World

              A Palestinian youth waves a flag as security officers march in support of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and to celebrate their successful bid to win U.N. statehood recognition the in the West bank city of Bethlehem, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Int’l community’s ‘attacks on Israel puzzling, especially when atrocities are taking place every day in Syria,’ says author

Photo of Jamie Weinstein
Jamie Weinstein
Senior Editor
  • See All Articles
  • Send Email
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Bio

      Jamie Weinstein

      Jamie Weinstein is Senior Editor of The Daily Caller. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, the New York Daily News and The Washington Examiner, among many other publications. He also worked as the Collegiate Network Journalism Fellow at Roll Call Newspaper and is the winner of the 2011 "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. A regular on Fox News and other cable news outlets, Weinstein received a master’s degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics in 2009 and a bachelor's degree in history and government from Cornell University in 2006. He is the author of the political satire, "The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer."

After spending more than six years living in Israel, author Lela Gilbert says she finds the “constant attacks on Israel” by the international community “puzzling,” especially when so much horror is being inflicted by Israel’s neighbors on a daily basis.

“I find the constant attacks on Israel puzzling, especially when atrocities are taking place every day in Syria, and too frequently in Egypt, Iraq, Iran and many other Middle Eastern countries,” Gilbert, an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of numerous books, told The Daily caller in an interview about her new book, “Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner.”

“Why is this so? Some of it is ideological – Israel is categorized as a pariah state, a ‘colonial’ outpost in a post-colonial world, or an infidel trespasser in pan-Islamic utopia. But I don’t think anti-Semitism can be overlooked either. And unbalanced or dishonest reporting of news simply serves to feed the fire.”

Gilbert said she believes that President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy would benefit if he talked to Israelis “who have suffered grave losses at the hands of Palestinian terrorists.”

“As for President Obama, from what we know of his past, he is well versed in the Palestinian narrative through his studies and social involvements with Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, Rev. Jeremiah Wright and others. I would suggest that he spend a day or two having face-to-face conversations with Israelis who have suffered grave losses at the hands of Palestinian terrorists,” she said.

“Perhaps he could gain perspective about security issues by listening to a mother like Sherri Mandell, whose 13-year-old son Koby was murdered and mutilated by terrorists in 2001. Or hearing from 14-year-old Tamar Fogel, who discovered the bodies of her parents, two brothers and beheaded baby sister, all of whom were butchered in their home in March 2011. Or learning of my friend Petra Heldt’s agony after being catastrophically burned in a Hamas bombing in 1997.”

With her book, Gilbert said she seeks to convey a little of what she learned from her time living in Israel.

“I wanted to share some wisdom and understanding I had gained living in Israel: about the remarkable religious tolerance and diversity there; about Israelis’ determined celebration of life over death; and about the existential threat they have faced for more than half a century – which Christians in Muslim countries are now dealing with on a daily basis,” she explained.

Gilbert spoke at length with TheDC about her book, Israel’s place in the world and what President Obama can do to correct his Middle East policy.

Why did you decide to write the book?

I wanted to share some wisdom and understanding I had gained living in Israel: about the remarkable religious tolerance and diversity there; about Israelis’ determined celebration of life over death; and about the existential threat they have faced for more than half a century – which Christians in Muslim countries are now dealing with on a daily basis.

On a personal level, I wanted to preserve vignettes of Israeli life that were vivid in my memory. I didn’t want my experiences to fade, but I also wanted to interweave them into the many things I was learning – a bit like photographs that enliven a collection of stories.