K A H A N E
The Magazine of the Authentic Jewish Idea
May-June 1989 Iyar-Sivan 5749
In the Jewish State, a dream of ages becomes a nightmare. For 2,000 years the Jew had a dream. No matter where he lived in the Exile – Morocco, Poland, Yemen, Russia, Iraq, Galicia – the Jew dreamed the greatest of all possible dreams – that of shivat Tzion, the return to Zion. The Jew of the exile, of humiliation, of fear, of terror, of pogroms and death, dreamed that some day he would go up from the fear and terror and humiliation and degradation; that a day would come when he – the Jew – would come home, would come home to his land, would have a state of his own, would exchange fear and terror and humiliation for sovereignty and pride and strength. A state in which never again would the Jew fear for his life or dread walking anywhere in his land. A Jewish State! The dream of generations!
And so, today, we have a Jewish State. Through G-d’s mercies and Jewish sacrifice, there exists, today, a sovereign Jewish State. The dream.
The dream? There is no fear in the State of Israel? There is no humiliation? There is no terror? There is no gnawing sense of foreboding? Of “what will be?”
Months and months, a year; more, of an Arab uprising. And the army of Israel that was able to smash Arab armies, nations; that won a war in Six Days, is unable to put on end to rioting by Arab women and children! They attack the soldiers with stones, with firebombs – unafraid, taunting, cursing, hating. And the soldiers of Israel stand in frustration, hobbled by insane orders, drafted by confused politicians who are, themselves, ideologically bewildered and guilt ridden, unsure of the justice of their own cause and fearful of world reaction. The soldiers’ hands are tied by insane limitations on their freedom to act in self-defense (The Central Command insists that soldiers attacked by stone throwing Arabs only fire into the air and warn the mob to stand back; then, if still alive or not seriously hurt, to shoot at one of the stone throwers, and then – assuming G-d has been good – to shoot at the crowd). Is it any wonder that so many soldiers simply do not enter areas of danger? Or, worse, back away from confrontation, knowing that if they do not shoot they may be seriously injured or worse, and if they do, they may be court-martialed, as so many of the finest elite soldiers have already been?
And as the Arabs see the soldiers back away; and as they see that army policy is to allow them, more and more, to do whatever they wish in their own villages – should it surprise us that they grow bolder and more confident, attacking soldiers and vehicles almost with impunity? Is it surprising that little, autonomous Palestine “states” are springing up daily in various Arab villages where one can see PLO flags flying boldly from minarets and private “armies” of youths training openly with hatchets and swords?
And is there anyone who should be shocked as more and more Jews are attacked as they drive along highways in the liberated areas as well as on roads inside the State of Israel itself? And that is the greatest tragedy of them all! A Jewish State that rose to free the Jew from terror and fear. And today, in the Jewish State that did arise, there is terror; there is fear. Jews are afraid in their own land.
In Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, the Jewish holy city, Jews are attacked daily, with stones and firebombs. Jews are murdered in cold blood by Arabs who are unafraid. Jewish automobiles and buses are regularly attacked, with Jews injured – daily. Jews fear to go into the Old City of Jerusalem through the Arab sections. Rare are those who enter through Sha’ar Sachem (Damascus Gate). In Jaffa, buses are routinely attacked. Jaffa is not in the “occupied territories” but is rather the home of Israeli Arabs –our Arabs, our loyal Arabs…
In the northern Israeli city of Acre, Jews are physically attacked and less and less dare to go into the Old City there. Acre is a part of the State of Israel. Automobiles driving along the Wadi Ara highway are targets of Molotov cocktails and rocks. The number of Jewish automobiles using the highway has dropped by fully 50%. Wadi Ara is not in the “occupied territories.” It is in the heartland of Israel, running between the cities of Hedera and Afula. In the Galilee, Israeli Arabs attack Jews, a grenade is thrown at a police vehicle, police arrest Arabs of Israel as members of terrorist groups.
Soldiers are attacked as they hitch rides – attacked, kidnapped, murdered. Women soldiers are forbidden to hitch rides and men are strictly limited. This is the free Jewish State of which the national anthem Hatikva, says: “To be a free people in our own land…”
The bitter truth is that the Jew is afraid in larger and larger areas of his own state land. And the bitterer truth is that the Arab is not. There is no area in the land, no part of Israel that Arabs avoid. They fear going nowhere – at any time, day or night. Arab kiosks and stalls are to be found in every Jewish market place. There are no Jewish market places in Gaza or any other Arab town or city in any of the liberated areas or, for that matter, in any Arab village in Israel itself. The Arabs would never allow it….
The intifada grows bolder. And it will – it must spread into the State of Israel, reaching into more and more Jewish areas. For in the Middle East, in the mind of the world of the Arab it is strength and weakness that set the tone. When the Arab sensed Jewish strength and a Jewish army unhobbled by anyone – he sat in fear and passivity. When he began to sense – rightly – Jewish weakness, hesitation and fear, he rose up to carry out the never-ending dream – the return of “Palestine,” a dream to be built on the ruins of Israel, the Jewish State. The Arab sees Jewish weakness, hesitancy, impotence, indecision, fear – and he prepares the sharpened hatchet and knife.
And as the Arab sense of power, pride, victory and, above all – justice of his cause –grows and flourishes, so does there arise, like some noxious weed, a growing number of Jews stricken with a sickness of soul that can only be termed a kind of spiritual and psychological AIDS. Deeply troubled people, ridden with guilt, that time-dishonored Jewish disease, they were conceived in the psychoses of an exile of centuries, and born in the self-hate that afflicts so many of our people.
Their guilt and self-hate drive them to question not only the justice of the Jewish presence in what they outrageously term the “occupied” lands, but even to doubt, in the recesses of their troubled minds, the very right of the Jew to have come to the Land of Israel in the first place, and take the land from the indigenous “Palestinians.” To be sure, they are not only afflicted with guilt and self-hate, they also lack the courage to cure their affliction, for if it is true for them that the Jews are thieves and have stolen the land from the Arabs, then is not the moral solution for the leftist to stand up and give up, give “back” his kibbutz? Give it “back” to the poor Arabs? Of course, that is the normal step for a “thief” whose conscience has been stricken. But not only does the Jewish leftist and liberal in Israel suffer from a disease-ridden soul of guilt, he also lacks the courage to act on it by returning his “stolen” land.
They wallow; do the leftists and self-proclaimed moralists, in this vomit of guilt, their self-hate growing in proportion to their lack of moral courage. And so, in a desperate effort to win a crumb of Arab forgiveness and to somehow soothe their own tortured soul, they are compelled to support the Arab position on every issue. They become trumpets of shrill criticism and attack on the State of Israel, on the Army of Israel, on the People of Israel. On themselves. They march for the poor “Palestinians,” they bleed and weep for the “Palestinians,” they demand a homeland for the poor “Palestinians.” “The poor Palestinians?” Innocent victims of Israeli aggression?
Land for peace? By all means. The Jews who were the victims of countless efforts to destroy them and who are the rightful owners will keep the land and be prepared to graciously give the murderous Arabs peace.
And above all, no guilt! What causes a Jewish people that has suffered thousands of dead and tens of thousands of wounded and maimed at the hands of the Arabs, fail to understand that they are a cruel enemy, bent on destroying Israel and decimating the Jews? What causes Jews who see the brutality and treachery and viciousness with which Arabs massacre each other, refuse to see what our fate would be if we would be so mad as to give them the slightest opportunity to do to us what they dream to do to us? Above all, what makes a Jewish people that has only one land and has returned to that land, to feel guilty over it and to accept the myth of a “Palestine” and a “Palestinian people?”
There is no Palestinian people and there is no Palestine! There is not, there never was, and please G-d, there will never be.
If something is really yours – you leap upon it, you proclaim it so and you take very step possible to insure that it will be yours forever. If you do not, then your pious speeches about ownership will be met with doubt and disbelief. And on the other hand, when the other side – the Arabs – daily, hourly, and loudly,. And proclaim that the land is “Palestine” what the world sees is an apparent choice between Arabs who claim that the land is theirs and who fight and die for it, and Jews who keep a “status quo” which is nothing more than “the occupied territories.” What do we expect from any objective person?
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