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Sunday, April 27, 2008


Last month the people in Gaza danced in the streets, gave out candies and celebrated the murder of eight yeshiva students in Jerusalem by one of their people. A trusted Arab driver turned terrorist that the school had trusted. The students were young boys studying as they were murdered. The act of celebrating this slaughter is contrary to Israeli belief and causes utter abhorrence to the Israelis.

Kahil Shikake, Palestinian pollster tells us that 85% of the Palestinians approved of this slaughter, and even he was shocked at the high number. A people has become approving of barbarism!

This wasn't the first incident. Several years ago two Israeli soldiers accidently drove into the city of Ramallah, populated by Palestinians. The soldiers were lynched, dragged through the streets and torn to pieces. The murders marched through the streets showing their blood-covered hands and the people cheered. How terrible can you get? I'm not even sure that the old Romans were that bad.

The highest medal of honor was just given to two terrorists who were murderers in the Sbarro Pizza Store massacre. President Abbas was speaking of peace with Israel but had okayed the medal. How schizophrenic can one get?

A few years ago a Palestinian mob mutilated the body parts of six Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza and this was shown on TV. Again, the mob behavior is beyond cruelty of anything seen from WWII, and of all things, turning out to be popular viewing.

It reminds me of the video I saw while living in Israel. We could get Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and even Syrian TV programs when we lived in the Northern Galilee of Safed. I witnessed a Syrian program showing their soldiers biting puppies and snakes that were alive, and killing them in that fashion to show the public how strong they were. I vomited. I was in shock. I could not believe that people could be so gross and so horrid. That occurred sometime between 1981 and 1985.

On the other side of the coin, Colonel Eyal Eisenberg, Commander of the Givati Brigade of Israel , tells about seeing eleven of his soldiers blown to bits. In the midst of the attack, the soldiers had aided a Palestinian lady's baby being born and evacuated them. They also evacuated an elderly Palestinian woman who was injured by getting their Mogan David ambulance for her. She was probably taken to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, Portland's sister city. While the ambulance was moving, terrorists ran and fired at the very soldiers who helped her from behind it.

The actions of terrorists has been mostly to attack women and children. I remember seeing a graveyard in Safed, where I lived, made up of children from the school where terrorists broke into and slaughtered the children. Bombs are placed in buses, stores, restaurants and places where people congregate and they kill civilians. This is not a war of soldier against soldiers. These terrorists usually hide behind their own children, causing them death.

Arab children are taught to become suicide bombers, as well as unhappy women or slow thinking citizens who can be taken advantage of. Their lives are unimportant to their parents or people in the way we think of lives being important.

It is no wonder that Israel decided to build a wall to separate them from us. Not only does it help to protect Israel from terrorists and thus prevents more bloodshed, but keeps people of such values apart from Israelis. Golda Meier once said that the horror of war is that our soldiers learn the hard way of practices that are revolting to us. Even the Torah teaches us that we are not to emulate the abominable practices of the Egyptians, thus now meaning the terrorists.

We are taught that the experience of being slaves in Egypt for 430 years was to teach us ethical sensitivity to the suffering of others. So we learned in the Exodus not to cheer when the Egyptians were drowned in the sea when they chased after us after promising to let us go.
So today we don't cheer when the enemy falls. We get no satisfaction from the suffering of others.

We may have a history of being "cousins", being joined at the hip to Abraham, but dna is not showing much of a connection, except with the Kurds, who are not Arabs and are being treated horribly in Iraq. We both believe in one G-d instead of more than one, but that G-d is certainly giving out different lesson plans to our two groups.

We leave vengeance to G-d. It is not for us to do. Judaism sees salvation as being open to all good people, not just Jews. We pray for the salvation of others, not for their downfall. Our values are very different from our proposed neighbors, and they are values that we can be proud of.

Reference: Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg's article, "How Judaism is different".
My recollections.

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