BEWARE OF THE INDIFFERENT

By Boris Shusteff

The Pain! I can't bear the pain!

My heart! My heart is beating wildly!

I can't keep quiet; .....Jeremiah 4.19

Every so often, when I express my opinion on the issue of Israeli survival, I am told that I can not advocate certain points because I do not live in Israel, because my sons are not serving in the Israeli army, and because the Israelis know better what they have to do.

This point of view is not only wrong--it is simply dangerous.

The Zionist leaders, already in the beginning of the century, as an argument supporting the Jews' rights to Eretz Israel, explained that one must not compare the rights of 80,000 Jews in Palestine against the rights of 560,000 Arabs, but must compare these 560,000 Arabs with the twelve million Jews, for the re-establishment of whose homeland they are struggling.

For many centuries one of the main objects of envy among our enemies was the Jewish solidarity and readiness to support each other. Unfortunately this quality was much more visible during the time of persecution. "Am Israel" was one people dispersed all over the Globe. Events effecting the Jews in the Czarist Russia were important to the Jews in Germany; the Jews of Poland were very much concerned with the fate of the Jews in Palestine; when European Jews were desperately rushed about like rats in Nazi conquered Europe their plight was of extreme importance to the Palestinian Jews.

As we are dispersed around the world, every event in world history is approached with a question, "Is this good for the Jews?" We do not ask if this is good for the Russian Jews, or the American Jews or the Israeli Jews. No. We ask if this is good for Jews in general. Because we are one people. Everything that happens to the Jews in Israel effects the Jews in America and vice versa. It is like a human body, when the headache effects your working ability and heart trouble does not allow you to run fast, although these it is your legs and not the heart you make steps with.

For "Am Israel"--the Jewish people-- Israel is its heart. If the heart stops beating, the whole body dies.

One can look at this in different way. Suppose there is a leading doctor who will perform surgery, but before starting the operation he wants to hold a concilium, to receive advises from other doctors. It is up to him to make the final decision and it is his skills that will determine the outcome of the surgery. I am not discussing whether the other doctors are competent or not, as the leading doctor is experienced enough to tell good advice from bad. Transposing this into relations between Israel and the Jews, the Israeli government is a leading doctor and we, the Jews of the Diaspora, are called by our conscience to the concilium. It is our responsibility to tell the leading doctor if we envision complications. It is we who have to relay our opinion to him. It is he, the leading doctor, who will decide what to do, and whatever happens, good or bad, we all will bear the consequences. To continue our analogy, the Jews of Israel have a democratic choice to pick a leading doctor--the Government.

There is a saying: "Every people deserves its rulers." It is not my intention to discuss the obvious deficiencies of a democracy which allows to bring into power a government that is bad not only for its own people, but for the world in general. The example of Nazi Germany which caused the deaths of fifty million people is well known.

I also do not want to discuss the leftist illness of the Israeli democracy, and the socialistic trends that were mimicked from the Soviet Union and that brought about the current situation when more then 90% of the media is infested with the leftist ideology. The Jewish State will deal with all these difficult problems later, when its survival is guaranteed. I am defending today the right of the Jews who do not yet live in Israel to present their opinion on the issue of Israels' fate. I do not find it strange when Israel is split on the matter of the so called "peace process," that the same split exists among the non-Israeli Jews.

When I call for the immediate abrogation of the Oslo accords, I do this because I want real peace. I am not accepting the accusation that by doing so I am endangering the welfare of the Israeli Jews while myself "sitting pretty" in safe America. Yes, I am not an Israeli, but many of my closest relatives and friends live there. And the lives of my nephews who serve or will serve in the IDF are of the utmost importance to me. When, after the terrorist bomb explosion in Jerusalem, the shattered glass landed on the roof of my niece's husband's car and he was spared only because of the green turn arrow of a traffic light, I felt as if the glass landed on the roof of my car and it was I who was lucky to survive. If my niece can express her disagreement with Government policies by voting for the National camp, the choice for me is either to be silent or to make my voice be heard.

The Polish writer Bruno Yassinsky, who was imprisoned in the Soviet Union and died of Stalin's repression, wrote a book titled "The Plot of The Indifferent" As an epigraph to his book he used the words: "...BEWARE OF THE INDIFFERENT. IT IS BECAUSE OF THEIR SILENT APPROVAL THAT THE MOST HORRIBLE CRIMES IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY ARE COMMITTED."

Silence is not inaction. It is a loud voice for the continuation of the so called "peace process." When I am told that my call for abrogation of the "Oslo agreement" may lead to renewal of the hostilities between the Jews and the Arabs, I always ask how one can be sure that this would not happen if the "process" continues? Actually the situation is as following: Israel is dragged along the road to surrender, while the number of the terror victims multiplies. Today it is more than 300 "victims of peace," as the former Labor government has labeled the Jews massacred by the Arabs.

I cannot understand the distorted logic of the supporters of the Oslo process; to arm almost 50,000 activists and supporters of the PLO, to give them all kinds of weapons and ammunition and then to be surprised when all these arms are used against the Israeli soldiers. Who else did they think these weapons are going to be used against? When Yasser Arafat comes to a conclusion that the "peace process" has exhausted itself and there will be no more voluntary concessions, he will move to a direct military confrontation phase.

So if there is a confrontation looming anyway, why enter it from a handicapped position? Why start it with 300 + dead Israelis, with an armed enemy, with the broken morale of the solders, who are humiliated daily by the stone throwers. When the "Maariv" reports on 6/18/97 that an Israeli soldier stole two M-16 from an army base and sold them to the Arabs, no one should be surprised. The only question that should arise is why the soldier is placed under arrest until the completion of legal proceedings for giving two guns to the Arabs, while the leaders of the previous governing coalition comfortably spend their time in Knesset discussions, although they have given away a thousand times more weapons?

It is not only my right, it is my duty as a Jew to tell my people about the danger that awaits it. The Holocaust did not happen in a day. It started with the Nuremberg Laws, with the Jews forbidden to walk on sidewalks, with the Jews ordered to wear the yellow stars, with the Jews ousted from professional societies. The Third Reich did not make a secret of all these measures, humiliating for the Jews. The world knew about them, but was silent. No country severed its diplomatic relations with Hitler's Germany protesting the plight of the Jews.

The PLO leaders do not hide their plans either. Time and again they declare their goal--elimination of the Jewish State. To be silent in this situation is equivalent to participating in a murder. Israel is my bleeding wound. It is my dream and my sorrow. It is my country. If today I can fight for its survival only with my words, I will do it to the fullest extent.


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