This week, Israel has celebrated its 61st birthday. The miracle of its existence, let alone its robust emotional, ethical and economic health and its unparalleled contributions to the disciplines of medicine, of science and of the humanities is simply astounding. This, despite the seven brutal wars, the intifada, the economic boycotts, the systematized anti-Semitism among some of the chattering classes of academia and within the diplomatic community and, most particularly, in the United Nations, and the imminent threat of a nuclear bomb coming out of Iran.
Yet the irony of the situation cannot escape anyone with a neuron or a synapse in his brain. Here was Israel, founded after the most systematic, mechanized attempt at genocide in human history, so much so that the name the “Holocaust”, or “Nazi” has been invoked, (much too liberally, I might add), to describe the pan-ultimate apotheosis of evil anywhere across the globe.
The Holocaust was a deliberate, calculated attempt to annihilate a people, our people. Israel, more than any nation in history, had been founded on sure footing: through the consensus of an international body, through bloodshed and through constant sacrifice. Yet it, alone among nations has its sheer existence called into question nearly every day of its life.
In nothing short of a Kafkaesque inversion of history, those words to describe the pan-ultimate of evil are often invoked to describe Israel’s behavior towards the Palestinians. Israel is constantly being held up to standards of conduct that no other country, given the same circumstances could possibly be expected to live up to. Israel is the one nation who, in every single military action that they are forced to engage in, puts its soldiers through enormous risks to avoid collateral damage despite the treachery of her enemies.
I recently attended a lecture by Colonel Ben-Tsion Gruber of the IDF about the stringent code of ethics that the Israeli military uses while in the field. Many graves have been dug for young soldiers who have given the benefit of the doubt to the deception of Israel’s combatants, who constantly use United Nations ambulances to transport terrorists. He spoke about the constant and cynical use of pregnant women and of children who have been used as human shields for terrorists, about the mosques, kindergartens hospitals that have been used to harbor terrorists, about the bobby trapping of homes where terrorists have fled from, (because the IDF pre-warns them that they will enter, and gives the terrorist and his family ample time to escape) and about the elaborate system of tunnels from Egypt into the homes of Gazans, through which where tons of terrorists, weapons and explosives have been smuggled. The live, recorded footage of this, taken during Operation Cast Lead was clearly presented for all to see. Yet, somehow this has never made it onto CNN.
Yet, approximately two weeks ago, the theater of the absurd. otherwise known as the United Nations, hosted the Durban II Conference in Geneva. The man who threatens to commits the international crime of incitement to genocide, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was given a platform to spew his hate speech.
The Iranian President is not only talking the talk, he is walking the walk. Iran, at this very moment is taking concrete actions in order to enable that genocide to take place. It claims to have enriched enough uranium for at least one nuclear bomb. No one knows if it is mere bluster, or is actually the case.
Meanwhile, U.S. National Security Council Spokesman, Mike Hammer said on Wednesday, April 29th: “In terms of Iran, we are obviously looking at ways in which engagement might be fruitful and productive…But I think it’s not appropriate at this time to be trying to establish timetables for this.”
However, while we are searching for means of engagement without pre-established timetables, isn’t it critical to ask whether or not the Iranian theocracy is using this time to as a smokescreen in which to continue on its nuclear weaponry program?
The U.S State Department Report of 2008, which just came out, lists Iran as “the most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” Iran is using its proxies of Hamas and Hizballah as the gymnasium in which to flex its muscles. Much of the movements of those organizations are based on planning and directives coming straight out of Tehran. The State Department Report had said that “The Qods Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps gave “weapons, training and funding” to Hamas and other Palestinian anti-Israeli groups, Lebanon’s Shiite Muslim fundamentalists Hizballah, as well as Iraq-based militant and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.”
It is the sheer force, sophistication and strength of the IDF that is keeping Fatah alive in the West Bank According to a recent poll of Palestinians; those living in the West Bank would prefer the rule of Hamas to that of Fatah by a wide percentage.
Yet, at a Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reported that “Progress on establishing a Palestinian State must go hand in hand with efforts to stem Iranian presence in the Middle East.”
When my father was a little boy growing up in Poland, he said there used to be posters in the main cities saying, “Jews: Back to Palestine.” Today, all over college campuses there are posters that read: “Jews: Out of Palestine.”
Israel has, indeed, become the Jewish state. It has become the Jew among nations, thus becoming the embodiment for and the target of all of the antisemitic feelings of the world. It is now being confronted with the prospect of either instant genocide for its people by means of a nuclear bomb, or death by a thousand blows by empowering Iran through its terrorist proxies of Hamas and Hizballah.
Happy Birthday, Israel. I hope and pray that you will live to see another 61 years.
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