As I click on a video from StandWithUs of a pro-Israel rally in London, I’m inspired. Hundreds of people line the road, flanked by tall blue and white Israeli flags. No speeches. No shouts. Just singing, peaceful and strong.
“Kol ha-olam kulo gesher tzar me’od…”
This world is a very narrow span,
Cross it; if you’re unafraid you can.
What world am I living in that such a rally is even necessary?
My generation of Diaspora Jews had Judaism and Israel on a silver platter. We didn’t have to fight for it. It was just there, a given. Something rich and beautiful to enjoy, to feel anchored by, to be proud of, to call home.
Terror has plagued Israel since its inception, even before it became a state. But the existence and legitimacy of the Jewish state? This was not debated in Western society. Today, unbelievably, we need to fight and justify Israel’s basic existence.
On the day of the London rally, a news article tells of Johannesburg’s latest gift to the Palestinians: a towering statue of Mandela to be placed in Ramallah’s town square.
Seriously? What a twisted perversion of the symbol of anti-apartheid. With the symbiotic relationship between Joberg and the Palestinians, perhaps the Palestinians should send South Africa a statue of Arafat — symbol of murder and bloodshed?
To be frank, I was disappointed. South Africa? Israel has done and continues to do so much in guiding and aiding South Africa with its technological innovations in order to help the still developing parts of this continent.
It’s not worth engaging this distorted, nefarious and wholly inaccurate historical term — apartheid — when applied accusingly to Israel by her enemies.
Then came news of vandalism in the Virginia Vale neighborhood of my native Denver. Thirty six cars! Stars of David, anti-Semitic messages, racist graffiti….