Daily Israel Report
Start a blog

Blogs Zion's Corner

Long Live the Stubborn Jew!

By Tamar Yonah
5/7/2008, 12:00 AM

There is a 'matter of fact' attitude that has always been the way of Jews in Israel.  People here don't pussy-foot around.  A job has to be done, and they do it. 

We owe our lives to those who have fought to keep Jews safe here in the Land of Israel.  I served in the army and had friends who were killed. But we go on, because we have to.  Because we want our own homeland, and are willing to fight for it.

Below: My father (in his air force uniform) & mother not too long after the new Jewish State was born. 

I played an interview that I did with my father as he described his time as a young man, escaping the ashes of the Holocaust . The Nazis had murdered his father, put him and his mother and brother in a ghetto and made them slave laborers, and then shipped everyone else out to Auschwitz after they had outlived their use.  But he survived.  He was stubborn.  He wanted to outlive Hitler (yimach shemo - may his name be erased) and he did.  He is still alive today living in Jerusalem  -may he live a long and healthy life, until 120+.  He told me once, that in  Europe, they sprawled  graffiti on the walls: 'JEWS, GO BACK TO PALESTINE'.  Today, the world screams, 'JEWS, GET OUT OF PALESTINE'.  And so, without an education (which had been stolen from him during the years of the war), without a father, without any kindness or mercy from the world, he escaped the blood soaked land of Europe to board an illegal ship to Israel.  The British forces, still mandating the area, spotted the ship he was on which was carrying more than 500 passengers.  They shot warning shots into the air and then boarded the ship.  A fight broke out with the British beating the Jewish survivors.  There were screams and soon they were overpowered.  The boat was then forced to Cyprus.  It was there my father was put behind a fence in a DP camp.  Months later, because he was able to prove his family owned property in 'Palestine', he was allowed to enter Israel in a 'quota' that the British set, to limit Jewish immigration.  A distant cousin came to collect him at the port in Haifa.  The first question my father asked him as he got off the boat was.... "Are we going to be human beings again?"

It is over 60 years now since my father arrived to this good land after the Holocaust.  Jews who worked hard draining swamps, fighting off enemies, and living under the period of food rationing in Israel, all suffered, but they worked to build this country so that you and I and all future generations of Jews should have a home to come to, so we wouldn't have to ever rely on anyone/ any country to protect us again.  In spite of all the political deceit today, as well as the outside attempts of nations to destroy Israel, Jews have an army, and Jewish homes here all have guns, and our citizens know how to use them. 

Today, Jews can walk proud. Today, there is (in spite of everything) a strong Israel.  We have world reknowned universities and research labs, an overflowing of Torah study, employment, an abundance of food, new communities, and new families.  And I'll be damned if anyone tries to wrest our land from us.  I have been living in my home which is 'over the green line' for almost 15 years.  I have lived through at least 5 administrations telling me that I will have to leave my home.  It was Rabin, then Peres, then Netanyahu, then Barak, then Sharon, and now Olmert (soon to be out).  They are all gone, out of office, yet we Jews are still here. Man plans, and G-d laughs.  Man proposes, but G-d disposes. 

Like a horse with blinders, we don't let the 'noise' and 'distractions' stop us from our purpose.  We keep moving forward.  We ignore perceived limitations and forge new paths.  Let us thank those before us who were strong in their ideals and forged ahead. They didn't sit and whine.  They acted, and achieved in a  no-nonsense sort of way. When my father served in the Israeli air force, they had to get planes from the junk yard and piece them together. They could barely protect Tel Aviv.  When I served in the Israeli army/air force, one generation later, we were already flying jets over Iraq bombing its nuclear reactor.  Long live the stubborn Jew!

If video above does not play, click HERE. (Scroll down to see video after the page loads there.)