By Larry Gordon
More than anything, it is about fraud and dishonesty. But Israel plays along and tries to accept it because she wants peace and quiet for her people. And for now it looks like that is the tradeoff: we will go along with the lies and the deceptions in exchange for peace and quiet.
But now even that has changed. Much of the world now demands that Israel buy into the lies and deviousness—but on its own merit or lack thereof, without any assurance of peace.
The big lie here is the idea that the Jews are foreign to the city of Jerusalem. That this is the reality in today’s world is both astounding and insulting. But it looks like no one really cares if we are astounded or insulted.
The point is to construct a wedge between us and our indisputable and eternal capital. And the world, from the United States on down, will just not let go as they continue to insist that Jews have no real rights in Jerusalem. In the face of all this—of late, anyway—the Israelis may not be building, but at least they keep on with some consistency, announcing that they are about to build. And that drives the world wild.
This so-called violation of international law—which, by the way, it is not—is unabashedly discriminatory. Those who are in the forefront of advocating for it are usually those who will go to all lengths to safeguard the human rights of minorities no matter their far-flung locations around the world. That is, except Jews.
There is something about us that allows those countries to deny our people’s rights when it comes to our movements around the State of Israel. They get uncomfortable and even hot under the collar. “Jews in Jerusalem”—now that is where the line gets drawn. The pithy little phrase could be enough to start the next world war or at least a Middle Eastern one. If you want to see governments really crawl all over themselves and become livid and go nearly insane, just insert the world “building.” Well, we need a Security Council resolution about that one.
It is not too late to change all that, though it would be supremely difficult. Part of the problem is that the government of Israel bought into this attitude not only at the start of the Oslo Accords 21 years ago, but also in 1967, after the Six Day War.
It was at that particular point when the deeply secular and non-observant General Moshe Dayan magnanimously handed the keys to the mosques on the Temple Mount back to the Jordanians. The expression at the time seemed to be: “Oh, this is a holy place—not interested.”
It has been almost half a century since those miraculous and fateful days, but you can see that not much has changed. The Arabs misjudged the magnanimity for Jewish wrongness or possibly weakness on some level. But that should no longer be the case.
Take, for example, the story in Tuesday’s New York Times about Ramat Shlomo, which is considered East Jerusalem. Today 20,000 ultra-Orthodox reside there. Housing is reasonably priced, and the demand for additional housing is high. Children grow older, marry, have their own children, and want to live close to their nuclear family. The shortage of housing in Ramat Shlomo—named such in memory of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt’l—does not allow for those families to live near one another.
The announcement the other day that 400 additional homes were going to be constructed in Ramat Shlomo on top of the 1,000 additional homes that were announced when Prime Minister Netanyahu was in Washington provoked significant ire from the White House and the State Department.
So who are these people who live in Ramat Shlomo? They are, mostly, frum families with many young children. They know little about conflicts or peace processes. There are 42 shuls in Ramat Shlomo, according to the Times reporter. These are people who are peaceful and who want to live in peace regardless of who their neighbors might be. They are the perfect components of that which is required to achieve peace.
But the U.S. position is that these are settlers and therefore people who are, by their very presence on that land, an obstacle to peace. They are not radical or militaristic. They study Torah and raise children; they live simply and modestly. So what is the problem and why are U.S. officials so up in arms about children and grandchildren moving into the community to be close to their parents and grandparents?
We are getting closer to understanding the real issue here when we realize that the objection to these peace-loving people who reside in Ramat Shlomo is that they are somehow defiling the land by their mere presence.
And that is not because there is anything wrong with how they conduct themselves. The issue driving the objection to their presence in this place is that they are Jews. And the world, in not-so-quiet prejudicial and discriminatory ways, has decided that it is not proper for Jews to be there. This position might be at least partially understandable if this was the thought process of those inundated with Arab hate speech and incitement against Jews.
But that is not the case. These are the stances of international governments, including the United States of America. Can you just imagine if someone, somewhere, would say that Catholics, African-Americans, or Latinos cannot live in a specific location because they defile the land? The United Nations would condemn that position. Sadly, that is not the case here, and the hypocrisy and double standard is both obvious and shocking.
P.S.: In the aftermath of Wednesday’s vehicular terror attacks in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu is once again assigning blame to Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. The prime minister did the same thing two weeks ago when the first vehicular terror attack occurred. The accusations fall on deaf ears. No one condemns Abbas for his overt incitement. On the contrary, Abbas speaks of the attackers as martyrs and heroes, and the U.S. State Department talks about traffic incidents and the need for both sides to show restraint. There is something wrong with this repetitive and circuitous narrative.
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The midterm elections—much touted with fanfare and hope—are now behind us. Thankfully, America has collectively spoken and has emphatically rejected the disturbing plans of Barack Obama. There is now hope for the future with a clear majority in both the Senate and the House. Obama’s liberal approaches to so many issues required large doses of double-talk and deception to sneak by the American people. From “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” to “There isn’t a smidgen of corruption at the IRS,” the masses have recognized that something was terribly wrong here.
In Obama-speak, the meaning of “you can keep your doctor” left out that your doctor may not want you after he or she realizes that the Affordable Care Act is meant to dramatically reduce the level of care that a physician will be able to dispense. And that is in addition to not covering or drastically reducing reimbursements for certain types of medical care.
On the issue of the IRS, the president feels that he is being honest when he says that there isn’t a “smidgen” of corruption at the IRS. He is right on, because there isn’t just a bit or a pinch of corruption there; there are colossal amounts of abuses and wrongdoing. So, technically, the president was right and that was good enough for him.
Now, as the balance of power changes, the onus is on the Republican Party to conduct itself with responsibility and begin to redirect the priorities of the country and restore our republic to greatness with a vision that makes this the best and most respected country in the world. v
Comments for Larry Gordon are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.