Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Oh, the white folks hate the black folks,
And the black folks hate the white folks.
To hate all but the right folks
Is an old established rule.
Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Muslims,
And…everybody…hates… the… Jews.

(From the song National Brotherhood Week by popular songster Tom Lehrer in the 1950’s.)


I once wrote that living in the volatile Middle East, one never knows what the next morning (or evening) will bring. This morning, the 24th of MarCheshvan, when I awoke, I was greeted with the horrific news about the terror attack in the synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem. We were stunned, paralyzed, appalled. But not surprised.


Jews by nature are an optimistic people. We believe that G-d is the source of all good; that light will eventually conquer darkness. Shalom is our national prayer-word. We are anticipating a universal peace which is not only a political peace, but true spiritual peace that will allow the light of the Shechina to be illuminated. We believe that all the pain and suffering of the past three thousand years (one thousand years in Eretz Yisrael during the time of the First and Second Batei Mikdash, plus two thousand years of Exile – those first thousand years were not all milk and honey either – has a purpose. It is not just senseless suffering. And now that we have merited a return to our Land and to Jewish sovereignty, albeit limited and as yet imperfect, we tend to be even more optimistic. We are sure that, by now, Mashiach cannot be far away.

Yet the world seems to look worse as time goes on. The entire Middle East is in turmoil, engaged in violent, endless war. Egypt just expelled thousands of people along its Sinai border with Gaza. Within forty-eight hours, their homes were bulldozed and work began on a wide demilitarized zone with a moat to ensure that there were no more tunnels coming into its territory. Iran and/or ISIS are in control of vast swaths of Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Turkey, while still strangling the Kurds, is threatened by Iraq. ISIS is advancing and spreading its poisonous talons over the continent. Fighting extends across the Middle East and Asia and even the great Saudi Arabia is anxiously watching both ISIS and Iran who have, by the way, extended their reach all the way to Latin America.

Amidst it all, the People-Who-Never-Were – the Palestinians – are gaining recognition amongst the nations of the world even though their nation doesn’t, and never did, exist. Ironically, in their frenzy of dreams about the next Caliphate conquering the world, the Arab world seems to have abandoned the Palestinians. They are too busy beheading and blowing each other up to worry about generations of displaced Arabs since 1948 when there are a few million brand new refuges now spread across the Middle East. (Not that anyone seems to care too much about them either.)

Who knows? With no one to oppose it, the maniacal Islamist dream of a universal caliphate might even materialize chas v’chalila. Democratic Europe is being quietly invaded and paralyzed by Moslem immigrants and Sharia law. Nary a country seems capable of protecting or defending itself. And the once formidable leader of the Free World, the United States of America, seems unable to chart a consistent, constructive course on any of the major issues confronting the world.

All of these complex problems are seemingly unsolvable but, lo and behold, there is one problem that everyone agrees can be tackled. Tiny little Israel. This sliver of land in the mighty Middle East is the source of all the world’s ills. If only the Jews would retreat to the 1947 borders so that Jerusalem could be divided again. Better yet, if only it would disappear. Surely the barracudas of the world would then be mollified; Iran would happily agree not to produce nuclear substances; ISIS would disappear together with Ebola; Europe could go about its business of doing business with the sheiks; oil would flow freely; America would be universally loved and life would return to its idyllic, Eden-like, Judenrein existence.


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Yaffa Ganz is the award-winning author of over forty titles for Jewish kids, three books on contemporary Jewish living, and “Wheat, Wine & Honey – Poetry by Yaffa Ganz” (available on Amazon).