The final preparations are made to pass the “Basic Law: Nationality”, and, while cosmetic changes still may be made during the discussion in the Knesset, the proposal is sure to be accepted by a Jewish majority and will turn into law, probably even before the Knesset summer recess.
And thus for me, a long fostered illusion comes to an end. Or maybe it wasn’t even an illusion. It was probably an outright lie that I have been telling myself for more then 30 years: that Israel is my home.
I am a goy. I have spent most of my adult life in Israel, first as a student, and later as a taxpaying citizen, a husband and a father. But still a goy. I have written before about signs and indications I received during the past 30 years that this is not my place. That in Israel, if you are not Jewish, you are considered less, maybe even inferior. And now it all will come together and will be confirmed by the Knesset. I do not belong here. The wordings of the Law are very clear: Israel is the National Home of the Jewish people. Not the National Home of Israelis, only of Jews. Israel is the Home of any assimilated Jew living in the American Midwest, Brussels or Buenos Aires but not of the goy who has lived in Israel most of his life, raised his children and (if they let him) will die here.
Many times, over the years, people have asked me in astonishment (and mostly after a vacation in Holland): “what are you doing here, why do you stay here instead of going back?” And while they meant I should go back because Holland is such a great place, not because I do not belong here, I wonder what they would say now, what they are thinking now.
I am a lucky goy. I can blend in easily. I speak like an Israeli, I behave like an Israeli (wow! I can’t believe I am writing this!), and I will not be recognized for the goy that I am. Most Arabs, even those who were born here, whose parents were born here, whose grandparents were born here, often from their Hebrew you will recognize them for what they really are: Goyim.
So, what now? Leave? Conclude that I am not wanted? I should have made such a decision long ago. The warning signs were out there all the time, I just refused to recognize them. But now, now that they are no longer warning signs, but the force of law, I have nowhere to go. I am 65 years old. I cannot just decide to relocate and get up and go. Where should I run to? Holland?
Whether I like it or not, after 30 years, I am an Israeli. I have made a home here. I have raised four children here. I am an Israeli.
All that is left for me to do is hope. Hope that the next step in making Israel a state for Jews only will be made after I am gone. Hope that Israelis will come to their senses and behave like humans before they behave like Jews.
Long ago, in better times, my professor at the Weizmann Institute called me an Honorary Jew. Does that count for anything?