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.
By all formal criteria, Israel is an independent state, a nation among the nations, born of Herzlian aspirations for the normalcy of a people residing on its own sovereign soil, relieved of the complexes of two millennia of statelessness and incomparable sustained defamation-cum-persecution.
But alive within us is the restless anomaly of the Diaspora’s Court Jew, the one who strove to ingratiate himself with the powers-that-be, to become their useful pet, to claim extraordinary influence while basking in the limelight of his people’s tormenters, seeing their point of view, currying their favor, setting himself apart from the Jewish masses and posturing as the possessor of greater wisdom.
The conceit of latter-day Court Jews extends to denying the very existence of the Court Jew syndrome and Diaspora deformities. Contemporary Court Jews, who suck up to world opinion – especially when that opinion unjustly excoriates the Jewish state – definitively prove the frustrated adage that you can take the Jew out of the Diaspora but you cannot always take the Diaspora out of the Jew.
Our homegrown Court Jews are active of late. They paid several compassionate visits to the family of the alleged Itamar butchers, and they staged a provocative pro-Palestinian independence rally on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, directly outside the building where Israel’s Declaration of Independence was recited 63 years ago.
With fiendish delight, they know precisely how to offend, how to grate on our raw nerves, how to skew our symbols, how to demoralize, how to demean what means most to us.
They make it look like a brilliant, innovative stroke when they demonstrate solidarity with supposedly downtrodden Arab villagers, supposedly targeted at random by Israel’s ogre security forces. The foreign media lap it up when apologetic “better Jews” dissociate themselves from the maligned Jewish collective and deplore crimes they zealously ascribe to purportedly benighted compatriots. Judeophobes the world over gloat.
And so a delegation of self-professed “better Jews” mounted multiple pilgrimages to Arab Awarta, adjacent to Itamar. It was in Itamar that Udi and Ruth Fogel were slaughtered along with three of their children – 11-year-old Yoav, three-year- old Elad and three-month-old Hadas. Investigators focused on Awarta, the perpetrators’ assumed home, where guns stolen next door to the Fogels immediately before the bloodbath were offered for sale.
Only outright idiots might lack even niggling suspicion about where the murderers, who slit the throat of an infant, were holed up. Our Court Jews, feigning moral superiority, knew exactly who the objects of their commiseration were.
They certainly weren’t the surviving Fogel children or their assiduously vilified Itamar neighbors.
The insolent identification with Awarta presumably made the provocation all the more provocative.
Members of miscellaneous Left-fringe groupings – from Gush Shalom to Machsom (Roadblock) Watch, invariably darlings of global thought-molders and beneficiaries of EU largesse – trekked to Awarta to righteously condemn the hot pursuit.
Machsom Watch spokeswoman Raya Yaron was photographed embracing Sham’a Awad, whose sons Amjad and Hakim confessed and were subsequently charged with the Itamar massacre.
Yaron may claim to have been unaware that her high-minded affections were oozed directly inside the viper’s nest. Nonetheless, she was given cogent reason for suspicion, much as Machsom Watch women are given ample reason to deduce that IDF checkpoints hinder terror. That doesn’t prevent Yaron’s colleagues from pretending that only Mother Teresa clones are ever stopped and searched.
Another Awarta-sympathizer, Ya’acov Manor, published a report on “the horror at the home of Muhammad Awad” (father of the confessed murderers). Manor decries what he dubs “a pogrom. This is primitive and brutal vengeance calculated to instill fear in the hearts of the inhabitants.”
He describes furniture being overturned, the family awakened early and taken outdoors without warm clothing and six-year-old Ala crying because rude soldiers grabbed her blanket.
Manor expands no such emotion on the slain Fogel youngsters who’ll never recover. Odds are that Ala will overcome the discourtesy of her brothers’ arrest (Manor mentions her siblings as mere “students”).
So on whose side are Yaron, Manor and assorted sanctimonious friends?
Probably on the same side as the hodgepodge of left-wing celebs who turned out to boost projected Palestinian independence, cynically equating it with the Jewish independence proclaimed at that very setting. Different sorts of players posed before the cameras – some slyly sophisticated, and others who functioned as dupes in a propaganda ploy.
The cunning stage-managers of the perverse performance knew precisely how spurious their comparison was.
Meretz’s erstwhile leader Shulamit Aloni is a past master at none-too-naïve machinations. When she served as education minister, she accompanied a delegation of Israeli teens to the Majdanek death camp. There, after overhearing a schoolgirl express pride in the fact that the Jewish people now have a state and flag of their own, Aloni harshly chided her for eliciting “the wrong, narrow-minded, nationalistic conclusions from the Holocaust.”
But to be fair, Aloni doesn’t only pick on commoners. In a 1997 radio interview, she likened Binyamin Netanyahu to Aristotle’s generic tyrant “for seeking to get rid of the country’s intellectual elite, spying on the populace, fomenting discord between rich and poor, endorsing religious ritual and going to war occasionally.”
Lest her point be lost, she reminded her interviewers that, like Netanyahu, “Hitler, too, was elected democratically.”
Neither were her tongue-lashings only reserved for those on the opposing end of the political divide. In her book I Couldn’t Do It Differently, Aloni described fellow-Meretznik Yossi Sarid as a sinister snake, “whose venom glands are full to overflowing, shooting out great jets of poison.”
Hence extra vigilance is recommended when Aloni draws historical analogies. We need to ask whether she truly forgot that the Palestinians, for whose independence she yearns, never recognized the Jewish state’s legitimacy. Indeed, they hotly refuse to do so to this day. They went to war to enforce that refusal.
The UN’s 1947 Partition Resolution envisioned the creation of twin Jewish and Arab states in this ultra-tiny land. The Arabs violently rejected that resolution and, to thwart Jewish independence, they invaded Israel on the day of its birth. All that thereafter ensued derives from that still-ongoing original rejection.
We also need to wonder whether Aloni conveniently overlooks the fact that the conflict isn’t about territories, occupation or demarcation lines. It isn’t even about a Palestinian state (which the Arabs could have established unhindered between 1948-67, within the borders they now claim to crave). It’s about the existence of the Jewish state, the one for which Aloni and crew manage so little empathy.
If Aloni requires any further verification, she need only pay heed to Ramallah figurehead Mahmoud Abbas, who just reiterated, for the umpteenth time, that the Right of Return constitutes “a nonnegotiable” precondition.
Abbas insists on overrunning the Jewish state with hostile Arabs – in other words, on destroying it.
This is the Palestinian/Arab sine qua non. No compromise is doable on this core contention. Plainly it’s us or them – Jews or Arabs. No rhetorical artifice should enable the Court Jews to obscure that.
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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!"