Sunday, February 15, 2015

Are You Alone?

As I rode the train to work this morning, I saw the first mention of an attack in front of a synagogue in Copenhagen...first report said two policemen were shot (arm and leg) and one civilian was injured. Then, it was clarified that he was shot in the head; then updated again to say that he had died. Soon it was announced that he was the guard outside a synagogue where inside Jewish families were celebrating the coming of age of a young man.

That child now man will forever live with the fact that the guard who stood before his family and friends, sacrificed all for...for...and that's where I get stuck.

Certainly, Dan Uzan is a hero today, as all our security guards here in Israel are. In the simplest terms, he sacrificed his life to save the lives of many others, including many children. Jews, like him. Unsuspecting that today a simple event would be turned into tragedy.

I don't want to take anything away from his sacrifice and yet, like the Jews who died in France, it is so wrong. Wrong place, wrong time, but most of all, in the wrong country...defending what should not need to be defended. There are lines you draw and lines you don't. If the human body cannot live on Mars, you don't go there - at least not to live. We all need home and so we defend it but if someone offers you something beyond home for which the price is too high, you don't buy it, you don't go there.

What is in Copenhagen? Paris? London? Madison, Wisconsin?

If they are desecrating graves with swastikas, beating Jews, taking hostages and murdering people...in places that are not our own and cannot be defended...it is time to leave. I know it sounds so simple...but...did you ever consider the fact that it really might be?

You can complicate it by speaking of generations who have lived in these lands, of economic considerations. Of degrees earned that may not be worth much in Israel, of driving licenses that would need to be replaced. What happened today in Copenhagen could have been done in Poland and Germany, the Ukraine and elsewhere.

What they didn't learn then, was when it is time to leave, you pack what you can (sometimes what they let you, sometimes not even that)...and you leave because, as happened this morning - if you don't, it could have been the children. The Jews of Yemen are here and settled; the Jews of Ethiopia. The Jews of Russia finally got out; the Jews of Lebanon, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and most of Iran. Most left with nothing and yet with everything because unlike four Jews in France last month and one Jew in Copenhagen today, they came with their lives.

If Dan Uzan had not put his body between the killers and the guests at that party, we could easily have had another one of Obama's "random" acts, this time against a bunch of folks at a birthday party.

In France last month, there was an eloquent speech in which it was publicly proclaimed that France without its Jews is not France. That may be, but to be honest, I don't care.

In Copenhagen today, the Prime Minister of Denmark tried to comfort the Jews of his country by telling them they are not alone.

What he wanted to say was that the Danes are with them...but honestly, there is a more sinister meaning there as well. He didn't mean to threaten "his" Jews but they should feel threatened because, he is correct - they are not alone.

Similar attacks are happening all over Europe. It is not politically correct to identify "no-go" zones, and yet that is what is happening quietly. Despite a current lawsuit over the apparent inaccurate size/location of one such site, the concept is well established and documented.

Do the research - including information I found the other day. The first post in a series documented no-go zones in France, the second covers Britain. The blog will, it says, be running a series of articles to document Europe's no-go zones and explains that these zones "are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated from — rather than become integrated into — their European host nations."

What this means, certainly, is that Copenhagen's Jews are indeed not alone...they, like Jews in many other countries, are at the forefront of the fight against Islamic extremism and a chilling resurgence of anti-semitism, the likes of which Europe has not seen in 70 years.

The question for these communities is whether this is where you want to be? Is that how you want to live? It doesn't matter that France worries about its national character; that Copenhagen mourns the targeting of its Jews.

For all that you imagine life in Israel is harder and more dangerous, the reality is that here in Israel we live in relative peace. There are attacks but we know that the government and security forces are completely committed to protecting us because they are us, we are them. When a man picks up a weapon and guards the mall in his city, knowing that his wife and children, his parents and siblings, his neighbors and friends could be inside, there is no better incentive. How willing are the French to protect its Jews? And do we want to rely on the French police? Will the Danes see this for the systematic poisoning of their society that it is, or try to suggest it is an isolated incident?

The Danish Prime Minister got it half right by offering words he hoped would bring comfort, suggesting that is so much better to never be alone...but if you are together with a monster, you'd probably rather be alone.

If the Jews of Europe and elsewhere are not alone, it is not because their host countries have awakened from their past but because for once, Israel is there beside them. Or, more accurately, awaiting them.

As so many have said to the Jews of Europe in recent days - the Jewish people paid an incomprehensible price for your inability to see the evil on the wall some 80 years ago, as Hitler was making his way to the top. Then, it was understandable, now it is not. Then, by the time you were able to believe, it was too late. Then, cut off from the rest of world Jewry, with no army available, history took its course. In the remnants of the communities that chose to stay or leave - most left. Many came to Israel and helped build this land into what it is today...and in recent years, there has been a resurgence of Jewish culture in Europe that I have always suspected, regretted.


How many more young men and women must give up their lives before you realize that the financial benefits of living in the country where you were born or where you chose to settle, do not outweigh the incredible reasons to leave...now. If you won't leave for yourself, leave for your grandchildren.

Your children are already coming here - it's happening in France, where 11,000 Jews went to begin learning about the process of moving here just in the last month or so. Rather than tear them in half, come with them, bring them. For all the problems you think we have here, our lives are richer than you can imagine, more secure than you ever dreamed. Don't point to a single incident here and compare it to a massive tidal wave there.

I don't know if this will make sense but here in Israel, we are all targets equally. Obama's absurd comment about random makes some sense here - because while the terrorist attacks Jews here, it means he is attacking most Israelis - so while the crime is still terror, the victim doesn't matter - not to the terrorist and not to us. He will attempt to kill with all his power; we will attempt to defend will all of ours. Each person here is equally protected, equally loved, equally valued.

You ARE alone there relative to your society because the attack on the synagogue this morning was an attack against Jews, not Danes; the attack on the supermarket in Paris was an attack against Jews, not France. Every attack against Jews here is an attack against Israel.

Here, you are never alone - not as a target, not as a valued member of society. Not as a Jew, not as a human being. There, you are a Jew...born to live on the edge, to be targeted when some hate-filled extremist wants to attack, and protected when your host country remembers (which usually happens right AFTER the attack).

What could not be done in 1944 can be done in 2015.

Get. Out. Now.


1 comment:

Frank said...

Let the people live where they want and don't lecture them where they have to live.Has it ever occured to you that Israel is too small to give all Jewish people a home there? What do you do then? Grab land from the Arabs?

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