It’s beyond ironic. It’s tragic.
Winner of the Academy Award for “Best Feature Documentary” in 1997, and narrated by the actor Morgan Freeman,“The Long Way Home” is the tale of Jews who survived the Holocaust and made aliyah to then fight in Israel's struggle for Independence in 1948.
One tale was particularly telling.
Born in 1937, former Israeli Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau was a young child when World War II broke out and along with his slightly older brother Naftali survived the horrors of the Holocaust. Liberated from Buchenwald, he was the youngest prisoner there.
Interviewed in that Oscar-winning documentary, Rabbi Lau still recalled the admonition of his brother, uttered during the last months of their incarceration in 1945 when they feared that they were about to be separated.
Rabbi Lau remembers:
“It was on the last months. My brother, older than me, came to the fence of my barrack, and told me ‘We don't have parents any more. The only one you had was me. But now, they take me away. We will never meet again. I don't believe that this hell will end. I don't see any light at the end of this tunnel.”
He continued, quoting his brother:
“You are eight, adult enough, to understand what I'm telling you. I want you to know, that if a miracle happens, if a day will come and you survive this hell, there is a place in the world named 'Eretz Yisrael'. Repeat the name and don't forget it. Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel. This is our old homeland. This is the place where they don't kill the Jews. So if you survive, tell anybody whom you meet that they have to take you to that particular place. Eretz Yisrael.”
How ironic that the very deniers of the Holocaust are the Muslims who promulgate a genocidal ideology that targets the Jewish State which serves as the only trusted refuge against future horrors.
He repeated the name: Eretz Yisrael. The Land of Israel.
Where they don’t kill the Jews!
It is really more than ironic. It is terribly tragic that today, Israel is the one place in the world where, perhaps more than any other, they still try to murder all the Jews. Ironic, that Israel has constructed walls to prevent murderers from coming in unchecked, and where bomb shelters are still functional, serving as bunkers shielding Jewish children from rockets raining down on its innocents. Ironic, that Israel continues to petition its declared enemies, to please stop the assaults.
And, this as well: How ironic that the very deniers of the Holocaust are the Muslims who promulgate a genocidal ideology that targets the Jewish State which serves as the only trusted refuge against future horrors.
But nothing is more ironic than the fact that today the Jewish State, no longer powerless and with the best army in the world, has the ability to crush this savage assault, but remains fearful of the condemnations - of the very world that remained quite characteristically silent when a young Meir Lau feared for his life as well.
You see, it didn’t end in Buchenwald.
It’s really quite simple. Like the Nazis before them, the Arab objection is not to anything Israel and the Jews have done, or failed to do, but to the very fact that they exist at all.
It is really more than ironic. It is terribly tragic that today, Israel is the one place in the world where they still try to murder all the Jews.
Meir Jolovitz is a past national executive director of the Zionist Organization of America, and formerly associated with the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies.