Richard Gere (center) visits Temple Mount
Richard Gere (center) visits Temple Mount FLASH90

Richard Gere et al, thanks for the reminder to bless Israel

Surely, I am as guilty as the next person about taking Israel for granted. We forget the miracle, that there she stands, for all of us, risen from the ashes, a Biblical dream come true.

So obsessed by politics, we forget what Israel means for our glory, our tradition, our safety, and our deliverance from the hands of our enemies, who, to this day, hate us without cause.

So here they come again, Richard Gere and more than 100 other movie notables to sign a letter not to bless, but to curse the precious land and its holy people.

You heard this before? Yes…once a year they come to remind us that it ain’t over…the world’s oldest hatred still lives, even among the fancy people.

You would think to be rich and famous would keep them busy counting their money and their luck, but no, as throughout history, there is always time for the Jews.

What is it this time? It is about…well…the Palestinian Arabs, and how lovely they are compared to the Israelis.

Fortunate for them to have the Palestinian Arabs as their darlings.

Otherwise they would have to look themselves in the mirror and admit that it is a mindless, brutish ancient grudge that motivates and enrages them.

Big question. Where would they be without Israel…to blame?

Bigger question. Where would we be without Israel…to cherish?

The precise grievance, contained in a letter sent out to the world, runs something like this…apartheid, occupation, settler-colonialism…but without the music.

If you need the details, here is a sample, but I don’t need details, because so far as plain hatred, like Justice Potter Stewart said about obscenity, “I know it when I see it.”

No need to explain or elaborate over something that stares you in the face.

You know it when you see it, smell it, taste it, and feel it when it comes knocking at your door.

People like that…. Gere and fellow kvetches, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Mark Ruffalo…it only encourages them and empowers them and justifies them if you try to reason with them.

I never try.

In that sacred place in the Middle East, before 1948, people who lived there were systematically called Palestinian…among them the Jews
It is hopeless and useless and thankless and they’ve got all the answers anyway derived from Julius Streicher and their focus groups.

I remind myself what it was like before modern-day Israel, when, in my day, they had no complaints. Nothing specific. No Palestinians around anywhere.

Not when or where I grew up.

No Palestinians in sight, except that in that sacred place in the Middle East, before 1948, people who lived there were systematically called Palestinian…among them the Jews.

Like David ben Gurion, referred to in the press, even at the BBC and in The New York Times, as “the Palestinian leader of the Jewish population.” Look it up.

So, growing up in those days, they did not intellectualize their grievance, nor specify their complaint.

You were Jewish and that was enough.

Enough to call you “kike” and “Juif,” up and down Saint Laurent Boulevard, as they marched with swastikas and howls to smash the shops and burn the Jews.

Yes, Montreal. But it could have been anywhere. Mordecai Richler tells about it in “Barney’s Version,” and I tell it in “Escape from Mount Moriah.”

There was no use talking, and there was no time explaining, not when they trapped you, to and from school, home, and synagogue.

You learned how to fight because it was literally do or die and because there is no reasoning with a baseball bat aimed at your head.

They usually came at you about a hundred at a time…gangs of 100 against one. To them, a fair fight.

That was then. Richard Gere and his gang of 100. That is now. Same thing. Only the names change.

One other change; finally, blessedly, this is beyond their reach – “Am Yisroel Chai.”

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He wrote the worldwide book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal,” the authoritative newsroom epic, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” followed by his coming-of-age classics, “The Girls of Cincinnati,” and, the Holocaust-to-Montreal memoir, “Escape from Mount Moriah.” For that and his 1960s epic “The Days of the Bitter End,” contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website:

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