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July 19, 2002 - Image 35

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-07-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Want to get away?
Take a trip with the J.

bullets with Jewish bodies seems to be
regarded as no less violent an act than
shooting bullets at them.
We've all seen such absurdity parad-
ing as objectivity in reportage from the
Middle East, where fairness and accu-
racy regularly fall prey to a perversely
"balanced" portrayal of two morally
diametric sides as ethical equals.
One population may target inno-
cents and rejoice in every gallon of
blood it spills, and the other may be
seeking no more than to protect its
citizens from that hostility and blood-
shed; but no matter. There is no right
or wrong, no good or bad, only two
parties. And the violence, of course, is
"between" them.
Now, though, the bizarre mentality

of imposing moral parity where there
is none is revealed rampant not only
in reports from Jerusalem or
Ramallah, but anywhere Jews are
hated or attacked.
More than 60 years ago, in a semi-
nal essay about how only fealty to the
Jewish religious tradition can truly
protect Jews, the revered sage Rabbi
Elchonon Wasserman (1875-1941)
lamented how so many Jews tended to
credulously place their trust in an
assortment of doomed "isms." He
referred to things like international-
ism, humanism, socialism and secular
Were we to update the list, we
might consider adding "objective jour-

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ularly good stretch of land which was
earmarked for other purposes.
Disobeying the authorities, they staged
an 'invasion,' occupied the area they cov-
eted, squatted there, and within a week
announced they were remaining."
This was Ginosar, the kibbutz of the
late military leader and statesman
Yigal Allon, located north of Tiberias,
which established its own facts on the
ground and eventually became one of
the respected pillars of the kibbutz
"Heavily armed bands of Arab terror-
ists lurked behind the rocks and laid
ambush to passersby and sniped from the
hilltops upon Jewish colonists, yet the
caravan of new settlers was not discour-
aged. "This is a 1937 account of the
settlement of Ein Hashofet in the hills
of Ephraim.
"The farm was located in a completely
Arab environment, far from any other
Jewish settlement ... for many years iso-

lated in its mountain sanctuary. Their
stubbornness was rewarded by seeing a
host of other settlements springing up
around it, and assuring Jewish presence."
That described the establishment of
Kfar Giladi more than 80 years ago.
Its heroism and that of Tel Hai nearby,
were responsible for the fact that the
flag of Israel, and not that of Lebanon
or Syria, today flies over Upper
Galilee. From 1936 to 1939, 55 new
settlements were founded, largely in
areas not previously penetrated by
and those days, they were called Sasa
and Ein Hashofet, Merhavia and Kfar
Giladi, Biriyah and Hanita, Tirat Zvi
and Ein Harod. Today the same role is
played by Kiryat Arba, Alon Moreh,
Maale Adumim, Kedumim, Ariel,
Maale Ephraim, Karnei Shomron,
Elkana, Ofra, Kfar Etzion, Efrat, Beit
El, Tekoa and many more. They are
all in the same historic tradition.

We know them because they are
our sons and our husbands and
brothers, and because we know what
songs they have been singing, all
their lives, even when being awarded
military honors.
I am certain there are exceptions to
this rule, that not every soldier is
noble and moral, that some abuse
their power, that a few may even
enjoy brutality.
But they are rejected by the main-
stream. Boys in the army are con- ,
stantly lectured on the "purity of
arms," and how a soldier must be a
moral person.
This is a long tradition, from before

the rise of the State of Israel, and it
has remained our tradition through all
the wars forced upon us, and even
during this long dispute, which, if
anyone does his homework, will real-
ize is the result of yet another war
forced upon us that we refuse to lose_.
This is why the Israeli army is
what it is — and this is why evi-
dence showing us babies being
brought up on blood and bombs and
suicide and Jihad makes us Only feel
more strongly the morality of fight-
ing for our little corner of the . world.
If you want to know the truth —
listen to the music. It's loud and
clear. ❑

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