One thing about Jews, they have long memories. They love to forgive but they will never forget. At this moment in time as my little country is fighting for its life, every unkind word, every lying headline, every incomprehensible lack of support, will never be forgotten, etched in our national memories and in our vulnerable hearts forever.
They are large hearts, the hearts of Israelis. Ever since the founding of the State, our people have lost no opportunity to reach out to the world in goodness.
On November 22, 2022 five year-old Amir Yichya Mabchuch from Gaza received life-saving heart surgery in an Israeli hospital through Save a Child’s Heart foundation. He was the 3,000th Palestinian child helped by the organization, which has provided this medical care to twice that number of children all over the world. On October 7, Gazans showed their thanks to Israelis for saving their children by killing theirs.
Now, let’s take a quick look at Israel’s volunteer work to better the lives of Africans. There are thirty NGO’s in Israel, including CultivAid – Knowledge Based Development, Brit Olam, KKL-JNF and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies empowering African farmers and communities, fostering economic growth and sustainable livelihoods.
One of the most successful is Fair Planet, an internationally acclaimed farming project founded by Dr. Shoshan Haran, that over the last decade has enabled tens of thousands of previously impoverished farmers to earn a good living while providing an estimated million Africans with a reliable source of food. The project has been growing steadily in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda, and Dr. Shoshan has visited every year.
On October 7, Hamas terrorists kidnapped her, along with her husband, her daughters and her granddaughters, and other family members. Her husband and brother in law were murdered. After fifty days of hell, she and her daughters and granddaughters, 5 and 7, were released, but only after Israel agreed to release three Hamas murderers and terrorists for each hostage let go. The fate of other family members is still uncertain.
This was her reward. And South Africa with “dizzying malevolence”, as journalist Jeremy Sharon put it in the Times of Israel, now sits as the legal arm of Hamas, in the ICJ accusing Israel of genocide, working hand in hand with the people who did this to Dr. Haran.
Let’s talk about Turkey. Only a year ago, on February 6, 2023, a huge earthquake devastated Turkey and Syria. Israel, ignoring the disgusting anti-Semitic behavior of that country on many occasions, still sent numerous teams, including those from the IDF, to provide humanitarian aid. Using a cutting edge radar camera invented in Israel that can detect the presence of people beyond walls, they saved the lives of 19 Turks buried in the rubble, including a two-year-old baby. Called “Operation Olive Branch,” it marked the IDF’s 30th rescue and recovery operation since 1982. Moreover, the IDF deployed fifteen Air Force cargo planes carrying hundreds of tons of equipment and an additional 200 personnel to establish a field hospital in Turkey.
Israeli citizens too quickly organized, collaborating with other groups in the region. “The mobilization of these groups suggests a potential framework for future collaboration, especially as rebuilding efforts will extend into the months ahead,” wrote Dr. Nir Boms from the Dayan Center of Mideast Studies, in an article published on March 6, 2023.
This fervent good will, the largess of the Israeli heart which is constantly seeking to return good for evil, really makes me want to cry. So much effort, generosity, kindness, intelligence to make the world a better place, and look what the Jewish people, particularly the wonderful people of Israel have received in return: the worst calumnies, the bare-faced lies, the ugly deceptions, the fanatical eagerness to shed Jewish blood. Worst of all, the near constant attempt to accuse the victims of exactly what the perpetrators are guilty of!
Take a Harvard student, Alex (Shabbos) Kestenbaum who along with five other Jewish students is now suing Harvard to get his tuition money back, after being inundated by social media attacks and hate mail “stfu pedo lover All you Zionists are the same. Killers and rapists of children,” one wrote, reversing the narrative of October 7.
Ah, no, that would be your Muslim terrorists, following their pedo rapist prophet’s example when he “married” a nine year-old.
But what does it matter? No one is interested in the truth. They weren’t 70 years ago, and they aren’t now. I’ve always thought that “Never Again” was a foolish slogan. How is the world any different? How are Jews any different? Were Europe’s Jews any less intelligent, any less talented, any less creative, any less a jewel in the societies they were part of, like us, raising the culture and the quality of life all around them like yeast? And yet, they were slaughtered, and yet, they wish to slaughter us, destroying all that potential for good, for transformation, betterment. And yet.
The only thing that is different now is the existence of the State of Israel. Even as a college student in New York City, my birthplace, I always believed that was the only answer for the Jewish people in the long run. An army, an air force, an atom or hydrogen bomb. So now, our children and grandchildren are trained. They are a formidable fighting force. Now, we cannot be rounded up, pushed into cattle cars. But look what happened when we took our eyes off the ball for one day! Look what they did in 24 hours!
It is my belief and faith that we will defeat these beasts along with the worldwide confederacy of dunces that are their stupid, evil cheerleaders. I have no doubt. But why, for God’s sake, should we have to? Why should we have to keep looking over our shoulders every moment of every day for the rest of eternity? Why should our children and grandchildren have to keep dying to defend themselves? Why?