Entry 4: The Necessity Of The State Of Israel

10 Muslim terrorists recently took over several sites in mumbai and killed 183 people.  Americans, Brits, Israeli’s, and Jews were specifically targeted.  In the end, Jewish victims made up a disproportionate number of the foreigners killed.  According to officials in both Israel and india, Israeli hostages were tortured by their captors before they were bound together and killed. To say this was infuriating is an understatement.

Even doctors expressed horror at the condition of the bodies recovered from the Nariman Building, which housed the Orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch retreat. “I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was traumatised,” a mortician said. “It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood.”

Unfortunately, the targeting of Jews is no new occurrence. We have been targeted for most of our 2000 year existence.  Not until 1974 did the Vatican formally declare that the Jewish people are not to be held collectively responsible for the death of Christ.  Before this time, for 1900 years, this charge among others, has led to hatred, violence against and murder of Jews in Europe and throughout the world. Pagans, Christians, Muslims, and Nazis, among others, have all targeted Jews for destruction, and yet we have survived despite the odds.

In 70 AD the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem and killed over 1 million Jews. In 132 AD the Roman empire massacred another 1/2 million Jews after a failed uprising and in 135, Rome officially banned the practice of Judaism from the empire, a crime punishable by torture and death. (1)

With the birth of the religion of Islam, Jews had to face a new enemy. In 627, Muhammad’s followers killed between 600 and 900 Jewish men, and divided the surviving Jewish women and children amongst themselves.(2)

In the 8th century, whole Jewish communities were wiped out by Arabs under the rule of Idris I in Morocco.

In 1066, an Arab mob in Granada, Spain, razed the Jewish quarter of the city and slaughtered its 5,000 inhabitants.

The persecution of Jews hit it’s peak during the first Crusade in 1096, which was later dubbed the German Crusade. Jewish communities on the Rhine and the Danube where annihilated. In 1099 the Crusaders forced all of the Jews of Jerusalem into a central synagogue and set it on fire. Those who tried to escape were forced back into the burning building. In 1147 the Jews of France were subject to massacres like those seen in Germany less than a century earlier.

In 1298 Jew were persecuted in Austria, Bavaria and Franconia. 140 Jewish communities were destroyed and more than 100,000 Jews were killed over a 6 month time period.

In 1321, the Plague that was beginning to spread throughout Europe was blamed on Jews poisoning the wells, which led to massacres. The first of these massacres began in France with the burning of 5,000 Jewish men, women, and children. By 1347, the Jews were officially declared responsible for the plague after a Rabbi “admitted” that the Jews were in fact guilty after heavy torture. As the hysteria spread to Germany, Jews were burned alive by the tens of thousands.

Between 1648 and 1649 in Poland, there was an uprising against Polish Rule in the Ukraine which held as one of it’s two vital goals (the first being independence) the extermination of all the Jews in the country. The massacre began with the slaughter of about 6,000 Jews in Nemirov. Other mass murders would later take place in Tulchin, Polonnoye, Volhynia, Bar, Lvov, etc. It is estimated that about 100,000 Jews were murdered in that time period. (3)

in 1465, Arab mobs in Fez, Morocco, slaughtered thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 alive.

Violent anti-Jewish riots called Pogroms occurred throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa in the latter half of the 19th century.  The following are but a few: Aleppo (1850, 1875), Damascus (1840, 1848, 1890), Beirut (1862, 1874), Dayr al-Qamar (1847), Jerusalem (1847), Cairo (1844, 1890, 1901-02), Mansura (1877), Alexandria (1870, 1882, 1901-07), Port Said (1903, 1908), Damanhur (1871, 1873, 1877, 1891), Istanbul (1870, 1874), Buyukdere (1864), Kuzguncuk (1866), Eyub (1868), Edirne (1872), Izmir (1872, 1874). (4)

In 1915 the Russian Czar forced Jews to relocate, and nearly 100,000 died of starvation and freezing on forced marches as a result.

In 1917, during the civil war in Russia, reactionary White armies used protocols to incite people to murder Jews.  200,000 were murdered in the Ukraine alone.

In 1939, the Holocaust, or the systematic extermination of Jews in Germany, began. The extermination of Jews by the Nazis did not end until 1945 with the conclusion of World War II.  6 million Jews, 1.5 million of whom were children, were massacred. Some were killed by firing squads, others died slowly in gas chambers at Dacau, Sobibor, Treblinka and other extermination camps. Some were tortured by Nazi doctors and some died of starvation and freezing.

To anyone who has never left a concentration camp and felt a burning anger in their heart where most people feel sadness and despair; to anyone who has seen terrorists dragging the body of an Israeli soldier through the streets on television and didn’t imagine themselves descending on that mob with an M-16; to anyone who is not overcome with emotion when they hear ha’tikvah, Israel’s National Anthem; it would be impossible to describe the feelings of rage in my heart on learning of the events of November 30th in Mumbai. It was but another reminder that people still exist today who would wipe us off the map if given the chance. The Israeli Army stands in the way of those people, and ensures that there is a place where any Jew, regardless of their level of observance, can find refuge against oppression and persecution. Events like those that took place on November 30th make the decision to come to Israel for the army easy for me. Jews were the only religious group specifically targeted by the terrorists for torture and execution. My grandparents could have been on vacation in that hotel in Mumbai.

The fight today is one against a despicable enemy. An enemy without regard for human rights or even for human life; an enemy that is more animal than human. It is a basic question of wrong versus right, of good versus evil.  While Israel may not be perfect, the men in Mumbia and the breed of Islam from which they come are the clearest example of evil in the world today.

The deaths of the men, women and children who lost their lives to terror in Mumbai will be avenged.

Whoever sheds the blood of a human being by human beings shall his blood be shed, for in the divine image did God make humanity.”

Genesis 9:6

Sources:

1- http://www.haydid.org/antsemr.htm

2 – Bat Ye’or, the Dhimmi, (NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985), pp. 43-44.

3- http://www.religioustolerance.org/jud_pers3.htm

4- Yossef Bodansky. “Islamic Anti-Semitism as a Political Instrument” Co-Produced by The Ariel Center for Policy Research and The Freeman Center for Strategic Studies, 1999. ISBN-10 0967139104, ISBN-13 978-0967139104)

2/05/2009

2 Responses to “Entry 4: The Necessity Of The State Of Israel”

  1. Alex Jefferson Says:

    To say that I agree with you would be an understatement.

    The Land of Israel is something that our people has needed for 2000 year. We finally have it and it is the duty of each one of us to fight to protect that land and to protect our nation. I was there for the year last year, this winter break, and hope to make aliyah soon after college. The fact of the matter is this: the country is a place where a Jew can be a Jew. A place where keeping kosher and shabbat is universally accepted. We live in a country and further a international society where sex, alcahol, and television reign supreme. Israel is a land simply with a different paradigm. It is a land where the values of the Torah call the shots regardless of one’s religious affiliation.

    Israel is said to have her seven special fruits. Tu Bishvat was this past weekend where celebrate such produce. What makes these fruits so special? They each need a specific environment to grow… 7 different environments. And yet they each are grown and flourish in the tiny land of Israel.

    This is only a metaphor for the way Jews and different nations should live in that country. While we may want our own laws and environments to live, we can all co exist and live together in such a small land. Daati and Chiloni. Jew and Arab. It is a place to call home. And a place with the right values.

    That is something to fight to protect.

  2. Aliza Circle Says:

    I enter my email address, but I was unable to signed in.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: