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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Galus Yid’

‘I Aimed my Rifle Above the Rock-Throwing Arab Boy’s Head’

Monday, April 15th, 2013

I confess.

As a Reserve IDF soldier, I may have been guilty of not defending my country. “Come and arrest me, Benny Gantz,” but I feel safe that at the age of 69, I will be ignored.

The incident occurred 23 years ago, during the “First” Intifada, a misnomer for the 27-year terrorist campaign launched by Yasser Arafat and another chapter in the century-old anti-Zionist war.

I was escorting a tourist bus on the hilly curves of Beit Jala, a village that is part of the Bethlehem region.

The Intifada had reached the stage of massive rock-throwing and firebombings of army and civilian vehicles.

The IDF really was prepared to fight armies but not rock throwers. How do you defend citizens against rock-throwers, many of them children?

The military’s R & D geniuses came up with the “Hatzatzit” (gravel maker), a tank-like machine that ground up rocks and, in  an “eye-for-an-eye” fashion, sprayed protesters with pebbles.

They were used against large-scale demonstrations but were not available for every rock-throwing incident in Judea and Samaria.

Rocks are the same as bullets in that they are projectiles that can kill, but when you shoot an M-16 rifle, you are almost certain of scaring the daylights out of someone several hundred feet away, or injuring, if not killing him. It is not a hunting rifle, it is used to defend civilians and soldiers from being killed.

Thrown rocks can be deadly, as we know too well. Many Jewish babies and adults have been killed by the impact of a rock through a car windshield, or by a fatal crash caused by a hurdled rock.

That is the ultimate goal of the rock-throwers nowadays. But in 1990, it was more of a symbol of defiance and a challenge to soldiers. The Arabs had stones. The soldiers had guns. That was not seen as a fair fight, but it’s never a fair fight when a Jew wins.

And how about an eight-year-old who back then had no intention to kill.

I remember when I was eight years old, on a snowy day in Baltimore. Our next-door neighbor’s grandson, a neighborhood mischief-maker, led the charge to pelt passing cars with snowballs. I wanted to be accepted by my buddies, so I joined in.

Bam! I hit a guy’s side window head-on. Bull’s-eye. I was exhilarated. I showed my “friends” I could do it.

I was less exhilarated when the driver slammed the brakes and  angrily burst out of the car to chase after us.

He didn’t call the police. Worse than that, we got a nasty response from our parents.

There is no comparison between my childhood incident and the Arab hatred of Jews. After all, I did not hate the driver. But you could compare my pelting a snow ball with the rocks pelted by one eight-year-old Arab, 20-some years ago. The Arabs had not yet educated their small children to murder Jews. They only encouraged them to harass Jews.

That’s what they did when I was escorting that tourist bus.

I was toting an M-16 semi-automatic. My cartridge had one rubber bullet. That was all the ammunition I was allowed to use on stone-throwers. After that first bullet, the others were live. A rubber bullet can kill but usually does not. A live bullet usually kills or injures, unless you’re a bad shot.

As usual, without warning, a rock smashed into a side window of the bus.

The driver stopped, and I rushed out, with my rifle aiming in the air. I saw an eight-year-old running away, his back to me.

I raised my weapon and aimed.

Twenty years later, our son was a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. If it were him in my place, I would have said: “Shoot him. Kill him. If you don’t get rid of him now, the blood of ‘who knows many Jews’ will be on your hands in 20 years when he becomes a full-grown terrorist. My son, this Is Israel and not the diaspora. Pull the trigger.”

I aimed the rifle at the fleeing boy’s head.

Twenty-two years later, my second son was serving in a Tank Brigade. If he had been in Beit Jala, would I have told him: “My son, don’t do it. How can you shoot an eight-year-old in the back? So he threw a rock. So what? Remember the snowball I threw?”

From New Jew To Galus Yid

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Last week the Monitor, noting the publication of a new collection of essays from the tendentious post-Zionist historian Avi Shlaim, reflected on the damage inflicted by post-Zionism on Israel’s international reputation and, more important, Israel’s collective consciousness.

Academic acolytes of post-Zionism can talk all they want about how a confident, mature nation deals openly with the alleged dark elements of its past, but the truth is that in their eagerness to demonize their country they represent the very apotheosis of confidence and maturity.

Indeed, they resemble nothing so much as the Galus Yid so fiercely scorned by Israelis of an earlier vintage. It is the Galus Yid, after all, who according to classic Zionist ideology is forever condemned to an existence of supplication and self-denigration, slavishly agreeing with and appeasing his enemies, even to the point of internalizing all the worst stereotypes and epithets they hurl his way.

Given the ease with which post-Zionism infected Israel’s body politic, one is forced to conclude that the era of muscular and unapologetic Zionism was but a brief interregnum in the long history of Jewish weakness and insecurity – and it becomes easier to comprehend how the majority consensus in Israel shifted rather quickly from flat denial of the historicity of a “Palestinian Arab” nation (a notion Arab leaders themselves vigorously opposed in the years leading up to and immediately following the creation of Israel) to mute acceptance as indisputable truth all claims of Palestinian nationhood.

And yet that particular shift in Israeli public opinion, swift though it was, rates as positively sluggish when compared with the breakneck pace of Israel’s resuscitation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which in 1991 appeared ready to breath its last.

Vilified in the West for its enthusiastic support of Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War; strapped for cash thanks to the demise of one sugar daddy (the Soviet Union) and the disgust of another (Saudi Arabia); and increasingly viewed by rank and file Palestinians as hopelessly venal and self-serving, the PLO was on the brink of long-deserved oblivion.

Hardly had the hearse backed up to the grave, however, when the funeral was abruptly canceled – unbelievably enough by Israel itself, which almost single-handedly brought Yasir Arafat back to political and diplomatic life, buffed his image, and convinced the international community to open its coffers and replenish his bank accounts.

By 1993 the transformation was complete. In a matter of months Arafat had gone from being scorned as the planet’s most infamous terrorist to being feted as a Nobel-caliber statesman, all under the auspices of an Israeli government that, in a display craven enough to make even the most hopeless Galus Yid proud, pleaded on bended knee for no one to take seriously Arafat’s continued penchant for anti-Semitic rhetoric and graphic calls for Israel’s destruction.

And so it came to pass that even when Arafat was videotaped issuing fiery calls in Arabic for jihad and the shedding of Jewish blood, Shimon Peres stood in the Knesset and told the world the tapes must somehow have been doctored by the enemies of peace.

There really is no parallel to the phenomenon witnessed by the world in those years: A small country, surrounded by enemies who given the chance would tear it to pieces like a pack of ravenous wolves, rehabilitating as its “peace partners” the most ruthless killers of its women and children while flagellating itself for every lie ever told by those who pined for its destruction.

Against the backdrop of such boundless naiveté and relentless self-criticism did the New Jew of Zionist ideology metamorphose into the Galus Yid of Zionist mythology. The wide-eyed wonder of young Israeli soldiers at the Western Wall in 1967, captured for eternity in David Rubinger’s iconic photograph, suddenly seemed hopelessly passé, as did the emotional reference in Hatikvah to “a free nation in our land.”

It took forty-plus years of statehood, but the old Zionist spirit of moral certainty and national pride had, by the mid-1990s, given way to a new ethos, one of cringing embarrassment and deepening doubt.

And while post-Zionists and Israeli leftists in general were mortified by Arafat’s rejection of the sweeping concessions offered by Ehud Barak at Camp David and Taba, and even more so by Arafat’s launching of a second intifada, the harping on Israeli culpability, instigation and oppression have continued to this day, nowhere more shrilly and adamantly than in the opinion-shaping precincts of Israeli media and academia.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/from-new-jew-to-galus-yid/2010/02/24/

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