The Jerusalem Post (September 28)
JUST DON'T BE SILENT
By Esther Wachsman
There exists in this world pure evil, and evil must be fought by evil. There could be no "sitting down and discussing things" with the Nazis, and the same is true of terrorists.
At the UN conference in Durban, we (the Jews - not necessarily Israelis) were victims of a verbal pogrom. Anti-Semitism, in the guise of anti-Zionism, has always lurked just below (and sometimes above) the surface, but it has now clearly "come out of the closet."
I was recently in New York and a taxi driver, a charming fellow from Argentina, began to discuss Middle East affairs with me. In a well-mannered and polite way, he nonchalantly said: "Well, I guess you Jews are paying for what you did 2,000 years ago." I was shocked into speechlessness, a rare occurrence.
Many of my friends and acquaintances are now buried under the rubble of the Twin Towers. The option heard recently in our country of leaving for safer shores is buried with them. My dentist, who vacationed with friends in Scandinavia, was beaten up by a bunch of Arabs in the middle of the street in broad daylight. Swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans and graffiti are appearing everywhere in the world. Have Jews ever been safe anywhere in the Diaspora?
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Shimon Peres, who huffily left Durban because he "would not participate in an anti-Semitic festival," is practically begging the greatest arch-terrorist in our area to meet with him. He also favors international observers, and we all know how unbiased they are in our area.
Hatred, incitement and revenge continue to pour out of mosques, schools, youth movements and the Palestinian media; a whole new generation is growing up with this ideology. What must we do?
As Samuel Johnson once said, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." My silence in that taxi was unforgivable. What has happened to the People of the Word, whose voices should be reverberating 24 hours a day, around the world, on every media station possible? They should be reminding the world what happens as the result of the verbal pogrom of the international community at Durban.
They should be repeating the famous words of Abba Eban, "The Palestinians never miss a chance to miss a chance." They should be teaching the world about the Jerusalem mufti's collaboration with the Nazis, about the UN proposal for the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and Palestinian state - answered by war.
They should be shouting from every rooftop about how we "conquered" the West Bank and Jerusalem in the Six Day War after begging Jordan not to join the attackers. Why didn't they establish a state then, with east Jerusalem - which they ruled - as their capital?
They should be explaining to the world how we were attacked on Yom Kippur, our holiest day, an act of such malicious hostility that even the Israelis, with our superior military intelligence, were unprepared.
They should be reminding everyone how the Palestinians danced on the rooftops during the Gulf war, when their leader, Yasser Arafat, made his unholy alliance with Saddam Hussein. And of course, though Arafat tried to suppress it, those same Palestinians and their offspring sang and danced and reveled with joy, when those cursed airplanes smashed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
Where is our hasbara - "propaganda"? Why is the world seeing a one-sided picture of the oppressed Palestinians, when Jewish blood has been filling our streets for the last year and longer?
We, who are believers, say "May God avenge their blood." But in these times of darkness and evil, I believe that man, too, has a very important role to play.
© 2001 The Jerusalem Post