The parabolic elevator

Illustrative image

On our way to visit a sick friend at the beautiful and modern Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital near Jerusalem’, we rode up eight floors from the parking to the entrance on a tightly filled elevator. In that elevator were orthodox Jews in black garb, Muslim Arabs in their traditional head coverings and robes, secular Israelis, a Christian and even a Messianic Jew- almost the whole gamut of Israeli society. In that fine hospital all will be treated with excellent up-to-date medical care by both Jewish and Arab doctors and nurses working together in harmony, and at amazingly low cost for coverage. This daily occurrence of peaceful and quiet coexistence, which occurs in all walks of life in Israel, makes no news, and is seldom reported.

And yet Israel is daily attacked internationally as a racist and apartheid state. Even with a quarter of Israel’s population non-Jewish, and free to practice their beliefs or lack of them, with the Arab population not required to serve in the military but receiving the same benefits as Jews who do serve (and many Arabs volunteer to serve in the IDF). But if you visit the Palestinian territories you will find no Jews in hospitals or anywhere else in their society, for those Israelis who accidently enter one of their towns or villages are viciously attacked. The purpose of the Palestinian agenda is to create a separate Jew-free state. Somehow that seems to better fit the terms racist and apartheid by very definition. Compare and contrast.

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Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published five illustrated books of poetry, painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, and most recently produced THE JERUSALEM ILLUSTRATED BIBLE, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.