by Yosef Ben Tzion (Joel Busner) – April 2001
NOT MUCH TO CELEBRATE?
It seems as though it gets harder and harder to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut in Israel each year. This year is especially troublesome as we are experiencing endless amounts of terror from our ‘peace partners’. The situation has sunk to a new low with major cities like Kfar Saba considering canceling festivities from fear of terror. Of course the media won’t let us forget the plight of the ‘poor’ Arab citizens of Israel who claim to have nothing to celebrate. In brief they feel that our gain of a State is their loss. Interesting.
It hurts me to see so many young Israelis looking to leave our country to go anywhere. To be truthful, I can’t blame them. Most of them have been raised believing that we can’t win against fear and terror, that we don’t have rights to all the land (or maybe not any of it?), that we really have no special reason to be here. It is very depressing. Then there are the Diaspora Jews.
Somewhere around 5,000,000 Jews live in the United States (depends how you count them and who still claims to be Jewish). It is astonishing to learn that close to 70% of the American Jewish population have never even visited Israel. Now with the situation in turmoil here the number of Jewish tourists from abroad has shrunk drastically. Hotels have laid off huge numbers of employees. Aliya from abroad outside of the former Soviet Union is virtually non existent. Shame, shame, shame.
I find solace in some historical facts. The State of Israel came into being because a couple of small groups of Jewish freedom fighters with a belief in our G–d given obligation to settle the Land of Israel fought for it. They didn’t show restraint against Jew haters. They hit back harder. They taught a strong Jewish lesson to the Jew haters in the land that this is our home and we’re not going back to Galut (Diaspora). Enough inquisitions, pogroms, and holocausts. Enough speeches about poor, dead Jews. Enough of the policy of “Ma Yomru HaGoyim?” (“What will the gentiles say?”). From history we can learn.
Today, history is repeating itself in many ways. The government is restraining our army clearly out of fear of what the Nations will say. For Jewish and logical reasons I have never agreed with that type of policy. I understood and disagreed with those who claimed that we had to play some sort of balancing act between what will keep the world quiet and what will keep our home secure. History has taught us repeatedly that the more we try to please the Nations the more the Nations condemn us and subsequently put more negative pressure on us. This pattern has now put us in a perceived impossible situation. If we hit the Arab Jew haters hard, we will definitely suffer world condemnation. The threats of isolation, restricted trade, multi national intervention, are just too much for our timid leaders to bear. We now have the pleasure of hearing our ‘leaders’ babble nightly on national television shows sounding more and more confused as the situation worsens.
BUT THERE IS A G–D OF ISRAEL
I am not an overly religious person. I am a proud Jew. A normal Jew. I am a Jew who can’t always explain to you all of G—d’s actions. Terrible tragedies have befallen the Jewish People and many ask, “where was G–d?” or, “Is there a G–d?” I challenge those people with the following questions: How did we survive the War of Independence in 1948? How did we get through the 6 day War in 1967 victoriously, when the most optimistic experts predicted at least 50,000 Jewish casualties, while others predicted the end of the Jewish State? Today, I ask the following question; how come so many Arab bomb makers are accidentally blowing themselves up? Or, how is it that so many Jews come out unharmed after so many vicious armed attacks? Of course G–d exists. That is the reason that we are here in the 1st place. You don’t have to be a tzadik or a Torah genius to understand that our existence here in Israel is a miracle in itself. If you believe in our G–d given right to the Land then you must show your belief. If the European Union cuts off trade because we fight to defend our people and our land, believe that it will turn out good for us in the end because we acted with faith and with pride. We will get through it and be stronger in the end for being self–reliant.
A JEWISH STATE
Yom Ha’atzmaut is a day of ‘JEWISH INDEPENDENCE’. Of course people whose religion dictates that we are infidels will never be able to celebrate their loss. They are normal. As long as there exists a state that declares itself to be Jewish in character they won’t accept it. Sure, the smarter ones will talk ‘peace’. However, the last 7 months have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Jew’s understanding of peace and the Arab’s understanding of peace are not the same thing. The Arabs of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, along with their brothers in Jaffa, East Jerusalem, Uhm El Fahem, Nazareth, etc, have taken the Jewish sign of weakness to better arm themselves to conquer ‘Palestine’ and eventually throw the Jews into the sea. One cannot leave out all the help they receive in smuggled weaponry from our peace partners in Egypt and Jordan, as well as the northern attacks from Syrian sponsored Hizbollah. I believe in a Jewish State. That means I celebrate Jewish victory over evil Jew haters. No apologies necessary. I don’t have any guilty feelings about being proud of having a country that is mine.
OUR CHALLENGE IS YOUR CHALLENGE
To those of you who have shied away from our homeland I ask of you the following: How can you give in to all the haters of Jews by shunning our country? Take a trip. Purchase land here. Invest in a business. Seriously consider Aliya. Have Israel on your mind and in your heart. This country is our inheritance.
To those of us here who are thinking of leaving, don’t!!!!!!! Arafat and Tibi would only be too happy. Our forefathers and foremothers prayed for our return from the 4 corners of the earth and that process has surely begun! The pioneers who came to develop this Land without a dime in their pockets had a dream. Their dream of a beautiful land for all of the world’s Jews must be realized. Each and every one of us can make a difference towards a better Israel.
THE REAL HEROES
Every day in this country Jews are attacked. Many hospitals have injured soldiers and terror victims. One of our organization’s activities is to regularly visit these victims and their families. This Thursday morning, Yom Ha’atzmaut in the Central region as well as in Jerusalem we have staff and volunteers scheduled to visit with these heroes. We will be bringing cakes, cookies, fruit baskets, magicians, etc. Why specifically on Yom Ha’atzmaut? Simply because if people didn’t sacrifice themselves on behalf of the Jewish Nation there wouldn’t be a Jewish country. It is time for all good Jews to unite in support of these types of endeavors. Together we can and will build a better Israel. Chag Sameach!!!!!!!!!!!!