web analytics
November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘israeli independence day’

Why We are Here: Israel at 66

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Jews all over the world celebrate Israel’s Independence Day – even those who have no intention of ever

coming on ‘aliya’, and many of whom have never even visited Israel. “It’s a kind of insurance policy” one

overseas friend told me. “By supporting Israel financially and emotionally, I know that its sanctuary is

available to me or my children or grandchildren should the need ever arise.”

I find this kind of thinking very sad, because Israel is so much more than a refuge for persecuted Jews.

Not every immigrant who has built a life here was escaping from the horror of the Holocaust, the tyranny behind the Iron Curtain or the cruelty of life in an Arab country.

Many of us (the ones Israelis refer to as “Anglo-

Saxim) lowered their standard of living significantly when they settled in Israel,

yet found something here that

enhanced their quality of life

even as they struggled with inflation, mortgages and trying to make miniscule

salaries stretch to the end of the month.

We found here a family – our own people.

Of course, just like any family, we fight … about religion, politics,

,the settlements – the fights can be very bitter.

Yet at bottom we care about each other and bond together when

we face a common enemy.

We celebrate together and sometimes even have to grieve together.

Basically,when the going gets rough, we are on the same side.

We express our identity as Jews in different ways, but it is

the same identity.

We found here a beautiful country,

unique in the variety of its scenery and climate.

Meditteranean beaches banded by azure and indigo water

and pure white sand; coral reefs; dense forests; wooded mountains;

deserts and rivers and waterfalls; the shimmering mirrored glass of the Dead Sea;

fields carpeted with wildflowers –

and Jerusalem, the priceless jewel.

Some of us found here a spirituality that we’d never been able to achieve abroad.

Anyone who has been in Israel on Yom Kippur

when the whole country comes to a standstill for one day,

cannot doubt the “kedusha,”the holiness of Eretz Israel.

It is intangible, yet it is an undeniable presence.

We found here a pride in the remarkable achievements of this tiny country.

We can match, and surpass,

the high-tech of much bigger, richer and better developed nations.

We teach agriculture to the world.

Many of our scientists have won the Nobel Prize.

When any new Israeli invention captures the world’s imagination,

somehow we all bask in the reflected glory.

Israelis have always been compared to the Sabra –

the cactus with the thorny exterior but the soft heart.

We celebrate Yom HaTzma’ut in many ways –

campfires and singing, picnics, a Bible Quiz,

concerts, music and dancing in the streets.

We spend the day with family and friends and relish every moment of it.

But it is more than just enjoyment.

On every building, the Israeli flag flies.

Almost every balcony in every city flies

the white flag with the blue Magen David, the Shield of David.

And for days beforehand and a week afterwards,

the Israeli flag flies from every car on the road.

Every ceremony opens with the singing of

“HaTikva” – the Hope – Israel’s national anthem.

We sing it standing straight and proud,

and usually with tears

in our eyes

as we remember the broken people who found a safe haven here,

and those who never managed to

reach its shores and died with the dream of Zion in their hearts.

And we also remember the brave men and

women who gave their lives in all of Israel’s wars,

and in the pre-State days, the fighters and pioneers who

fashioned this wonderful land that we have inherited.

Shin Shalom, one of Israel’s greatest poets,

expressed it for all of us in his “Mother Jerusalem Singing”,

which he wrote a day after the Yom Kippur War in 1973:

“Love forever, glow forever,

cherish, yearn, preserve the kernel

of an everlasting nation, of a heritage eternal.”

As Israelis Mourn the Dead, Jordanians Glorify Killer

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Israelis just transitioned from their annual day of remembrance to the day they celebrate their independence. But even in celebrating 65 years of statehood, Israel never forgets the sacrifices it has made over the course of its existence.

As Israelis mourn the 23,000 soldiers and defense personnel who have been killed in the course of defending the Jewish state against aggression and terrorism, Jordanian leaders (not including the king, at least thus far) are making a hero out of a Jordanian soldier who murdered seven Israeli school girls and wounded six others during a peace program in 1997. Ahmed Daqamseh, who expressed pride in his mass murder, was convicted of these crimes but spared the death penalty, despite the fact that Jordan executes large numbers of criminals for relatively trivial offenses.

Now after serving approximately two years for each of the murders, he is seeking his release and he has the support of a large majority of Jordanian parliamentarians, who regard him as a hero. The very word “hero” was used by the Jordanian justice minister in joining the chorus calling for his release.

Daqamseh’s mother has said, “I am proud of my son and I hold my head high. My son did a heroic deed and has pleased Allah and his own conscience. My son lifts my head and the head of the entire Arab and Islamic nation. I am proud of any Muslim who does what Ahmed did.”

Daqamseh himself has said, “I have no regrets.” He continued, “The only thing I am angry about is the gun, which did not work properly. Otherwise, I would have killed all of the [children].” He also said he would do it again if given the opportunity.

The 13 school girls who were shot by the Jordanian soldier were on a peace mission at a place ironically called The Island of Peace. It is the man who shot these 13 school girls, wishes he had killed more, and promises to do it again, who is being called a hero by Jordanian public officials. The silence of King Abdullah speaks loudly about the widespread popular support that exists for this mass murderer of Jewish children.

In justifying his support for Daqamseh’s release, the Justice Minister said, “If a Jew murdered Arabs, [the Israelis] build him a statue.” In fact precisely the opposite is true. When a Jewish extremist (not a soldier) murdered Arabs at prayer, the Israeli government not only did not build him a statue, it forbade any statue from being built by private sources and has demonized the killer (who was himself killed), as a mass murderer deserving of no lionization.

Another indication of the widespread support is that 110 out of the 120 members of the lower house of Jordan’s parliament have called him a hero and demanded his release. They are seeking “freedom for the soldier hero” and saying “we are all Ahmed Daqamseh.” Leading this despicable effort to free a mass murderer is Ali Sneid, a man who claims to be of the left.

The effort to release Daqamseh has taken on elements of Islamic anti-Semitism by calling the continued imprisonment of this murderer “protection for the herds of the brothers of apes and pigs” and calling the victims of this mass murder by other anti-Semitic terms.

Nor is this hatred of Jews and the Jewish state by Jordanians limited to this particular case, despicable as that would be. Among grassroots Jordanians, particularly those of Palestinian background, there is widespread hatred of all things Jewish, Israeli and even American. Islamic extremism is rampant in parts of Jordan, though suppressed by its king and his dictatorial minions. Jordan is ripe for yet another Arab Spring turned winter. All that stands between the current monarchy and an Islamic upheaval is massive American financial and military support for its charming king.

King Abdullah presents a far more beneficent face of despotism than did any of the other Arab despots who were toppled, or are in the process of being toppled, by the Arab Spring turned Islamic extremist winter. How long this situation will last is anyone’s guess. But the possibility that before long Israel may have a neighbor to the east who is not as peaceful as the current Jordanian government, must be seriously considered.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/as-israelis-mourn-jordanians-glorify/2013/04/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: