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November 08, 2013

Author Reflects on "Apartheid" Israel

Albert Russo writes in English and French, his two “mother tongues.” He also speaks five languages fluently, has won numerous awards for his writing, and has lived in Africa, the United States and Europe. In a Times of Israel blog, the novelist and poet reflects on a trip to Israel:

In 2011 I went there on a humble ‘Peace Mission’ with 50 other travelers, 50% of whom were Christians, 30% Jews and the rest, Muslims, atheists and agnostics (like myself). 80% of these ‘pilgrims’ had never been to the Holy Land and when they came back they were totally dumbfounded and positively enthralled, especially during their stay in Israel, for what they had experienced and seen there didn’t correspond at all to the news they had been used to listening to or viewing in Europe, and especially in the Islamic countries.

[…]

Do people around the world know what the population of Israel is nowadays? About 8 million, of whom 75% are Jewish and 20% are… Muslim. How come nothing is ever mentioned about those Israeli Arabs, who benefit from the generous Jewish health service, free schooling, etc? Yes, who??? I’ve asked some of them personally – yes, yes, they can all sit around the same table, in the same restaurants, in the same parks, on the same beaches with Jews and people of all religions and colors – so much said for ‘apartheid’): “Would you like to rejoin your brethren in the Arab countries or in a new Palestine?” “Never!” they firmly responded, even if Jews and Muslims still don’t like or trust each other, for they are the freest Muslims in the world. And that is correct, for they can say whatever they want at the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), even insult the other parties, without being harassed or sent to jail, as is the case in most Muslim countries. And where do Christians in the Middle East feel the safest and even increase in population? In Israel, in that ‘apartheid’ country!

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Posted by SC at November 8, 2013 08:08 PM

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