For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
A group of friends in London alerted me to this grubby little piece by a British Labour Party Member of Parliament, Bob Marshall-Andrews, concerning his recent visit to Gaza. Upon reading it, I was struck by various thoughts, not least the degree to which Marshall-Andrews words will be welcomed by the Hamas cheerleaders who compose the Palestinian solidarity movement, in marked contrast to the fierce condemnation with which this blog, and others like it, will greet his compendium of antisemitism-laced falsehoods. Why bother to refute such lies, one might ask, when those of us who defend Israel are at irreconcilable odds with those who demonize her, when any charge of antisemitism we make is bound to be dismissed as another tired attempt to muzzle debate? The most satisfactory answer I can come up with is that some things - and Marshall-Andrews article is one of them - are so odious that they cannot pass without rebuke.
To work, then. Here’s how Marshall-Andrews sets the scene:
“Bags of cement are slit open by grinning ringletted guards. Having destroyed they maintain the destruction.”
The “ringlets” he refers to are known, in Hebrew, as pe’ot, the sidelocks worn by ultraorthodox Jews. Now, I’ve spent a great deal of time in Israel and I can tell you that most Israeli soldiers don’t wear pe’ot. So what visual image is Marshall-Andrews trying to conjure up here? One of a people that rejoices in radical evil, their grinning faces framed by those unmistakeably Jewish ringlets.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"