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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Open Letter to the World --- World: this time they’re coming for you too!
My people, the Jews, are an ancient race. We’ve been here longer than just about any other nation, and we fully intend to stick around: let’s be perfectly clear on that point. Our collective memory stretches back far and is filled with the blood of our forefathers, unimaginable devastations, and incredible suffering. Most of us grow up learning about these horrors; in fact my children are now old enough and are asking questions like “Why do they hate us so much?” They are also learning, but failing to comprehend, about the genocide of the Holocaust which happened not very long ago and resulted in a loss to our people we have yet to recover from physically and psychologically. We don’t live in the past like our enemies do however, as is clearly evidenced by the tremendous amount of science, technology, art, medicine and industry the Jews produce, but we do remember. We will always remember.
We remember slavery in Egypt; we remember the Babylonians and the exile and horrors they inflicted upon us; we remember the Greeks and their attempt to force Hellenization upon us on pain of death (they burned alive our greatest sages wrapped in Torah scrolls); we remember the Romans and their brutality and forced exile; we remember the crusades, inquisitions, pogroms, expulsions, forced conversions, blood libels, scapegoating, slanders and countless other persecutions. We remember how you’ve blamed us – and continue to do so – for practically every malady on Earth. Let’s not forget the charge of deicide lopped on to everything else.
We remember how Britain sank ships of Jews off the coast of Israel; Jews who survived the Holocaust and had nowhere else to go, while forcing imposed quotas on the number of Jews allowed into our homeland. We remember while imposing these quotas they opened the doors to floods of Arabs pouring in from all over the region quota-free, Arabs who now claim they’ve been there “since time immemorial.”
We remember world, how you stood by and watched as one third of our defenseless nation was slaughtered, gassed, and burned in ovens only 70 years ago.
– It behooves me at this juncture, as a dear friend correctly pointed out, to state that we also remember the world is filled with tremendous amounts of goodness and good people and that our people also owe an extraordinary debt of gratitude to many people and nations for doing exactly the opposite of what is described above; people who risked their own lives to save Jews; Cyrus and the Persian Empire, countries like The Netherlands and Denmark and its King Christian X, who defied oppression and hatred, and stood in solidarity with all humanity. People like Wallenberg and Sugihara. We will also never forget them and their love. It is my fervent prayer that such a love for all people become globally pervasive and that all weapons and hatred are eradicated for good soon.
I often ask those who exhibit anti-Semitic tendencies how many Jews they think are in the world, the typical answer ranges between 500 million and one billion (I’ve received these answers numerous times): there are only between 13-16 million of us. You’ve done an outstanding job of culling our numbers throughout the millennia.
Despite all your efforts at exterminating us, we’ve managed to contribute moreto this world on a per capita basis than any other nation or people inhistory. We continue to do this in our homeland and in the diaspora today. Our contributions to humanity have been incalculable. One needs only to look at the roster of Jews who’ve been awarded Nobel Prizes and to realize that 0.02% of the world’s population has garnered 20% of the prestigious awards to begin to understand the magnitude of our contribution.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg. You can thank Jews for everything from drip irrigation, hydroponic technology, cellular phone technology, instant messaging, and tremendous breakthroughs in science and medicine down to most of the superheroes we love, many of our favorite toys like GI Joe, Mr. Potato Head, and Curious George. We have produced some of the greatest filmmakers, musicians and entertainers, some of the finest doctors and lawyers, and have excelled in practically every field known to man. The list could fill volumes. We gave Monotheism to the world, and the two most populous religions – Christianity and Islam – have both been directly and heavily influenced by Judaism and the Torah. I am not ashamed in the slightest to say that world owes the Jewish people a tremendous debt of gratitude.
Like I said, though we remember vividly our past, we live for today and the future and continue to create and to give. It pains me to say that Israel’s neighbors in the region despite having orders of magnitude more population and in many cases practically unlimited oil money, can not claim even a fraction of these achievements as their people are suppressed under brutal regimes and kept in a backwards society.
As thanks, you’ve systematically humiliated my people in practically every place they’ve lived for thousands of years of our diaspora existence. For example, in many Muslim countries my people were not allowed outside when it rained, lest they taint the water. They were subjected to racist dimhi laws which were designed to single out and degrade non-Muslims. In Europe you made us wear gold stars or identifying symbols at times so that you could clearly identify the objects of your unbridled hatred; at other times in history you didn’t allow us to hold any professional positions yet levied incredible taxes on us and even kidnapped members of our community for ransom when the taxes weren’t enough, knowing full well the value we place on each and every life and the incredible lengths we’d go to save a life (something our enemy today is still exploiting). The list of wrongs perpetrated against our tiny nation can very unfortunately also fill volumes. You’ve done everything and anything to make our lives miserable.
Throughout this journey of ages we have clung to one hope over any other. We have prayed for one thing at every wedding, at every joyous occasion, at every Passover seder, during every prayer that is said thrice daily, on the walls of our homes, in our hearts and minds no matter where we’ve dispersed. We have dreamed of our return to Jerusalem, to Zion, where our nation was born and where we flourished independently of your hatred. This has been our singular national aspiration.
66 years ago, after 2,000 years of suffering, praying, crying, and hoping and against all odds, we finally realized that dream. Israel: a place that according to all accounts had lain barren during the entirety of our exile. A parched piece of desert, scarcely populated that had not seen any country or state since the kingdoms of ancient Israel. The Jews have transformed that desert wasteland into a blooming paradise; the only place on earth where the desert is receding, a place of freedom for all people regardless of race or religion (including 1.5 million Muslims and Arabs who participate in every sector of society), an economic powerhouse, a center for learning and advancement in all the forms of science and industry and a bastion for the advancement of humanity. We have been able to revive our language (the only time this has occurred in history) and have reunited our scattered people from every corner of the earth into a place where we can live freely as Jews, without having to worry about persecution – or so we thought.
This seems to have enraged much of the world as evidenced by the fact that our fledgling nation was attacked by five nations’ armies the day after we declared our independence and who have waged an unending smear campaign against our people from the first day. The fact that we reclaimed our tiny piece of land, which is smaller than New Jersey, and which had no such thing as a “Palestinian people” or Palestinian country, seems to have so enraged you, world, that we’ve been fighting for our very existence from that first day until now, physically and ideologically.
You seem to be totally fixated on us. You’ve singled us out in the kangaroo courts of the UN for unending reprimands and censures as we act to defend ourselves from genocidal barbarians, while turning a blind eye to atrocities committed all over the world. You hold us to a ridiculous and absurd double-standard, so much so that I question your morality, world.
Today my people are faced with the next empire that seeks to wipe us out. Here’s the difference though, and I hope you heed my warning, world: this time they’re coming for you too. Radical Islam has spread across the world, and will stop at nothing short of complete global domination. One of the greatest problems we face today is that you’re too blind, naïve, or duplicitous to realize this and are busy cowering in fear rather than standing up for what’s right. Part of the problem is that you suckle on the oily teats of countries who stand for backwardness, slavery, chauvinism, homophobia, racism, actual apartheid, global dominion, barbarianism and chaos.
Our enemies would have you think they are battling for lines on a map, or to protect themselves; they are not. They seek nothing short of our complete extinction, and it burns to watch you stand by yet again, and even worse, lay the blame on us once again. It burns.
They say we are committing genocide when defending ourselves, while they daily call for the genocide of the Jews, while their charter calls for our murder and denies our very right to exist, while our army goes to extraordinary measures to try and save innocent lives and has taken more steps at safeguarding civilians than any other army in history.
They call us terrorists, yet they try and unfortunately all too often succeed at butchering my people in the most heinous and gruesome ways imaginable. Jews do not hijack planes. Jews do not murder Olympic athletes. Jews do not blow up buses and cafes. Jews do not threaten and kill those who insult us, our prophets or our faith. The audacity of the claim is infuriating.
They compare us to Nazis, yet in an unfathomable irony and in one breath deny the Holocaust and praise Hitler for what he did to us, all the while planning our extinction and how to “finish the job” Hitler started. They fly Nazi flags over their homes and pray for the day where none of us are left. Have you lost your mind, world?
They claim we are an apartheid state, yet the exact opposite is true. Not only do they practice full apartheid against Jews in almost all their lands, but have been systematically eradicating the Middle East’s Christian population for years. Yesterday saw the expulsion of one of the oldest Christian communities in the world from Mosul and the subsequent burning down of a 1,800 year old church. The Copts in Egypt are under siege, the Christians of Lebanon and Syria are all but gone, and Christians are being tortured, murdered and kidnapped in Nigeria and Sudan en masse. Israel grants full rights to all citizens regardless of race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Do any of the women’s advocates and gay rights advocates falling over themselves to condemn Israel not see the hypocrisy of protesting the only country in the area that doesn’t kill gays and relegate women to the status of chattel?
800,000 Jews were expelled from Arab lands in 1948. Expelled. Again. They have been fully absorbed into Israeli society. The only refugee population to ever not be absorbed are the “Palestinian” Arabs, who have been refused for 70 years any rights to absorption or naturalization by Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, their supposed “brothers and sisters,” despite the vastness of their borders, in order to keep them as political pawns against Israel. Make no mistake about it, the desperate situation these people are in was manufactured by their supposed brothers and sisters in order to create this very problem and to use them as tools of propaganda against Israel.
The 1.5 million Muslims and Arabs that live in Israel have more rights and freedoms than in any other Muslim country in the world. They are members of parliament and the Supreme Court, they are national beauty pageant winners and professors, they are officers in the police force and the military, and are found in every profession and sector of Israeli life. Walk through practically any Israeli city or town and you will see Arabs and Muslims living and moving about freely. I guarantee you that were a Jew to try and walk through most any Arab neighborhood today, they would not make it out alive. How dare you accuse us of being an apartheid state?
We watch as the Arab world commits true crimes against humanity in Syria with over 200,000 killed under the butcher, Assad. We see hundreds of thousands killed in Egypt, Algeria, Libya and elsewhere. We see Sunnis and Shi’as massacre each other all over the Middle East. We see radical Muslims in every corner of the Earth perpetrate barbarous acts of terror in the name of their religion.
We’ve seen the Western countries and Israel’s supposed allies indiscriminately kill hundreds of thousands if not millions of Arabs and Muslims in the name of fighting terror, but there are no flotillas for any of them. There are no global protests when Muslims murder Muslims in far greater numbers than the totality of all casualties resulting from all of Israel’s wars combined. There are no angry mobs of Arabs and Muslims the world over rioting and foaming at the mouth at the injustice of it all, and sadly we know it’s because they can’t blame the Jews.
We see the pro-Palestine protests for “peace” being held around the world by Arabs, Muslims, neo-nazis, and left-wing extremists (groups who have ostensibly absolutely nothing in common and are diametrically opposed in all ways except for their lusty hatred towards Jews and Israel) chanting “death to the Jews,” or “Gas the Jews,” in a variety of colorful ways while throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks, rioting, destroying public and private property, burning Jewish businesses and creating chaos and destruction. We see synagogues being besieged and attempts to harm the Jews inside physically in France. They totally seem peace-loving and to want peace. We see the global spike in anti Semitic acts of violence. We see it and it makes this Jew stand taller and prouder that we have Israel today.
We don’t indoctrinate our kids to hate, they do this from birth. Our textbooks do not teach hatred, theirs do. We don’t praise death, they do. We don’t send our kids to terrorist training schools, they do. We don’t take pictures of our kids in suicide vest costumes, they do. We don’t have children’s shows extolling the murder of their people, they do. We don’t have Rabbis getting up and advocating for the total annihilation of their people, their Imams do. We don’t deliberately put our women and children in harm’s way in order to create photo ops for the world press, they do. We don’t beat our people trying to flee for safety, they do. We don’t send in photographers before paramedics, they do. We don’t fake images of the dead, or even worse, use the bloody images of Jews who were torn to pieces by Arab terrorists while sleeping, and claim them to be murdered Palestinians, they do. We don’t parade our dead in front of the world, we bury them with dignity and with streams of quiet tears. We don’t use schools, hospitals, ambulances, UN vehicles and private homes as bases for waging terror, they do.
We call people, text them, drop leaflets, map out safe areas to run to, and even send warning “knocks” before striking. They send people to the rooftops by force to act as martyrs. We send our women and children to safety, they strap their babies on themselves and send 12 year olds at our soldiers with suicide belts. We build bomb shelters in most homes and in every city, they use 800,000 tons of concrete meant for infrastructure to build tunnels to infiltrate, murder and kidnap civilians. We set up field hospitals for Gazans, and we’ve even treated terrorists who the very same day tried to kill us. Where is your moral equivocation, world?
Do we make mistakes? Of course. Do we regret our mistakes? Of course. We’ve seen the gruesome images of dead children and families. It pains us greatly that Hamas and other terror organizations have done this to their own people and are using it to wage a propaganda war against Israel. War is disgusting. The vast majority of us want nothing to do with war and death. We would simply like to live in peace and tranquility and to raise our children in such a manner, and I believe this applies to all “sides.” Do we dance in the streets and hand out candies when we dispose of our enemies? Do we hold up three finger salutes celebrating the murder of innocent children? Never. Yet time and time again, world, you blame us. You point the finger at us and tell us we are to blame for these problems.
I for one couldn’t care less what you think anymore, dear world, I’ve had quite enough of your hatred, hypocrisy and double-standards. I hope that my people and my country feel the same. As I look through the lens of history, I see what you have done to the Jews and I know what you are trying to do once again.
We are not fooled, we’ve seen this all before too many times. We remember. It’s different this time though: my people can defend themselves once again, and we’re going to do it no matter what you say or how mad you get. We will never again march like sheep to the slaughter. We will never again allow you to determine our fate. We will live. We will continue to do the absolute best we can as a nation. We will continue to share our imagination, creativity and intelligence with you, despite yourselves. Maybe one day you will recognize us for all the good we’ve done, maybe you won’t. Like I said, I couldn’t care less what you think anymore. Am Yisrael Chai.