Photo Credit: Zack Wajsgras / Flash 90
Praying at the Western Wall


{Originally posted to the Inspiration from Zion website}


There was an old man who used to sweep the area next to the Kotel, the Western Wall. When asked why he, such an old man, was working, doing menial labor he explained that in Auschwitz a Nazi pointed to the smoke billowing up from the crematorium and told him: “You see that smoke? That’s your family going up in ashes and soon you will also be there!” His response was to answer: “No. I will live and I will see Jerusalem.”

By a miracle he did live and to him sweeping the plaza and picking up other people’s trash was a glorious gift from heaven because he was blessed enough to do it at the Kotel, in the heart of Jerusalem.

For 3000 years Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish Nation. Even in exile, when the Jewish people lost sovereignty over Jerusalem, she was still the heart of the Nation.

Jerusalem was, and still is, the place Jews turn to in prayer, three times, every day. Jerusalem is upheld in every Jewish wedding as more important than the happiness of the union between bride and groom. The Passover Seder, marking the exodus of the Children of Israel from slavery, is complete only when we recite: “Next year in Jerusalem, rebuilt!” because THAT is the true end of the journey from slavery into freedom.

The Jews of Ethiopia dreamt of Jerusalem as did the Jews trapped in Soviet Russia. Jerusalem is the heart of Zion, always has been and always will be.

Interestingly this well-known fact is now being put forth as something that is debatable. The simple statement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel is “controversial.” Why?

For centuries the nations of the world have been ambivalent about the Jewish people. On one hand, they enjoyed the benefits we brought to their lands (education, medicine, inventions) on the other hand they were disturbed by our “otherness,” the unwillingness to adopt their religions, worship their Gods, become like them.

The Jewish people rejected ancient Greece, ancient Rome, Christianity, and Islam thus providing impetus to find fault with the Jewish people which quickly morphed into outright persecution. Modern Jew-hate is no different, that too is a reaction to a people who retain their “otherness”, sticking to their morals, values, and nationhood when socialist/globalist influences imply that it is wrong to do so.

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned
Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorned.”

The Jewish people began returning to Zion as soon as they could.

My grandmother grew up in British Mandate Palestine (a name given twice to this land in attempt to disconnect the Jews from Zion, a name that is now being used again, for the same reason). As a young girl she felt the cruel ambivalence of British soldiers who laughed as she, just 12 years old, was running for her life, trying to escape an Arab lynch mob. Instead of helping her, they took bets on the odds of the child being able to outrun the men chasing her with knives in their hands.

The day after the State of Israel was officially declared the Arabs of the land rose up in attempt to destroy the newly birthed country. Everyone was surprised when they did not succeed.

In 1967, Egypt, Jordan and Syria rose up in a coordinated attack, certain that together they could destroy the Jewish State. The world watched with baited breath, certain that there was no way the Jewish people could survive. Instead of being overrun, Israel stunned the world by, in just SIX days, not only beating back three combined armies but also recapturing the Jordanian occupied Old City of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the biblical heartland of Israel – Judea and Samaria.

This week Hamas has planned large demonstrations (riots) in protest of Israel’s return to what is most sacred to the Nation of Israel (Jerusalem), to protest that Israel did not disappear in ’67 and actually regained what was stolen from us centuries before.

Or to put it more simply, they are protesting that they lost the battle to destroy Israel in ’67.

This is the same reason Hamas planned their “March of Return” which was supposed to culminate in an enormous riot that would overrun Israel’s borders and wreak havoc on the day America opened their embassy in Jerusalem – May 14th, the date when the State of Israel was officially declared in 1948.

In other words, Hamas planned an enormous protest on the date Israel’s independence was declared, on the date America acknowledged that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

Or to put it even more simply, Hamas planned an enormous violent riot in protest of Israel’s existence and America’s acknowledgment of that existence.

Israel’s Prime Minister just returned from a trip visiting Germany, France, and the UK.

French President Emmanuel Macron had the audacity to tell Netanyahu that moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem caused Gazans to die. This statement is very revealing.

Opening the American embassy in Jerusalem was a symbolic recognition of reality. It did not create reality, it did not change reality. What it did do was declare that the United States would no longer participate in the game of ambivalence about the existence of the Jewish people and the return to our ancestral homeland, sending the message: “Yes, we understand. The Jews are in Zion and they are not going anywhere.”

Macron’s statement means that the acknowledgment of the eternal Jewish bond to Jerusalem forced Arabs to riot and thus be killed. That it is wrong to accept as fact that Jews belong in Jerusalem, that Jerusalem has always been and always will be the capital of the Jewish State.

In his mind, it is better to continue to play the game of ambivalence – on one hand saying that antisemitism is wrong, on the other hand stating that one must not acknowledge Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

Maybe the Jews will go away. Maybe that will appease the Arabs.

In the UK, Teresa May told Prime Minister Netanyahu that she “understands Israel’s right to defend herself but she is concerned about Gazan lives.”

There should no “but” in that sentence.

Israel would not have to defend herself if we weren’t under attack. And the Gazan lives Ms. May is concerned about? Is she unaware that Hamas is proudly claiming most of the dead as their own operatives? Not just members of the party but actual, professional militants?

With one little word, Teresa May negated Israel’s sovereign right to protect the lives of her citizens and maintain her borders. “But” created an equation where terrorists hell-bent on killing Israelis are the same as Israelis who want to live in peace in their homes without being murdered.

How is this different from the British soldiers laughing and taking bets on my grandmother’s life? They knew that to live the little girl needed to escape the lynch mob BUT they weren’t about to intervene, maybe the mob would catch the Jewish child and the soldiers would have their afternoon entertainment…

The American declaration did not cause violence. It did not “trigger” violence. What it did do is rip off the mask behind which Jew-haters hide, denying the validity of excuses used to sustain the cruel ambivalence that, in its silence, encourages violence against the Nation of Israel.

It was a declaration that: “We aren’t playing that game anymore.” And THAT is what is forcing all other nations on earth to chose sides. Will they recognize that the Jewish people have returned to our ancestral homeland, never to leave again? Or will they continue to maintain their ambivalence, secretly hoping that the Jewish people will disappear?

The riots Israel is currently experiencing, the attempts to attack us from the ground and from the air are not a product of Israeli or American policy. They are a reaction to Israel’s existence, Arab frustration that the Nation of Israel is home to stay, that all of their efforts to make us disappear failed.

What fuels the violence is leaders like Macron and others who send the message that Arab violence is only to be expected because Arabs feel wronged by the existence of Israel and her eternal ties to Jerusalem.

This is not a pleasant picture but there is actually hope here. We must make it impossible to continue to deny reality. It is up to each and every one of us to openly declare that we will no longer play the game. There will be no more attempts to appease violence by not acknowledging Jewish connection to Jerusalem. There is no room for debate. No room for question. Zion is home to stay.

When it becomes no longer possible to deny reality, peace will become possible.


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Forest Rain Marcia 'made aliyah', immigrated with her family to Israel at the age of thirteen. Her blog, 'Inspiration from Zion' is a leading blog on Israel. She is the Content and Marketing Specialist for the Israel Forever Foundation and is a Marketing Communications and Branding expert writing for hi-tech companies for a living-- and Israel for the soul.