Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Celebration of Jewish Independence

 In honor of Israeli Independence day today I am posting a multigenre essay I wrote at West Point shortly before Israeli Independence day 2009. I think it is appropriate for the day and spirit of independence.

Dear World,

            I write back to you because as to date the last letter from Rabbi Kahane went without a response. I hope you received the first letter, and had some time to think about its points. Now some may think Rabbi Kahane’s letter was a bit harsh in the words it used, but my words will be no kinder this time. What needs to be said must be said and someone must be willing to say it. Since we last corresponded, I have yet to see any improvement on our issues. Rabbi Kahane last wrote in 1988, and a lot of time has passed, and we have some more to talk about. We Jews still seem to be bothering you, even after we try to leave you in peace, again. 

Above my head comes forth a shout
A Muslim call to prayer.
From up upon our mount
Comes a scornful looking stare.

In Lebanon, we bothered you, so you slaughtered our boys days and night. The presence of a Jew so near to your home pained you so greatly; we left you no choice but to kill us. So we left you, we left Lebanon and let you be in peace hoping only for the same for our children. We hoped the attacks would stop and our north could live in peace. However, we bothered you by leaving you be, so much so, you had to take some of our boys with you and away from their families. Thus, with no choice on our part we had to go to war, to bring our children home to their families. So upon our women and children you rained down rockets, upon their homes and schools. Not a word was said about it, but every time our bombs fell upon your arms stockpiles, a cry of “war crimes” rose up.

A Scream, A Boom,
Another world gone to black,
Another dead … Jew,
The world turns its back.

A Jew dared to go visit our holiest of sights, the temple mount; the place our holy temple once stood, and how that bothered you. How you screamed and bemoaned over our arrogance, how dare we visit our holiest site, the audacity! For infuriating you wave upon wave of perturbed Palestinians came to blow themselves up in our school buses, our pizzerias, in our streets. We bothered you to the point your life was worth taking just to kill our schoolchildren. We were so inhuman to you as to go to pizza with our family that you could take it no more, we drove you to take your own lives to stop our twelve year olds from offending you. So we said we will leave you be, we will place a wall around our homes and build our self into a ghetto to please you, but this was not enough for you. You claimed we were apartheid for leaving you, and how inhuman we were for letting you be. 

Code Red It Screams
15 seconds to safety, it seems!
The rocket slams down hard,
My home is blown apart. 

And how we bothered you so in Gaza. You just could not stand us there. We drove you to drop rockets and mortars on our homes, and fields, and to kill our children in their beds. Those blooming fields of ours, and those thriving families how they bothered you. The world told us if we leave Gaza and leave behind our years of hard work we would appease them, and all will be fine. So we left our homes, many were dragged out unwillingly. The Israeli government carried out the “disengagement”, even as it nearly drove Israel to the precipice of civil war. Nevertheless, we bothered you still and so for seven years you rained down rockets and mortars upon our civilians living in Sedrot, and the rest of the southern Israel. After seven years we said, enough is enough let our people live free of fear so we struck back, and how our audacity angered you. How dare we defend our people! Out came your worn and weary labels “aggressor,” “war crimes,” and “oppressor.” But we soldiered on till the rockets thinned out, and Hamas was cowering. 

Stand and fight,
For home and land
We will not be beat
Now go disband.

So many Jews have died since Rabbi Kahane last wrote to you, and his words only ring clearer today.  We give land for nothing, we have seen no peace only a lull in the slaughter of our youth. Well enough is enough and in the words of our new foreign minister, “Concessions won’t bring peace (Sofer ).” Israel will not be pushed around anymore. If you want to get something from us you had better have something in hand to give. Our blood is no longer cheap and easy to take, if that bothers you then tell it the muzzles of our victorious Tavor’s, Jewish built weapons. No more empty promises, no more empty peace talks, no more giving away our land. Israel is not our land, it is not your land, it is G-d’s land granted to us by G-d in a covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:18). “Rabbi Kahane was right” is how the phrase goes in Israel. He warned the nation giving away land would not bring peace, establishing a second Palestinian state will not bring peace, and talking to terror organizations will not bring peace. Only a strong Jewish state in the Jewish land observant of the word of G-d will bring peace. So while we may bother you world I would like to proudly take up the banner of an independently thinking Jew and say “here is one Jew who could not careless (Kahane).”

A dome of gold
They strut out so bold
Till come forth our boys
To martyrdom, they send their souls 

So to you G-d I ask, "May He avenge the blood of His servants which has been shed, as it is written in the Torah of Moses, the man of G-d: "O nations, make His people joyful! He avenges the blood of His servants, renders retribution to His foes and atones for His land and His people...And in the holy writings it says: "Why should the nations say, Where is their G-d? (Kahane).” Let those who fight and assault us be driven away, let our temple mount be set free, and their abominations razed from upon our temple mount in preparation for the rebuilding of your holy temple. Let not your children be subjected to the rockets of those who profane your name, and let our nation prevail, again.    

-          Tsvi Mark

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