There’s a civil war going on in Syria, threatening to spread into Lebanon as well. Some say as many as 120 thousand Syrians, many of them civilians, many of them women and children, have already been killed, and there doesn’t seem to be any indication that the mass murder is subsiding. The Sunnis, egged on by Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, the U.S. and Europe, are attempting to fulfill their age old fantasy of annihilating, once and for all, their enemies, the Shiites, the Alawites, the Druze and the Christians.
Those minority groups in Syria, who happen to possess a modern army and the cruelty of a Pol Pot or a Mao Tse-tung, are only too happy to repay in kind, and they go about achieving this, village by massacred village.
In this Middle East, these things can go on for years. In the 1980s, the clashes between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran brought the average age in both countries to well below 20. So there’s no reason to believe the Syrian civil war is going away any time soon.
Meanwhile, down by the Nile, the enmity between the military and the secular Egyptians on one side and the Muslim Brothers and other Islamists on the other is threatening to blossom into yet another full blown civil war. Already there are car bombs here and there, and newscasters are no longer shocked to report about dozens of civilians killed by “security forces” – that’s code for snipers shooting into the crowd from rooftops.
There is one, unusual, if not unexpected, common denominator to all the noisy, bloodthirsty, violent, murderous folks across the region, no matter their faith, no matter if they’re men, women, or even innocent children: they all hate me.
They hate you, too, assuming you are a Jewish person reading this. If they could – they would mutilate and murder every one of us. To support this claim, kindly visit websites devoted to the 1929 massacre of the Jewish community of Hebron. Those were not Zionists, or occupiers, they were pious Jews living their pious lives for generations, humbly, not getting in anyone’s face, not stopping anyone at checkpoints. They were raped and murdered, one by one, over several days. When they were all finished, the Arab mob still had more appetite for Jew murder, so they proceeded to inflict unspeakable, grotesque mutilations on the corpses.
It wasn’t the only time this has been done, but on that occasion the victims were so very harmless, so in line with the Neturei Karta ideal of how a Jew should behave humbly in his land that is ruled by a foreign sovereign, that we should be able to conclude from it, and from countless later occasions—the mutilation murder of two IDF soldiers who were asking for directions in post-Oslo Ramallah comes to mind—that this is what the Arabs will do to us if they could.
All the Arabs, everywhere, whenever they can. It’s well known by now that what the mob in 1929 Hebron were yelling was not, surprisingly, “Itbach el yahood,” slaughter the Jews, but rather “A-Dawla ma’ana” – the government is with us. Because it meant the British police was going to stand idly by and let them finish what they came over there to do.
It’s the lawlessness, stupid. It’s the sense the people get all of a sudden that it’s cool to transform into a murderous mob, there would be no reprisals this time, so take advantage of the moment and go kill yourself a Jew.
They murder us not because we did anything to them – that comes later, in the justification phase. They murder us because they can.
This stuff is hard for everyone to hear, then accept, and finally, embrace. In our effort to retain our humanity, we find it very difficult to absorb these disturbing notions, that the gentiles, all gentiles, everywhere—with so very few points of light in the darkness, of gentiles who risked all to save Jews—will turn into that Hebron mob when the time is right.
Recently, the level of cruelty exercised by both the Syrians and the Egyptians has reached such a crescendo, that our brothers and sisters the children of Israel have begun to demand that something be done to stop the atrocities. It began with the usual suspects on the religious left, but as the atrocities grew more atrocitous, there are now voices in the Orthodox Jewish world, too, calling for the responsible world powers (oh, man, there’s a funny line) to repeat what President Bill Clinton did in Serbia and just bomb somebody already, for heaven’s sake.
An unexpected digression: a few years ago, when the Stanton Street Shul was renovating, we hired a Serb contractor to do the job. We shared a coke one day, and talked about the bombings. He told me about Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, whose family was saved by his people in World War 2. “We saved her life in the war, and now she repaid us by killing us,” he said bitterly.
There were only a few Jewish communities whose gentile neighbors stood up as one to protect them from the Nazis, and the Serbs were among them. You go, girl, Madeleine…
Back to our local atrocities, which, sitting in Netanya as I do today, are only about half a day’s drive from me going north, and a full day’s ride heading south. Yet here I am, savoring the victory of a fellow Netanyatit, Yarden Gerbi, in a judo championship, enjoying another one of the 320 guaranteed sunny days a year we’re having, while my family is lazily preparing for Shabbat.
I don’t want anyone to stop those massacres, folks, I want them to go on massacring until the last massacre has been massacred, all in good time, under the guidance of God Himself, who is obviously in charge of these things (I’m sure I’m not).
What a wondrous verse is Exodus 14:14: The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
The Hebrew ending is “V’atem tach’rishun” – you will keep silent.
Take a look around you, people, our enemies, who would surely cut up my body and stick it full of its own appendages as they are so fond of doing, those enemies are being organized by God Himself to kill one another with a zeal and a relish that can only be described as divinely inspired. We’ve all seen the Syrian rebel commander cutting up his enemy’s heart from his chest and eating it on You Tube – thank God he’s eating some Arab’s heart and not mine, that’s what I’m saying.
I’m definitely not saying, hey, somebody, stop all this heart eating on You Tube, because, whether televised or not, the pogrom after this one could be mine, God forbid.
When God fights for us, and with such obvious dedication, the mitzvah spelled out in our sacred Torah is so very obvious: