There’s a famous g’morah in which a certain rabbi loves his half witted mother so much that when she whips him with her sandal and the sandal drops on the ground, he picks it up and hands it back to her, which is how the sages illustrate how far one must go in observing the commandment to revere our parents.
I recalled that g’morah when reading an article put out on Thursday by the IDF Spokesperson’s office, headlined: 48,305 tons of goods entered Gaza last week.
“Last week (December 2 to 8),” the IDF item rejoiced, “1,702 trucks carrying 48,305 tons of goods entered the Gaza Strip from Israel through land crossings. The delivered goods included 654 truckloads of construction materials.
“Additionally, 38 truckloads of goods were exported from Gaza, including fresh produce, furniture and food products.” You give them goods and you buy their produce – life must go on. What a pleasure to have such peaceful, neighborly relations, at last.
Except for the date that was mentioned in the IDF happy announcement—December 8… What memorable thing happened on December 8? Wait, the BBC wrote something about it: “Tens of thousands of Gazans made their way to the rally at the al-Qatiba complex west of Gaza City to hear the speech by Mr Khaled Meshaal on December 8.” While 1,702 Israeli trucks were still busy unloading 48,305 tons of goods in that same Gaza Strip.
And what did Mr. Mashaal have to say that memorable day? Was he grateful to Israel for sending his wretched people those amazing supplies? Not exactly.
“As long as Palestine is ours and Palestine is the land of Arabism and Islam, we can never recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s occupation of it,” Mr. Mashaal told supporters.
“Palestine – from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea, from the north to the south [i.e. all of Israel] – is our land and our right and our homeland; there will be no surrender of even the smallest piece of it. Palestine was and still is Arab and Islamic. Since Palestine is ours, and it is the land of the Arabs and Islam, it is unthinkable that we would recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation of it.”
Darn. And here we thought peace was about to break out.
Of course, Mashaal and his Hamas government are the bad Palestinians. We knew from the start we couldn’t make peace with them. We’ve centered our efforts since 1994 on the good Palestinians, and, indeed, it paid off.
No, it didn’t. The good Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas applied for statehood at the UN and received it in fistfuls.
Then the good Palestinians invited the bad Palestinians to hold two-day rallies in the parts of Judea and Samaria governed by the PA, to mark the bad Palestinians’ movement’s 25th anniversary.
On Thursday, thousands turned out in Shchem to celebrate the founding of Hamas, the first time Hamas was authorized to hold a mass political event away from Gaza by the PLO government.
PLO officials took part in the Shchem rally, while the party’s representatives in Gaza, where Hamas rules, have also got the go-ahead for their own anniversary event which is expected next month.
Nothing but peace and brotherly love among Arabs everywhere. Bad Palestinians are hugging good Palestinians, and all their differences are forgotten.
Festivals were also held in Ramallah and Hebron to celebrate the Hamas anniversary, as well as what was seen locally as a victory for the party in its eight-day conflict with Israel last month.
The IDF story concludes with this bit of information:
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) is a unit within the IDF responsible for the transport of aid into both the Judea and Samaria region and the Gaza Strip. COGAT assists in matters of health, education, agriculture, and infrastructure on a daily basis. It works with the Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) of the Gaza Strip and the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria to facilitate the transfer of supplies including gas, building materials, electrical appliances, ceramic parts, hygienic products, wheat, and other foods.
That’s why I was reminded of the story of the rabbi who gives his mother back her sandal, so she’d whip him some more. I always felt uncomfortable with that story, because of the obvious dysfunctional theme there, of violence and madness. But I thought that the sages may have been right in picking the most extreme case of reverence to a parent, a parent who is disabled and crazy – and yet, she, too, must receive your reverence.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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