Monday, May 12, 2003

Rejoicing in Our Land

Rejoicing in Our Land
May 12, 2003


Yesterday Arab terror stole its 768th victim of the Oslo War, fifty two year old Tzion David, father of six, including an eight year old son, who will never ever again play with his daddy.

In today’s newspapers we are treated to the theatre of the absurd, pictures of a smiling Tzion David, a smiling Colin Powell, a smiling Ariel Sharon, a smiling Abu Mazen and a smiling Mohammed Dahlan. I can understand why the latter two are grinning; they have what to be happy about. First of all, there is one less Jew in Israel. Secondly, they have again managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat. Where else in the world would the American Secretary of State agree to meet, shake hands with, and talk to international gangster-terrorists?

I can understand why Colin Powell is all cheery. He is, he thinks, on his way to fulfilling the age-old dream of the American State Department, and that is, a plan to bring about the annihilation of the State of Israel.

What I find very hard to comprehend or stomach, is Ariel Sharon’s obvious delight. His show of joy is equivalent to that of a ten year old who is elated, when, after having walked out of school, is jumped by the neighborhood bullies, punched in the face, kicked, spit on, and then, just so that he should really understand, is, and you will please excuse me, urinated on. Any kid who would be pleased after such an attack needs not only a good trainer, but an ever better psychologist.

That’s the way it is with our Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon.

To add a cherry to the icing, Israel radio reported this morning that David’s murderers hole up in Arafat’s Mukhatta headquarters in Ramallah. From there they strolled off to kill another Jew, and where they returned following the execution.

These same people also killed twenty seven year old Gideon Lichterman on the eve of Independence Day.

It goes without saying that killers originating from Arafat’s headquarters are not acting behind the boss’s back. Yassir knows exactly what’s going on, because he’s giving the orders. Yet Sharon and company just keep on smiling, everything is fine.

How sick it is!

Many people have turned to me, asking what they can do. First, credit where credit is due. There are a number of groups, in Israel and around the world, working very hard to torpedo the current suicide plan, called the “road map.”  I’m always afraid to start mentioning specific groups, or people, for fear of leaving someone out and offending them. So, this list is not inclusive. Two Jewish organizations in the United States, the Zionist Organization of America, led by National President Mort Klein and Executive Director Robert Jancu, and AFSI, American Friends for a Safe Israel, led by Chairman Herb Zweibon and Executive Director Helen Friedman, are working tirelessly, day and night, to right the wrongs of the ‘piece plan.’ Many Christian groups, amongst them the Christian Coalition, led by Roberta Combs, are working hand-in-hand with Senators and Congressmen in Washington, to prevent George W. Bush from pressuring Israel. Here in Israel such groups as the “Matot Arim,” in English, ‘the city’s committee’ led by Susie Dym, working with various political lobbying groups, are trying to twist Sharon’s arm, preventing him from tearing apart Eretz Yisrael and established a Palesterror State in our backyard. 

It is of the utmost importance that people like yourselves, wherever you are, keep the pressure on, making sure that your political representatives know that you care, keeping them on their toes. It really does make a difference. Work with these organizations, they need volunteers to strengthen the ranks. Make your voices heard.

People ask me how we keep our sanity – how do we keep our heads above water, despite everything that’s going on. I can only relate a personal example – it’s really quite simple. Last week we marked two special days, two days in a row. First, Memorial Day, remembering those no longer with us, killed in war, wiped out by terror. It’s a very difficult day, especially when so many of the people we remember were killed in the past few months and years, friends, family, loved ones. It is an emotionally draining twenty four hours, peaking the pain of the past six months.

And then, almost literally with the stroke of the clock, we commence Independence Day celebrations. Fireworks, festive music, barbeques, events seeming diametrically opposed to the sentiments of the past twenty four hours.

Are the two events really contradictory? Is the ache of Memorial Day suddenly forgotten, erased, as if it didn’t exist? No, of course not. So how is it possible to make such a drastic transformation from mourning to celebrating?  These two days exemplify the abnormality of our era, the anomaly of the Jewish people. We made it through two thousand years of galut, centuries of persecution, exile and death, culminating with the greatest of all crimes against humanity – a holocaust, leaving over six million of our brethren dead. Yet, three short years later, we found ourselves with a state, independence, a new lease on existence. And now that we have come back home, there are those among us who still don’t want to come home, and there are others, who, having come back home, want to literally give our homeland away, to our enemies, who want nothing more than to again evict us from our land. So many opposites, so many contradictions.

We returned to Israel on the coattails of the victims of Nazi Germany. We established a State on the coattails of those who fell in War. And today, we are holding on to our Land by the tips of our fingernails, at the cost of hundreds of dead and thousands of maimed. Were we to give up, their sacrifices would be in vain. So, we have no choice but to push the pain aside, and celebrate, when it is time to celebrate. And that is how we continue to live, day after day, doing whatever must be done, crying, laughing, struggling for our land, and rejoicing in our land. That is the only way to remain sane.

With blessings from Hebron,
This is David Wilder

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