‘Middle-East Union possible’

Susan Nathan

Susan Nathan  

Staff Reporter

KOZHIKODE: A Middle-East Union (on the lines of the European Union), comprising Israel and the Arab nations, will be a possibility in the long run, Israeli writer Susan Nathan has said.

She was speaking to presspersons here on Wednesday.

Ms. Nathan, who is the only Jew living among 25,000 Muslims in Tamra, a town in Northern Israel run by Islamic politicians, said it was possible for Jews and Arabs to mingle as one citizens in a country. “Jewish society is very closed and rigid. Jews do not listen to the problems of Muslims. It is the Jews who need to be educated,” she said.

Ms. Nathan who migrated to Israel nearly 10 years ago from Britain was a firm Zionist but later decided to live among Arab Muslims who, she said, were oppressed by the Jews.

To a query, she said that there was corruption on the Palestinian side too. “Also, there are divided into Fatah and Hamas,” she said.

She said the problem lay with the Israeli government. It was the government that kept the people in ignorance. One could still find Jewish people on the streets of Israel whose forefathers mingled with the Arabs. Arabic was the language then, she said.

Ms. Nathan, author of the ‘The Other Side of Israel,’ said she believed the Palestinian issue would be solved but was not sure when. She said Israeli governments always had quick-fix solutions that aimed for peace in the coming month, rather than long-term solutions.

She said the support from the Jewish community for her efforts was mixed. “There are some remarkable people in Israel. But their voices are not heard because of the fundamentalism that prevails. They see our efforts of bettering the country of Israel as being disloyal to the country,” Ms. Nathan said.

Calling herself an ‘India freak,’ she said she was fascinated by the country. In her childhood when she was locked up in a room by her father as a punishment, she would browse through photographs of India in the ‘National Geographic’ magazines. She would run her fingers through the images of people classified as ‘untouchables’ in India. “It is from this I knew about human beings and how they are all equal,” she said.

Israel, she said, could learn about integrated living from India. Racism was alive and kicking in Israel. Jews were not one single entity as many thought. They were divided into French Jews, Indian Jews, Arabic Jews and Ethiopian Jews and lived separately, she said.

Ms. Nathan will give a talk at the Town Hall here on Thursday.

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