I sit among the debris of yesterday, the air still reeking of destruction and injustice. The stench of death, the acrid smoke wafting into my nostrils. A crude sense of disproportionate evil, horrors unspeakable and a nation that stands alone.
And yet today, here I stand in the wake of a fresh brand of hate. I watch in disbelief as immorality and unsuppressed animosity swell up like a tidal wave, ripping across countries and continents, sweeping millions beneath its power. Yes, millions. As disturbing as that sounds, we are once again the few and they are the many. We are the minority, the victimized, the persecuted. We are cursed and torn apart even whilst the ashes of yesterday still smolder.
And the hate is spreading, tenacious claws grasping at ignorant minds, scratching at their brains and planting seeds of anger in Australia, Europe, South Africa and even, gasp, the sacred United States of America. As anti-Semitism unfurls its banners of wrath and rage, I struggle to wrap myself around the message the world is giving.
Genocide. Nazism. Massacre. War crimes.
The comparisons being drawn would be laughable if they weren’t so terrifyingly supported by the majority of the western world. From CNN, to BBC, to Sky News, the hideous untruths run free and unchecked, a glorious fountain of misconstrued facts and lies more twisted than gnarled tree trunks. Darkness engulfs this miserable planet we call earth and the lone candles of goodness shed but a tiny circle of light, hardly noticeable and all but ignored.
And with each article, news broadcast, web video, I grope like a mad blind man for a sliver of sanity, for a pole of support. Instead, I flail helplessly and find myself screaming in frustration. An overwhelming sense of prejudiced inequity rises through my chest, my throat, behind my eyes. A burning fire igniting the embers of grievance in my heart. A fury consumes me.
I am mad. I am mad at America. I am mad at Europe, at the British and the French police who watch stoically as radicals shout racist slogans and threaten to cut the throats of every one of my people. I am mad at every TV news station that cynically implies that we, yes me – I am Israel and every Jew is Israel – are committing war crimes as we defend our very lives and destiny.
I see the poisonous venom froth at their mouths, the joy in their eyes as they display the dead. Sixty-seven faces brazenly held up high on banners. Sixty-seven lives. Sixty-seven heroes. Sixty-seven sons and grandsons. Sixty-seven husbands and boyfriends.
Sixty-seven mothers waiting in agony for boys who will not, did not come home. Sixty-seven mothers burying their children. Children of courage and bravery, some of them so young that their chins have yet to sprout hair. My heart cannot fathom it. How does a mother bury a child? I am a mother and this thought tears me apart. This is not the way of the world. It defies nature in every possible sense.
They call us the Chosen Nation. A part of me challenges that age-old cliché. G-d what have you chosen us for? For persecution and annihilation? For abuse and ridicule? For pain and suffering? A nation that is misunderstood, misrepresented, misbelieved.
Never again, we shouted. Never again, they promised.
And yet, here it is, again.