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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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It’s My Opinion: Pogroms

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The news is not good. Another cease-fire has been violated. Another attempt at peace has been thwarted. Hamas has assaulted Israel with a barrage of rockets. Red alert sirens are blaring. Molotov cocktails thrown by Arab terrorists have hit an Israeli bus and a Jewish home. Jews are seeking refuge in safe rooms and shelters.

The sickening feeling of déjà vu hangs heavy in the air. The age-old phenomenon of violence directed against Jews continues. It seems nothing has changed.

My family came to America in the early 1900s. They were escaping the pogroms and brutal attacks on the Jews of Poland. The story of great-uncle Yishuah was particularly poignant. Yishuah stood guard as his wife hid in a shallow potato cellar. The villagers were coming to rape and pillage. Cries of “Kill the Jews” rang out.

The reemergence of the Jewish homeland in 1948 gave hope to Jews around the world. A state with its own police force and army created the expectation that Jews could finally be safe, at least within Israel’s national borders. The reality, however, was that the calls of “Itbah al-Yahud” – “Murder the Jews” – rang out with impunity. It seems the old European shtetl was not the only unsafe place for Jews.

Israel’s neighbors engaged in hostilities from the onset. The War of Independence was a hard-won battle. Aggression and enmity has followed for 66 years.

Before the Six-Day War of 1967, Syria fired a constant barrage of missiles directed at civilians in settlements and towns throughout the Golan Heights. The terror and dread took a terrible toll. Children who were born and raised during this period were referred to as “children of the shelters.” They spent much of their time underground, seeking refuge from the onslaught.

Unfortunately, Israel is still a favorite target for terrorists. Over 11,000 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since the withdrawal in 2005. Sderot has been a favorite, but Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and many other cities in Israel are currently affected.

Many Israeli parents have started putting their children in the family’s bomb shelter at night. They feel this is better than rousing little ones from a deep sleep and running with them as the warning sirens blare. However, despite all good intentions to minimize the dilemma, the message is clear. One’s home and school and shul are vulnerable. No place is safe.

During their long and bloody exile, the Jewish people were at the mercy of other nations. They are now the recipients of abuse in their own homeland. It was not acceptable in the past to have Jews cowering in the potato cellars of the shtetl and it certainly is not acceptable now to have Jews holed up in bunkers in the state of Israel.

The IDF’s ground incursion into Gaza exposed an incredibly sophisticated system of underground terror tunnels. The tunnels extend into cities in Israel. They were huge, well built, and filled with weaponry and equipment for invasion.

The IDF made another startling revelation. The tunnels were slated to be used to facilitate a massive pogrom. The slaughter was scheduled to start this coming September 25 – Rosh Hashanah. The casualty count could have been in the thousands.

The time has come for Israel to take a zero tolerance approach to unprovoked attacks on its population. It’s not good enough to block rockets and hide in shelters. No other country would allow such a situation to go on. The Iron Dome has been effective in deflecting missiles. An Iron Fist is needed to assure that the bombardment will end.

About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.


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6 Responses to “It’s My Opinion: Pogroms”

  1. Ashton Pinto says:

    Radical islam ! Radicals ruthlessly kill , while moderate ones are silent, no protest nothing .. They support each other in this way .. Muslim jihadi groups muslim brotherhood .. Their agenda = islamic world domination by making statements such as USA will be destoryed , we will conquer Rome and kill all the defiles jews and Christians .. Total puppets of Muhammad the pedophile !

  2. Ashton Pinto says:

    Radical islam ! Radicals ruthlessly kill , while moderate ones are silent, no protest nothing .. They support each other in this way .. Muslim jihadi groups muslim brotherhood .. Their agenda = islamic world domination by making statements such as USA will be destoryed , we will conquer Rome and kill all the defiles jews and Christians .. Total puppets of Muhammad the pedophile !

  3. Islam is not a religion

  4. If you are so sure that ” Palestine , the country, goes back through most of recorded history,” I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of Palestine :

    When was it founded and by whom?
    What were its borders?
    What was its capital?
    What were its major cities?
    What constituted the basis of its economy?
    What was its form of government?
    Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
    Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
    What was the language of the country of Palestine ?
    What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?
    What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date.
    And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?
    You are lamenting the “low sinking” of a “once proud” nation. Please tell me, when exactly was that “nation” proud and what was it so proud of?

    And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call “Palestinians” are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over — or thrown out of — the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War?

    I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day “Palestinians” to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won’t work here.

    The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel ; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it “the Palestinian people” and installed it in Gaza , Judea, and Samaria . How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the “West Bank” and Gaza , respectively?

    The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less claim to nationhood than that Indian tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The so-called “Palestinians” have only one motivation: the destruction of Israel , and in my book that is not sufficient to consider them a nation” — or anything else except what they really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled.

    In fact, there is only one way to achieve peace in the Middle East . Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war against Israel and, as the losing side should, pay Israel reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited on it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and accepting Israel ‘s ancient sovereignty over Gaza , Judea, and Samaria.

    That will mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying again was its beginning?

  5. If you are so sure that ” Palestine , the country, goes back through most of recorded history,” I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of Palestine :

    When was it founded and by whom?
    What were its borders?
    What was its capital?
    What were its major cities?
    What constituted the basis of its economy?
    What was its form of government?
    Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
    Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
    What was the language of the country of Palestine ?
    What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?
    What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date.
    And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?
    You are lamenting the “low sinking” of a “once proud” nation. Please tell me, when exactly was that “nation” proud and what was it so proud of?

    And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call “Palestinians” are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over — or thrown out of — the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War?

    I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day “Palestinians” to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won’t work here.

    The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel ; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it “the Palestinian people” and installed it in Gaza , Judea, and Samaria . How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the “West Bank” and Gaza , respectively?

    The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less claim to nationhood than that Indian tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The so-called “Palestinians” have only one motivation: the destruction of Israel , and in my book that is not sufficient to consider them a nation” — or anything else except what they really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled.

    In fact, there is only one way to achieve peace in the Middle East . Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war against Israel and, as the losing side should, pay Israel reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited on it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and accepting Israel ‘s ancient sovereignty over Gaza , Judea, and Samaria.

    That will mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying again was its beginning?

  6. Thank you. I think so too. Please copy and paste this so we can spread the word.
    Sent from my iPad

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