It is a long way from Bradford to the Galilee. In my case, it is a journey of a lifetime. I was born and bred in Leeds, and I live in Israel. Nevertheless, this week the two places have a strong link. Both are linked in infamy and shame. However, there is much more than that.
In Israel, when the serial arsonists struck, yet again, it was no surprise. It was no surprise that the three mothers absconded from Bradford to the IS. With them, they took nine children.
Yet again, we are surprised when the inevitable happens. Both these events were precipitated by political impotence. It has been convenient for the powers that be, our moribund politicians, to turn a blind eye. In Britain, it was politically correct and in Israel, it was politically expedient.
In both cases, we have allowed the community to deal with their deviant delinquents as if they were their own. In the name of diversity we have created so-called communities. In turn, they spawned swamps of swarming psychopaths who do not have to conform with our norms or our laws. Both in Britain and in Israel we have learnt that we cannot have communities behaving as if they are beyond the Pale, have different policing and judgmental values.
In both instances, we learn yet again that they can simply be only one sovereign and just one set of rules. There is little difference if any at all in being killed by a serial arsonist or being killed by IS. We should not be shamed into action. We Israelis must be ashamed of our lack of action. The hooligan fascists who set ablaze the church are known to us. They have torched many a mosque. They set fire to an Arab youth for no reason other than he was an Arab. We know about the ‘price tag’. We know who they are and yet nothing has been done. If any Arab cell had promoted the terror these Jewish thugs have promoted they would have been caught long ago. Let’s make no mistake these Jewish fascist thugs are no better than terrorists- they are terrorists.
In any healthy society, their wicked actions would have been met by a knee-jerk instinctive reaction that would have strangled this immoral monster at birth. Instead, it was met by a weak-kneed political reaction, the actions so typifying our elite and effete leadership. The platitudes of pusillanimous prevaricating politicians may sound convincing today, but let’s be brutally honest with ourselves. Their weak-willed response will conquer all good intentions. The world rightly condemns what has happened. I heartily condemn the politicians, police and the Israeli society in general who have all conspired to allow a festering wound in Israel suppurate and mature.
These people must be arrested. For better or for worse, no erstwhile community can boast or lay claim to distinct development, unconnected culture, an individual education system, discrete policing and disenfranchised judgement. This is Apartheid in reverse, and equally as abominable.
In today’s psychiatry, every form of distress, or the slightest behavioural deviation from the 50th percentile is abnormal.
For every abnormality, there is a diagnosis. For every diagnosis, there is medication. The best medication is the most expensive.
The pharmaceutical industry makes the tobacco companies look like Mother Theresa. The complicity of Psychiatrists is disturbing, if not more so.
The Cavalier attitude to Ritalin is terrifying. The hype around the metabolic regulating drugs is puzzling.
The chicanery is known. A triad of tentacles throttles the therapies of today: A rampaging, avaricious pharmaceutical trade; a supine medical profession that has bought into the fallacies of the magic bullet and acceptance of the mafia-like professional insurance.
The pusillanimous politicians refuse to accept two relevant facts and act accordingly. Medicine today is not about getting well when you are ill. Medicine is about staying well and avoiding illness. Medicine is about prevention and rehabilitation, not eradication. Budgets are not endless and good service is not measured by giving the most expensive magic bullet.
Medicine and Government have to realise that in socialised medicine is about optimisation within the constraints of goals and budgets. It is no longer about Doctor-Patient Relationships. The Patient- Health Authority- Doctor triad has replaced that model.
There are pros and cons in this change. One pro is that health is available to all.
To face the new reality we have to face is that medicine cannot be hi-jacked by the Pharmaceutical industry and a compliant medical profession, nor can it be manipulated by soothsaying politicians.
Why the anger?
When will you face the facts and get round to fixing them?
The problem is about the support for this behaviour.This support is many layered:-
The basic point is that for every one that goes there are many more that would if they could. For every one of those there are many more who would actively help a potential leader. There are even more who identify with or agree with what these women did. There is an even larger number that cannot condone them leaving. Finally, there are many more that while condoning find explanatory contributory factors.
The community attitude is not a black or white. It is the equivalent of 50 shades of gray.
I listened to the community spokesmen. They all have one thing in common; they are finding ‘reasons why’ and not giving ‘ways how.’ And this is perfectly understandable. If they do not act as spokesmen, they will lose their authenticity. Listen carefully to what they are saying. They are saying: ‘we do not have to change; you do.’
They are both right and wrong. They are right that you have to change. The time has come to realise that delegating community responsibility and encouraging separate but equal development has failed. In many respects, it was a PC apartheid. You accepted them into the UK. You must make them a total part of the UK. In other words, you make them fulfill laws and mores. Speak the language, go to the same schools, do not wear the dress that identifies you as being a sect in the UK. If you deviate, you are treated as a UK deviant not as a Muslim one. And the responsibility for cleaning up this mess is not Pakistani; it is UK. You cannot have separatism and be apart without discrimination, xenophobia and lack of identity.
They are wrong; they do have to change. They have to accept; either here or there. You are British or Pakistani. You cannot be neither both nor a bit. When I grew up, there were no people defining themselves as UK Christians or Jews. Why UK Muslims? I was taught to respect the country that gave my family refuge. To never forget that it was ‘theirs’. I had to become one of them and practice my religion quietly, without changing the Britishness of the UK. The Britishness that gave us sanctuary, hope and belonging. We were defined as being British- not first and foremost British but only British.
When I decided, I wished to identify myself as’Jewish’ I went to the place where I could do so: Israel. This change must be undergone in the so-called Pakistani or Muslim communities. You decide not if your are first and foremost UK but only UK members. If your religion prevents this, then do the honorable thing. Go where you can.
You cannot be a UK Muslim. You can be a UK citizen practicing the Muslim religion. You have no community rights or responsibilities. You will stand and fall as a UK citizen and nothing else.
In many respects, these Ladies did a strange. They did the wrong thing for the right reasons. It is commendable that they left. It is deplorable where they went, but that was their choice.
There is no place for the middle ground. Either you are UK citizens or not.
The so-called communities cannot clean up the mess. The very act of expecting them to is the means of perpetuating the crisis.
Sometimes very good people do very bad things for very good reasons.
An unexpected and unexplained event changes everything in the settlement, Oranit.
The Israeli Intelligence Community investigates and opens a whole can of worms. Many revelations are revealed that would be better left hidden. What happens after leads the reader through parts of the history of the Jews and Israel, the Holocaust, the founding of the state, the Yom Kippur and Lebanese wars as seen in the microcosm of the new settlement, Oranit.
Crossed lines is both a historical novel and a murder mystery. It covers the turbulent years of setting up a new settlement, Oranit in the State of Israel.
Crossed Lines tells of the settlers’ difficulties as, despite opposition, they set up their settlement in no-man’s land, the “green line” that marks the border between Israel proper and the West Bank. The settlers’ shared individual family histories and experiences help forge both close bonds and bitter rivalries. In the backdrop are the difficult relations with the Israeli bureaucracy, local and national politics and the neighboring Palestinian population.
The shared experience of the group, sometimes tragic, sometimes hilarious, causes strange twists and turns but inevitably has the group of settlers achieving their one goal- setting up a new settlement, Oranit, in a part of Israel that is as beautiful as it is controversial.
Debut author Benjamin weaves a suspenseful mystery set in the Middle East into a deeper meditation on the powerful allure of home or, in this case, a land of one’s own. Jeannie is a former Israeli soldier and now an investigator for the Shabbak (once known as the Shin Bet). Her father was instrumental in founding Oranit, a new village established in fiercely disputed territory that straddles the border of Israeli and Palestinian controlled lands. An Arab helps with the construction of a controversial wall meant to symbolize the autonomy of Oranit as a village and the political sovereignty of its inhabitants. The Arab, Mahmud, turns up dead, and it’s quickly and not unreasonably assumed he was murdered by the vengeful PLO, enraged over his cooperation with Israeli settlers. A bullet casing is found, however, and new evidence opens up the case, implicating Mitch, the popular and powerful chairman of the village council. When the murder appears..
to connect to another nvestigation into Mitch’s possible involvement in land fraud and smuggling from Beirut, the stakes soar. The details of the mystery unfurl slowly and often confusedly, sometimes leaving the reader lost within a patchwork narrative that relies heavily on flashbacks and remembrances. Thankfully, close attention is repaid by an astute view of the conflict over land in the Middle East from the perspectives of concrete, human longings. Oranit is saturated with symbolic power: “Oranit was to be their Garden of Eden. When Jeannie first arrived, there was nothing there but a barren patch overlooking a beautiful leafy forest.” Also, a shocking final twist will leave one’s jaw agape.
Not a breezy read and often downright challenging, but worth the effort.