My job has all sorts of interesting facets to it. As spokesman I get to meet many different people. Yesterday, for example, I toured with a group from Sri Lanka. A couple of days earlier, with businessmen from Taiwan, and last week, a group of Koreans spent a few hours with me.
These groups came to see what Hebron is all about. Their questions were good and to the point. I think they enjoyed their tour of Hebron.
I also speak with ‘interfaith groups.’ These groups usually include Christians, Jews, and sometimes, also Muslims. They usually allocate about an hour with me which I divide into two segments. First we do a short tour of the Hebron Heritage Museum at Beit Hadassah, and then spend about forty five minutes of questions and answers. It’s clear to me that much of what I say we may disagree about, but this is an opportunity for such people to hear a representative from Hebron, telling it as we see it. I don’t live under illusions, thinking that they’ll reverse positions 180 degrees, but, then again, you never know.
I find such groups, as challenging as they may be, stimulating and even enjoyable.
A few days ago, another such group visited with me for the above-described program. They introduced themselves as belonging to the ‘Dorothy Cotton Institute.’ The program proceeded normally. I wasn’t aware of anyone overly friendly, and some of the questions were a bit sharp, but nothing really abnormal.
This morning I found a blog piece on Mondoweiss titled, ‘A meeting with the spokesman of the Jewish settlers in Hebron’ by Alice Rothchild. Mondoweiss is not overly pro Israel-Judea and Samaria, so I had a feeling the article would lean far to the left. You can read the entire piece for yourselves, but here I want to quote a few choice sentences.
“the visit will start out with meeting David Wilder, a spokesmen for the (most aggressive intolerant) Jewish community in Hebron. Some in our group feel that morally they cannot sit down with this man, (would I meet with a Klansmen?); others feel this is an unusual opportunity to observe and understand the enemy.”
Even before we begin I am aggressively intolerant, an enemy, and exemplified as a member of the KKK. Good start.
‘ I do not know if I will be able to be remotely civil. We agree as a group to be civil.’
“ I study him [David Wilder] carefully; he has an easy, friendly manner…and projects an air of authority and warmth that could be disarming to the misinformed, I can imagine him as one of Romney’s PR handlers.”
I liked that, being associated with the next President of the United States (we hope).
“He presents us with a context-free history of the Jewish people that is a complicated mixture of half truths, outright lies, and racist paranoia.”
Most of the rest of the article deals with their later meeting with a ‘good friend’ of mine, Issa Amru, a local neighborhood Arab, whose incitement manages to heat up the area, even during quiet times.
How does Dr. Alice (she’s a doctor) relate to Issa. After all, I’m a liar, as she wrote. However, when quoting Issa: “He observes thoughtfully, ''Settlers are not Jews.''”
He observes and is thoughtful. As opposed to me. I am, in his words “the crazy man.” During a meeting with another group, he said, ‘David Wilder, he’s not Jewish.’ That’s because, ‘settlers are not Jews.’ I guess, Jews, for him, are the kind that can be slaughtered easily, who can’t or won’t fight back.
I’m not going to enumerate, line by line, the lies espoused in the article. The point here, is that anything an Arab says is, by default, true. Anything a Jew says, is by default, a lie.
OK. I can live with this. I’ve seen it before. It’s not pleasant, but the reality exists, and we live with it and deal with it. I would hope that normally intelligent people would be able to, and prepared to open their eyes and really search for the truth, as opposed to swallowing poison pills as offered by Amru. And by such blogs as Rothchild’s.
But what really hit me, and I have to admit, it hit me hard, was one other line in Dr. Alice’s essay of hate. Now please remember, this woman is a Jew. According to her website biography, her family belonged to a conservative synagogue and her grandparents were orthodox.
This woman spews forth: ‘He states he is happy to engage in dialogue with Arabs who are interested in peace; he is a reasonable man who is only here to protect his people and what is rightfully theirs. Unfortunately he has many grandchildren.’
Ahha. She doesn’t like that fact that I have many grandchildren. It’s not just my politics, not by beliefs, not my way of life, (which are all supposed to be legitimate in a democracy). It’s my offspring.
Why should she care how many grandchildren I have? She views them as a continuation of me and I represent, it seems, as far as Alice Rothchild is concerned, consummate evil. If I’m evil then I procreate evil. Look at those not so cute little Jewish monsters living in Hebron. Too bad they exist.
Her comment about my grandchildren leads me to one understanding, and one understanding alone. Alice’s ideas have nothing to do with politics, or rights and wrongs of the Israel-Arab conflict. It has nothing to do with human rights or freedoms. Her illness is clearly Jewish self hate; a conscious or unconscious loathing of her core essence, of her being. Otherwise she could never express such a thought or write such words.
I cannot know from whom she contracted this terrible disease, but I can only hope and pray that G-d will have mercy on her, and others like her, and lead them back to their source, that they should be privileged to see the light, and to live in the light, as we do, and not remain totally overcome by the pitch black darkness she is shrouded in at present.