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Dr. John Rock, the first black lawyer accredited to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1865, observed to the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society on January 23, 1862:

“This nation has wronged us (the black people of the U.S.), and for this reason many hate us. The Spanish proverb is, “Desde que te erre nunca bien te quise” – ‘Since I have wronged you, I have never liked you.’ This is true not only of Spaniards and Americans, but of every other class of people. When a man wrongs another, he not only hates him, but tries to make others dislike him…”


This immoral tendency, for the perpetrator of evil on other people, to blame those people, hate them, and try to convince everyone to hate them, exists whether the perpetrator succeeded in his evil program to inflict a wrong on the other or didn’t. The greater the evil planned or inflicted – the greater the hatred and the greater the need felt to convince others to hate the victim, too.

Although Dr. Rock spoke 150 years ago in a different situation, coming across his words (in a history book by James M. McPherson) was startling in how strikingly familiar that immoral and psychologically pathological phenomenon seemed to me.

Many have written of the origins of Islamic and Arabic hatred for others, whether Kurds, Armenians, Yazhidis, Assyrians or Jews. Of course all these characterizations are generalizations pertaining to the cultural, religious, semi-nationalist or imperialist origins. Certainly many individual Muslims or Arabs don’t fit this profile, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that these observations fit the history and current events of these groups as a group.

The foremost origin is the basic Islamic conceit that all religions are supposed to be abolished, leaving only Islam, which means “submission” (not “peace” as many mistakenly believe) – and everyone must submit, either by choice or by sword.

There is the envy that the Arabs feel towards the Israelis, coveting their success and hating it too, similar to the envy that Germans felt towards Jews in the 19th and 20th century that help propel them to executing the Holocaust, the greatest, most organized and extensive case of genocide in the modern world.

Yet this Spanish proverb quoted by Dr. Rock reveals another origin of not only of Arabic-Islamic hatred towards others, but also the constant drive – today particularly spearheaded by the so-called Palestinian Authority – to convince the world to hate Israel, to judge her by a double-standard and deny her right to life.

Ever since the Jews started returning to the ancient homeland to renew her and themselves, they have sought to advance the standards of life for all the inhabitants, including the Arabs. Zionism brought electricity, water, modern agriculture, medicine and culture to the land. The Arab response was to riot, kill, pillage and maim. The Arabs wronged the Jews in Israel in 1947, by not only refusing to recognize Jewish rights, but by trying to continue the genocide of the Jews, in our homeland. The same occurred in several wars since then and until now.

Martha Gelhorn, novelist and journalist, toured the “Palestinian refugee camps”, several years before the 6-Day War of 1967, before the “settlements” and the so-called occupation. She spoke with an educated teacher, ascertaining his agreement to the basic facts: the UN offered partition in 1947, one Jewish state and one Arabic; the Jews accepted while the Arabs went to war against the Jews – and lost; the Arabs demanded that the world ignore Arab actions and force Israel to allow all the refugees to return. She then asked:

“If the position were reversed, if the Jews had started the war and lost it, if you had won the war, would you now accept Partition? Would you give up part of the country and allow the 650,000 Jewish residents of Palestine -who had fled from the war–to come back?”
“Certainly not,” he (the teacher) said, without an instant’s hesitation. “But there would have been no Jewish refugees. They had no place to go. They would all be dead or in the sea.”

That evil planned and partially perpetrated against the Jews, in Israel, is one of the causes that drive Arab society’s hatred of Jewish Israel.

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Dovid Ben-Meir made aliyah after high school in Chicago. He received smicha, from the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Avraham Shapira and Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu. He served as the rabbi of a "garin torani" - a group of families that moved to Eilat and were active in Jewish education in the city. A teacher and Rav in several yeshivot, he guides occasionally both in the Western Wall Tunnels and at the site of Ancient Shiloh. Together he and his wife Chana have children and fifteen grandchildren, all of whom live in Israel.