Helen, you know why we were in Germany and much of Eastern Europe in the first place? (And by the way, if I follow your advice, do you think the nice old ladies who got my grandmothers’ large houses and farms from the Nazis in what was once Czechoslovakia will kick the property back two generations? That would be cool because I’d love a vineyard and an agricultural estate.)
We were in Germany and Hungary and Czechoslovakia and Russia (where we were regularly just plain killed by Cossacks), and also, for many centuries, Poland (ditto), because we were told to get the hell out of England, France, and Spain. (Or, you know, just plain killed by handsome and heroic fairytale knights.)
And you know why we were in Western Europe to begin with? Because we were told by the Greeks and the Romans – wait for it – to get the hell out of “Palestine,” where we had been living since the beginning of recorded history.
We also ended up in Babylonia (Iraq) and other Middle Eastern and North African countries, where we stayed as second class citizens for hundreds and hundreds of years, till the Arab world finally caught up with the pagans and the Christians in their hatred of the Jews. Amazing how the student has now far surpassed the teacher. But I digress.
In any event, there is no way around it: Jews being asked (usually not by old ladies on the White House lawn) to get the hell out of anywhere and everywhere is just the way it goes.
Persona non grata in East Europe
So it came to pass that about 200 years BCE the Macabees got sick of it and established a Jewish state in Palestine, within the Roman Empire, which lasted till about the time of Jesus (another Pesky Jew) and the destruction of the Second Temple.
And it also came to pass that Jewish settlers began arriving in Ottoman Palestine in the late 1800s, after the Russians and the Poles made it clear that Jews were persona non grata in Eastern Europe. Palestine was as good a place as any to escape to, since it was the last place, about 2000 years before, that the Jews had a sovereign state (see above). Never mind Jewish liturgy and texts pining for Jerusalem, since I know these are inadmissible in the international courts of the mind.
Anyway, nowhere else wanted European Jews any more than Russia did, not even America really, where there were very strict quotas, although the Americans, again politely, refrained from all the messy European killing, which was apparently in vogue until after Hitler. Besides, those Ottoman Turks, as now, were known around the world for their amazing human rights activism and the Jews were excited to see it firsthand. (No, not really. But…they were better than the Polish peasants. Unless you were Armenian.)
But when the Jews came back to Land of Israel, it was suddenly necessary, once again, to tell them to get the hell out. There was no living side by side, even though that was an express Jewish desire right up until 1947/8, when the Partition Plan was summarily rejected by the Arab League, who started the war that Israel won. If keeping land you win in a war others provoke (when you wanted to make peace) is called occupation, Helen, the world’s axis of furious justice has a lot bigger fish to fry than Israel.
The Arab desire to kick the Jews the hell out of Palestine did not begin in 1967, and not in 1948. It began the moment the initial groups of Jews arrived and started to make the land flower and produce crops. The Hebron Massacre of 1929, where marauding Arabs killed nearly 70 Jews and wounded countless others, took place long before a single house was built over the Green Line.
At any rate, it seems that every time a Jewish minority starts to make a society too successful – so annoying!!!! – the indigenous people start to feel very uncomfortable, and tell them one way or another to get the hell out.
Nowhere left for us to go
But now, alas, there is nowhere left for us to go, except the eternal place Ahmadinejad wants us to go, and Haniyeh and Nasrallah, and Hitler before them, and Khmelnitsky before him, and Haman before him, and so on. And, I suspect, in her heart of hearts, perhaps Thomas and the likes of her, who, the pesky Jew Freud may have observed, seriously let her slip show.
Let me make it clear: I know that Israel has made mistakes over its 62 years, some clumsy and inept (was there no intelligence regarding the terrorists aboard the Mavi Marmara?!?), and some borderline immoral. But none worse than every other democracy on earth has also done, and most much better than the large majority of the UN rogue nations which condemn Israel daily have done…daily.
But let’s be honest: the international community’s human rights crusades on behalf of the Palestinians are just the latest Crusades, and the ones who really suffer are not the Jews or the Israelis but the poor occupants of the Third World who are ignored while the enlightened First World castigates the Jews… and yes, of course, the Palestinians, who are kept in misery by their own leadership in order to provide the polite Jew haters with a media club to beat them with.
So here’s the thing: We are not going anywhere this time, Helen. We totally get it: Ya’ll pretty much hate us. It’s just the way it is, like a natural law.
Nothing we can do – not giving away pieces of Palestine/Israel (witness our evacuation of Gaza in 2005, and handing over the keys to army bases and greenhouses- a new economy! Food for the children! – which were summarily torched as property of the infidels); not donating billions annually to global charity, nor discovering a cure for Polio or the Theory of Relativity, or writing revered legal and religious texts, or co-founding Google, or manufacturing the microprocessor in the majority of laptops that spew Jew hatred to the Internet, or founding Christianity itself, or championing women’s rights and gay rights in the US and helping to bring about a human rights revolution in America in the 60’s. None of those things will absolve us of our real sin: Existing and overcoming.
I’m really sorry they told you to get the hell out of the White House, Helen. It really wasn’t your fault that you thought you could say what you said. It’s not like it’s a secret: That’s what people think.
But this time, seriously. Getting the hell out is not in the cards. We’re just sick of moving all the time.
I know. Irritating.
Sara K. Eisen is a freelance copywriter, journalist and editor who blogs at http://the-word-well.com/ . The full version of her article is available here .