands of year of persecution the Jewish people once again created their state, the state of Israel.

We should never forget that Israel is the home of the descendants of survivors of the holocaust as well as of the Jews from the Middle East who were persecuted for hundreds of years under Arab rule, who were forced to pay an apartheid tax, the jizyah poll tax, and forced to live under conditions that reminds us of apartheid.

One day these Jews were thrown out of their homes as Israel was created and found refuge in the new Jewish state. Today these Jews from the Middle East, also called Jews from Arab lands or as they say themselves Mizrachim and Sefardim constitute the majority of the Jewish population in Israel and they are freer than ever.

 

In that way Israel could be a true inspiration for other oppressed people in the MENA region and beyond.And Israel already is. I am talking about the Assyrians and Kurds in Syria and Iraq and about the Coptic people's struggle for safety against the Arab apartheid rule in Egypt. But I am also talking about the globally persecuted gay community, the one I belong to. For that community in the Middle East Israels human rights are a dream.

 

Israel is important to us, the minorities, as Israel is a country that is home and safe haven for some of the most persecuted minorities elsewhere in the world : The Jews, the Arab Christians, the Druze, the Bedouins, the gay community of Israel, some Muslim minority groups like the Agyde people, the Bahai worshipers. I should also add the Arab Muslims that are globally a big group but in Israel belongs to a minority with more rights and freedoms than any Muslims in Muslim countries.

 

What is happening now is also that Israel's minorities within the country itself have understood how important Israel is to them also and that is why the support has grown within Israel among certain minority groups like the Arab Christians that despite threats from the anti-Israeli Arab nationalist Knesset members like Haneen Zoabi continue to promote Arab enlistment in the IDF.

 

Within all of our minority communities we need to act to inform how important it is for us that Israel exists not only to the Jews as the Jewish homeland but to us all as a symbol of hope and victory over oppression. Though the persecution against Jews has not yet stopped it however means that the oppressed and persecuted through history can survive and build a new future.

 

What is our advantage over the anti-Israeli movements?

Our strength and advantage over the Western anti-Israeli movements which claim to support a Palestinian people are firstly that we are much more diverse and united in our support for Israel. The hardcore supporters of BDS movements against Israel are mailnly very homogeneous leftist groups. Secondly the anti- Israeli movements are more focused on hating Israel than caring for a Palestinian people so it will be obvious one day not only who have the facts on their side but also who are morally right and who is not.

 

 

Tobias Petersson(PPI)

 

 

 

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