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      Op-Ed: The Silent Jews

      Published: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 11:34 PM
      Rise up and say, "Enough!"


      I often wonder what it will take for the majority of Jews in Tel Aviv and other major Israeli cities to rise up and say, "Enough." Every day there are reports of countless terror attacks (some successful, some not) perpetrated against their own Jewish brothers and sisters; yet, there is an eerie silence from most quarters in Israel (and shamefully, also in the Diaspora). Surely, if I am privy to all of this horrendous information from the US (and actively working to thwart it) Jews in Israel are most definitely in the know. Therefore, the question that begs to be asked is: Why
      If only for self-interested reasons, the masses should be livid.
      aren't they rising up against their derelict leadership, and what will it take for them to do so?

      It is fully understandable that most people are preoccupied with supporting their families, dealing with day-to-day life challenges, and thus have little time for "resistance'" activities. However, what is more pressing than internalizing that entire towns in one's country (barely the size of New Jersey) are becoming nothing more than rocket zones? If most Israelis are unable to stop their lives long enough to protest such outrages against fellow Jews, then how is it that they cannot internalize that their own neighborhoods will eventually become terrorist target galleries? If only for self-interested reasons, the masses should be livid enough to rise up, to do anything and everything to prevent such an impending catastrophe.

      The answers to the above entail a host of pathologies; however, the toxic mix of callous indifference plus living within the comfort zone of denial clearly animates their silence. A majority of the citizens of S'derot and its sister communities are poor, many hail from Sephardic lineage, and a host of others are immigrants from various hard-scrabble backgrounds. A large portion of Jews in the big cities can't seem to relate to these backgrounds and it renders them immune to their silenced screams for help. They are treated for the most part as the "poor cousins," partly to be pitied, mostly to be ignored, but certainly not important enough to lose sleep over. Coupled with their major feelings of indifference are the feelings that this couldn't possibly happen to their own cosmopolitan cities. The terrorists just wouldn't dare.

      Newsflash! The rockets now raining down in the south are coming to a city near every Jew in Israel, whether they are from the political left, right, secular or religious communities. Kassams are non-discriminatory, unlike the Israeli leadership.

      As the derelict Israeli leadership leaves Jews in their besieged southern cities exposed to lethal rocket fire, totally fending for themselves, they are busy hatching major giveaways of Jewish cities as "gifts" in an insane quest to
      Kassams are non-discriminatory, unlike the Israeli leadership.
      prop up Yasser Arafat's Fatah. This same appeasement mentality leads the leadership to release captured terrorists into Israel's midst - again and again. Does anyone who is even slightly awake think that these "gestures" will not be used to create more Islamic launching pads, hitting all of Israel? Rest assured, not one Jew will escape their jihadist path.

      One would have assumed that after the "disengagement" from Gush Katif, with the ascendancy of Hamas turning Gaza into the biggest terror enclave in the world, the notion of giving over even one more square inch of Jewish land to the enemy would send the Jewish populace into uncontrolled spasms of resistance. Not exactly.

      If the average Jew in Israel does not immediately wake up from his or her self-induced stupor, it will surely be too late. To be fair, in most normal countries the citizens depend on their leaders to protect them from harm, both near and far. As a matter of democratic principle - which Israel's leaders claim as their holiest mantle - the law mandates national leadership to protect the nation's civilians. For if they are unable to do so, they abrogate their right to govern.

      The evidence is overwhelming that Israel's leaders have done just the opposite. They would rather leave their citizens literally exposed to death from rocket attacks than ruffle any international or Arab feathers they are seeking to do business with. The following facts on the ground support this very harsh indictment.

      While S'derot's Jews are plunged into despair, many running for their lives, and others plunged into actual darkness by Gazan rockets, Israel's leaders dither, appease and concede defeat. Its Supreme Court of (in)Justice allows every manner of anti-Zionist group to petition against Israeli reprisals, which could possibly harm (inconvenience) Gazan citizens, regardless of the non-stop harm caused to Israel's own citizens. In tandem, Israel's Attorney General and its Defense Minister have joined the howling chorus: "Don't harm the Gazans!"

      At the end of this death dance, either the Jews will prevail or the Arabs will. It boils down to whether or not the Jews will wake up in time to confront both their external Islamic enemies, and also to challenge the internal enemy.

      The Jewish people returned to their homeland in order to ensure that they would forever be able to freely live as
      History will be totally unforgiving to this generation of Jews.
      Jews, to determine their own destiny. For an entire portion of the Jewish population to live under siege, while the remainder remains generally oblivious to their plight, is not only unseemly, but it places Jewish lives the world over in peril. Whatever is allowed to happen to a portion of Jews in Israel reverberates worldwide. For if Jews do not care enough to protect their own, surely the expectation for strangers to do otherwise is clearly whistling past the graveyard.

      Furthermore, history will be totally unforgiving to this generation of Jews, who have been blessed to return to reclaim their homeland and to have the finest army in the Middle East, yet who remain passive as sheep to the slaughter. The calling to this generation of Jews - both in Israel and in the Diaspora - is to meet these deadly challenges we are faced with in a bold, resolute and unflinching manner. Our collective fate depends on how we answer the call to what history has placed before us, by confronting Israel's malignant leadership and our outside enemies seeking to destroy us.