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||| "I FEAR FOR ISRAEL A LOT"|||
THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY

Victor Medvedenko:
We cannot live next to the Palestinians. They can’t accept what happened: for thousands of years this has been a desert, and in a mere fifty years people have created a prosperous country with living standards a lot higher than in neighboring Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.
They have always had totalitarian regimes. In order to have your people subjugated, you have to have an enemy, or else there will be mass discontent. They have an enemy: Israel, verdant and prosperous. Israel is populated by the Jews, which cannot be tolerated. Or else the Palestinian leadership will have a hard time handling their own people. That’s the main reason they hate us.
I am sure Palestinian Autonomy as such will not lead to peace. People who are brought up in constant hatred of the Jews can neither live nor think nor act differently. But first of all, we must understand what divides us? First of all, it’s social and religious inequality. We have to put these differences behind us. We must never say, you Russians, you Bukhara Jews, you Ashkenasim, you Sephardim. We must consistently bring up our children in the spirit of unity. It should not matter who you are, how much you make, where you came from, or what your faith is. We must set aside our internal contradictions and join together, otherwise we will not survive. For Israeli politicians, too, the main task should be coming together, rather than squabble over cabinets and portfolios.

Lyubov Nemirovskaya:
I would like people to feel the pain of a stranger as their own. I would like to hope very much that Israel will have peace. That people will no longer be afraid for their children. I don’t want to think bad things. I want to believe in a peaceful future for Israel.

Natalia Panchenko-Sannikova:
Of course, I would very much like Israel to survive. I like this country. I like the people. If we didn’t like it, we wouldn’t be here for so long. We could have gone elsewhere. My husband has been here for six years. I think Israel has a good future, but its politicians and the state should be a little tougher. How long can Israel stand it all? If they don’t quiet down the Palestinians, there’ll be a war.

Polina Valis:
Five years ago, under Rabin, there was a naive hope that there would be peace, everything would go well, and we’ll all live together in one country. But now we see that that’s impossible. The Delphinarium attack showed that the Israeli Arabs betray us, too. I’m sure someone brought this Palestinian there and told him young people hang out there. I think we were fingered by the local Arabs who live in Jaffa and Jerusalem. I can’t forgive them, just like we can’t forgive the Nazis.
I know an Arab woman, but she is a Christian, and doesn’t approve of terrorist acts. But Israel’s Arab citizens believe Israel is mistreating them and don’t want an Israeli state.
I don’t think it has a future, and only Arabs will live here. Half of all Israelis have dual citizenships, and if a war breaks out, everyone will leave. I think most people want to live in a country where they can go out in peace or simply put their children on a bus without fear.

Victor Komozdrazhnikov:
Everything will go on the way it has. It was fifty years ago, and it will go on forthwith. There’s too much evil; it cannot be stopped.
If I commanded the Israeli Army, I couldn’t hold back; I’d erase the Palestinian Authority off the face of the earth. I just feel sorry for the innocent peaceful people who have nothing to do with Hezbolla and other murderers. It’s impossible to live side by side with those. I read in the paper that a Minister suggested that all Israeli Arabs who support Palestinians should be sent to live under Palestinian Authority. And the Jews who live there should be resettled here. And the Arabs who don’t want to move will have to give an oath that they would serve Israel and act according to its laws and stuff like that. That they won’t betray their country. I think this is better than constant firefights that don’t do anything good anyway.

Svetlana Gubnitskaya:
Israel will be fine. People just have to love one another and see their land as sacred. When we firmly define boundaries, we’ll be able to coexist with Palestinians. I came here, invited by the state, and I work my tail off, and I pay insane taxes. While the Arabs don’t invest themselves in the land; they grow up and become more insolent, and insolence generates impunity. And all of these are parts of their upbringing.

Irina Sklyanik:
I’m terrified by Israel’s future. I’m scared for my children. The Arabs breed like rabbits, and we’re a small country. Before this happened, I believed or wanted to believe that we’ll have peace. Now I think we’ll have war.

Mark Rudin:
The way things are now, I don’t see a future for this country. We’re too hesitant, we placed too much in the hands of the government, which is neither this nor that. It pains me. When we came here, we found a prosperous country, where we felt very well. People had a way of influencing the policy and were warmer.

Larisa Gutman:
I don’t know. I think there’ll be a catastrophe. We don’t know how to protect our children — our soldiers. We just watch and cry and that’s all we do. We suffer through another terrorist attack and another batch of victims; I don’t see any future — good future, anyway. Every day there’s an attack, every day new victims, people close to us — that’s a catastrophe. There’s no security in tomorrow. You leave the house and you don’t know whether you’re coming back, whether you’ll make it to work or not. What kind of life is that? It’s constant subconscious fear. You get on the bus, and you have fear inside. You go to the store, same fear. You’re afraid of crowded public places. So we’ll just stay at home.
Just like any parents worry about the children’s welfare, so the politicians should worry about their people. But what if these rulers don’t provide for public security? Who defends the citizens? They’re dying young! We must take concrete measures. We can’t go on like this.
One attack follows another. Even if it’s only wounded — think about the psychological trauma for the entire nation. It stays in the young people’s psyches. How can we live like this? This will have an effect one day. The nation will degenerate. You can’t treat your people like this.

Bronislava Osadchaya:
I don’t know anything about politics. I have only emotions. I’m just hurt when our problems are mentioned casually. Just two days before the tragedy in New York, Bovin [former Russian Ambassador to Israel] said on Pozner’s program [Russian TV], “Nah, they won’t have a war. They’ll blow up a couple of bombs, shoot at each other a little, and that will be it.” He looked so cool and confident . . .

Anya Sinichkina:
All we have to do is launch ten planes, and Palestine will be gone in five minutes. Instead of sniping at them one by one, we should remove our troops from the territories, put all the Arabs in one pile and blow them up.
When this land was a desert, they didn’t need it. When Israel created a modern country, suddenly they realized it’s theirs. Their mosques, holy places . . . Me, I don’t give a damn about their holy places and wouldn’t spare them along with all these Arabs. We hate them because they hate us. Because of religion, we can’t live next to them. I don’t know why people invented religion. Wars happen because of money and religion. We are constantly told that the end of the world is near. Everybody thinks that something will fall from the sky or something. I have a different scenario: mankind will destroy itself. Kill one another because of religion. I don’t know God’s opinion about that, but that’s where we’re going.
If Israel just sits back and does nothing, trying to prove that “we’re good and Arabs are bad,” in five years Israel will not be around — it will be eliminated. Once again, there will be desert and peace and quiet.
The government must take care not only of itself and the money, but of the people who are sick and suffering. Not just the victims of Delphinarium, but the victims in Jerusalem and Netaniya — anywhere. They should think about what can be done for these people. You can’t bring back the dead, and our wounds, both emotional and physical ones, will not be cured completely.
What is most upsetting is that this is not the first bombing, nor the last. These were not the last victims. Like Ilya’s mother said, “If our children had to pay for peace with their lives, let these be the last victims.” I think a couple more bombings like these, and the Russians will rise to cut the Palestinians’ throats in Jaffa. Out of plain fear: if we don’t attack, they’ll attack us.

Nadezhda Derenshteyn:
It is a vicious circle. Arabs have always hated us. There will be a war. I hope I’m wrong. We can’t coexist. No way! They’re psychotic — they’re brought up this way. A normal person, with good culture and education simply cannot live next door to them.
If Israel keeps showing to the world how we’re good and they’re bad, nothing will be left. A few more bombings — they don’t declare a war, they’re breaking us from the inside. Like a besom: you can’t break it all together, only straw by straw. And that’s how they’ll destroy us if Israel doesn’t act. In twenty or thirty years, there’ll be nothing left.

Faina Dorfman:
I’m very afraid for Israel. Moslems are spreading their tentacles all over the planet. Look what they’re doing in America, France, and England. And they get away with everything. The whole world’s on fire. I don’t see any way out of the current situation in Israel.

Rita Abramova:
I don’t think we can live side by side with them. How can you live next to such uneducated people, so illiterate and ignorant of the simplest things! How can you live next to the people who believe any religious nonsense? They’re just primitive. Before the bombing, I thought that the Palestinians hate the Jews because the Jews took over the land and, naturally, the Palestinians want it back. But now I see they’re not fighting for the land. They’re fighting for whatever Koran told them to fight for. It probably says that infidels must be destroyed. Their children are taught at school that the Jews are their enemies and should be killed. We are not being taught that Arabs are our enemies. We learn it from experience.

Igor Shaportov:
The Palestinians who rejoice over bombings are not human. We should be living separately from them. Let them live anywhere but here. They can’t live with normal people. They hate us because the Jews have been able to create a state of their own. The Jews grew gardens on the sand; they have trees and flowers wherever they live. Where Arabs live there’s nothing but rocks. They’re lazy, they don’t want to work. All they know is how to breed, like rats. Their hatred is primitive jealousy. Jews work and do everything for themselves; these guys don’t want to work, and live poorly. We’ll put down our lives if we need to. For now, this is our land, and we live here. And if we have to defend this land, we will.

Olga Tagiltseva:
I understand that Palestinians are different. There are good ones and there are ones who do those things. I don’t know. This land is special. Maybe that’s why they’re fighting so much? That’s what I think. After this happened, I started reading a lot. I now study Hebrew at the Akiva ulpan, and we have many lectures on this subject, Palestinians, and the rest. I listen, and I think that’s because this land is like this. Or else they just want to pick up something they didn’t help create.

Lyubov Nemirovskaya:
Whether we can live next to the Palestinians is a complex political issue. I came from a country where a lot of nations lived together, and we never feared tomorrow the way we do here.