By GREER FAY CASHMAN
Why would anyone with even a pretense to moral values want to throw a child to the wolves? That is what our government is preparing to do. The cruelty has been compounded by a seeming reprieve.
Children of foreign workers who have been designated for deportation are being permitted to complete the school year. That sounds like a magnanimous concession.
But how can they concentrate on their lessons when they have such a cloud of uncertainty hanging over their heads? How does the fear of separation impinge on their lives?
How would we react if the children of Israeli or Jewish workers in another country were treated as we plan to treat 1,200 innocent children whose only sin is that they were born to foreign workers in the State of Israel, the country bequeathed to its citizens through biblical testimony? That same Bible exhorts us to be kind to the stranger within our gates.
Is deportation or the threat of it a kindness? What has happened to our moral values?
MUCH AS I would love to say that this government does not speak for me, if I believe in a democratic system then I have to acknowledge that this government does speak for me, even when I disagree with its decisions.
If this government goes ahead with child deportation, it will taint me forever. As a citizen of Israel, I am no less guilty of a moral crime than if I myself were to sign the deportation order. It makes me ashamed to be Israeli.
There are some who might call me a self-hating Jew. Indeed, the allegation has been thrust in my direction for daring to suggest that not all Israelis have been fair or decent in their dealings with Palestinians.
My answer is just as there are good and bad Israelis, there are good and bad Palestinians, and to tar everyone on one side or the other with the same brush demonstrates a lack of rational thinking.
The general tendency in Israel is to adopt an ostrich policy - to bury those things which are unpleasant in the sand - or better still to bury our heads in the sand, so that we will not see the evils perpetrated around us by some of our own people.
Heaven forbid that we should admit that Jews in general - and Israeli Jews in particular - are capable of dastardly deeds.
Perhaps that's why the crime rate in Israel keeps climbing, and why there is so much violence of late.
We talk of tikkun olam - fixing the world - but we look only at what needs to be mended outside. Anything inside the fence is deemed okay.
Well, it's not and it won't be until we accept accountability for our own ills and make a concerted effort to effect a cure.
Dropping the deportation order for foreign children born and/or raised in Israel might be a good start.
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