About Ari Bussel
In the series "Postcards from Israel,” Ari
Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to
join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two
sets of eyes: Bussel’s on the ground, Zager’s counter-point from
home. Israel and the United States are inter-related - the two
countries we hold dearest to our hearts - and so is this "point
- counter-point” presentation that has, since 2008, become part
of our lives.
Apologize No More
A New Code
Word for Anti-Semitism
What’s in Store for Us?
Coexistence: Building Unsustainable Bridges
in a Snap: Will Israel Be Saved?
Audacity of Being
Ands & Buts
Middle East Mirage
Absurdity of Existence
War: Outside the Walls of the Temple Mount
Holy War: The Al Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount
Delegitimization from Within
Slaughter of Israel
Would Stand By Israel
Well Coordinated Attack
& Speak Out
Bunch These Jewish People
They Burned Books
Indicators of Our Time
Candles of Darkness
December 1, 2009
Palestine, Stand Proud Israel
for Israel, But Why?
Blaming the Messenger
for Our Country, Fighting for our Lives
I Will Apologize No More
January 15, 2011
Israel is good for the Palestinians. It supplies them electricity. It fulfills
any order of the Palestinian Authority as a conduit into Gaza. It allows tens of
thousands of them to go for medical treatment in Israel. It provides drinking
water, assists with the water infrastructure and treats their sewage.
Israel provides vaccinations and helps fight the spread of diseases like bird
flu. It supplies many commodities and products that are of far superior quality
and at the same or lower prices than those brought from Egypt.
Israelis are good for other reasons. They actually care about Gazans. Despite
being bombed and kidnapped, ambushed and murdered, Israelis will not target
civilians of any age. They protect women and children and the elderly and will
do everything, risking their own lives repeatedly, to save a human being be he
or she a terrorist fighting against them or an innocent bystander.
For Israelis, lives are sacred, and the Palestinians know it all too well.
Christian Arabs in Israel love Israel. Not because Israel is the home of Jesus
Christ, where he was born, studied, taught, lived, was crucified and later
resurrected, but because here they enjoy freedom of religion that today can only
be found in one other place: the United States of America.
Christians also know what it means to live under Muslim rule, be it in an Arab
country like Lebanon, that once was the Paris of the Middle East with a majority
of Christians and today a small minority; in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ
that today has less than two percent Christians; or in any one of numerous
African countries where they are slaughtered, their churches set on fire with
their occupants burned alive.
The Druze love Israel. They are loyal to Israel as the Druze in Lebanon are
loyal to Lebanon and the Druze of Syria loyal to Syria. But there is something
more here – it is loyalty that goes beyond the call of duty. Almost 96% of Druze
youth serve in the IDF, a number three times the average for Israeli 18 year old
males (if compared to the general Jewish population).
Druze elders and religious leaders have a centuries-old wisdom one can find
nowhere else. Their lives are not very easy, but they understand the region
better than anyone, and not only because they speak the language. They know what
it means to live under Arab rule, and they are faced with the difficult position
of protecting their extended families living in Syria and in Lebanon. Yet, they
manage to gain the respect of the Israeli public at large, with Druze Members of
the Knesset, in leading positions in each (Jewish) political party and as
Ministers and members of almost every Government.
Tourists love Israel, not only because the best breakfasts are served at its
Israel is multi-faceted. From antiquity to modernity, from Biblical sites to the
nightlife of Tel Aviv, from the Diamond Exchange to the Stock Exchange, from
startup companies to the leading innovators of the world, all can be found in
this tiny country. It is a quick drive from one place to another, from modern
era to astonishing remains of millennia past.
One can always see showers of stars in the night’s skies, and periodically
showers of a different type, a barrage of rockets and missiles. That never stops
foreigners from coming to the country to show their admiration, love and
It does not take long to traverse the country from its northern-most border to
its southern-most point, the resort city Eilat. One can easily cross the border
from Israel to Egypt or Jordan at that southern tip for a day trip to experience
Petra or for the beaches of what used to be Israel until Egypt received Sinai in
a "land for peace” swap.
Along the way from North to South or West to East, one passes via different
climatic regimes and geographic zones, yet all seem to bloom. Israel is a
country that is flourishing, a man-made heaven. It is a magical place for
tourists to find whatever one wants – including those many who want Israel’s
demise and come to make films and other propaganda pieces against the Jewish
State. Only in Israel!
Culture and arts, architecture and infrastructure are amazing, but there is a
new breed of tourists arriving in Israel. They come for the sun and the warmth,
escaping the cold like the hundreds of millions of birds in their annual
migration south. But more recently they come for medical checkups as part of a
vacation in Israel: amazing, and only in Israel.
Israel, it seems, is a country so many love, yet so many others love to hate.
Israeli Arabs, once the largest minority in Israel, enjoy special rights. They
are still making up their minds where do their loyalties lie—with their country,
the Jewish State of Israel, or with a convoluted idea of a revolt, a national
aspiration to be disconnected from Israel.
When offered the chance to leave and become citizens of a
Palestine-in-formation, they reject the idea. They like their position as equal
citizens of the Jewish state. Confused? Need not be. In the Middle East lies the
"real truth,” the one people will act upon, and the "spoken truth,” the one that
has to be said because of the need to keep an image or a set of other
Even Israel’s Arab neighbors like the fact she is in the neighborhood. It is
thanks to Israel and her Jewish and non-Jewish citizens that so many good things
have been inflicted on her neighbors, from water drip-irrigation technology to
agricultural advancements, alternative energies, medicine, treatment of the sick
to prevention of the spread of diseases.
Israel’s Arab neighbors are happy she is in the neighborhood, for they know a
good thing, yet they can not be so outwardly welcoming as to dare express this
opinion. They also know that Israel is a moderating force, for they have
internal problems of their own, threats of extremists trying to take over their
Moreover, and maybe most importantly, Israelis know how to fight. They can
attempt the impossible, most daring missions, and seem to succeed. Thus, when
Iraq threatened her Arab neighbors, Israel was seen as a deterrent, and more
recently when Iran looks down with contempt and long range plans about the Arab
countries, they know that while Israel exists, they are safe.
Members of the royal family from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Arab countries
come to Israel on "secret” missions for medical treatment. They know they will
receive the very best treatment available in the world and be treated with
dignity, respect and confidentiality, often in their own language. Many of the
doctors, nurses and staff in Israeli hospitals are Arabs. Israel is trusted when
things really count – their own lives and that of their loved ones.
Israel is a favorite destination of savvy private and institutionalized
investors and funds, and businesspeople seeking new financial outlets. To them,
Israel is a safe haven to park their money, with a very stable financial system,
innovation the likes of which can be found no where else around the world and
returns that are often very high.
Israel is also a favorite destination for Hizbollah and Hamas missiles,
previously for Saddam Hussein long-range Scud missiles and nowadays for Iran’s
long-range missiles. Those elements, though, do not love Israel. They are
focused on her destruction by all means, including some of the most horrible
ones, from unleashing nuclear to chemical or biological agents.
Israel has become the focus of international hatred, all blamed on the
Zionists-occupiers-of-land-not-theirs. There are numerous blood libels that are
improved over time. Once it was Israel releasing cat-size rats that only target
Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem but affect no one else. Then it was Israel
catching young Palestinian males to harvest their organs. Each year at certain
times when supplies are low, the Red Cross would urge its blood donors to come
and donate blood. In Israel there is no need, they kidnap Palestinian kids who
are never heard of again. These ridiculous charges escalate each year.
Even more recently, Israel’s own history is being re-written. Its most holy of
places, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, are being stripped of any connection to
the Jews. "It was never the City of David, if there was a David. The Western
Wall was just a Roman fortification. All holy sites in Israel are a new creation
of old Muslim sites.”
Since there is no connection between the Zionists and the geographic location
called by colonialist powers "Israel,” then any evidence such as archeology must
be destroyed. Hundreds of truckloads of some of the most important archeological
remains from the Temple Mount were dug and dumped away like trash. Who said the
Jews had anything to do with Jerusalem?
Israel Deniers go a step further and question the Bible and the God of the
Hebrews. Nothing is sacred any more, all permitted by these Muslim extremists.
The rewriters are even spreading lies that the Lord of Hosts was actually two
Gods. Anything to undermine what was otherwise an unshakeable history of three
thousand years, and is now being questioned, ridiculed and disregarded.
Fairy tales are being written about Palestine, claiming there was never a
connection to the Bible, calling Jewish history another Zionist-colonialist
fabrication, a claim to the land-not-theirs. And if this is bad, then we must
also remember the simple solution: JEWS GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM: America,
Russia, Germany, Poland.
Simple, catchy, elegant. NOT YOURS, GO BACK.
Many people love Israel. It is not a religious ideology alone, but pragmatism,
reality and truth. Many more hate Israel so much they are consumed with the fire
of hatred. They have now found an outlet in the form of "Palestine,”
"Palestinian People” and an acceptable substitute for Israel.
But Israel cannot be replaced, because rational human beings normally choose
light over darkness, good over evil and truth over lies. We live at a period of
history when darkness is blinding, evil is mesmerizing and lies are told so
often we confuse them with truth. Mistake not – those closest to Israel, those
who apparently have the alternative, choose Israel.
Israelis choose Israel, although they take their own existence for granted and
often are not thankful enough for all they have.
Jews choose Israel, for it is their homeland, their shelter, the meaning of
their very being, even if often times they do not know to express their love and
appreciation and seem to be distancing themselves from their own land. Mistake
not, they have no right or ability to exist if Israel were to cease to exist.
I, for one, will apologize no more. I will not accept those who are so blinded
by hatred, yet sophisticated enough to fight my very existence using the best
tools available – mine. I am fighting back.
My Bible, my God the Almighty, my land and my people are not up for negotiation.
Neither is my sanity or wellbeing. Israel exists, and those who truly experience
her for what she is will do everything possible to ensure she continues to exist
exactly as she is: the only Jewish Homeland of the Jews, the one Jewish country
among the member nations on this earth, the one miracle on the eastern shores of
Do not mistake past accommodations and patience for weakness. We are strong and
our resolve will not be broken. It is harder than granite, stronger than
diamonds. It has been shaped under the immense pressure and temperatures of
inner earth, over millions of years, and it is included in the DNA of every
Be careful what you wish for, for wishing too much for the annihilation of the
Jewish people, demonizing them, engaging in blood libels and attempting to
re-write history and other self-serving methods must eventually backfire.
I, for one, am apologizing no more. If you want to destroy me I will fight back
and my armies will destroy you once more.