“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling for all the peoples around…and all the nations of the Earth will be gathered against it”- Zechariah 12.
“Oz” in Hebrew means “strength, courage, boldness”. Whatever may have been odd in Frank Baum’s fictional Oz, is certainly no less strange in this historical Land of Oz, which is the Land of Israel. And the strange folk that populate the world of Alice’s Wonderland are not an iota stranger than those who inhabit Holyland today.
For example, when a Jew- perhaps with dangling sidecurls and beard somewhat like those little people that Dorothy met when her house fell into Munchkin Land- decides to build his house here in a Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood to raise his children and a potted plant, it is, of course, “an act of war”, or thus is it declared by their Wicked Neighbors to the East (see Jeremiah 12:14-17). And of course their American friends to the West proclaim that this act of arrogance will “endanger our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq”. Understandably, the new U.S. president was furious at such an outrage as this and, little able to subdue his foes, fumed at his friends, notably the Israeli Prime Minister. Furthermore, the Mad Hatter who leads our Palestinian neighbors has declared this a good reason to not talk to Israel, a fine reason to abstain from discussing peace. But when Israel’s current government declared a 10-month moratorium on building in the Jewish neighborhoods (AKA “settlements”) on the West Bank as an incentive to re-start talks, the Mad Hatter also declared that a temporary moratorium was not enough for him to enter peace talks either. So either way we were assured the very same results. Go figure. These are our neighbors, who just love to hate, and hate to love. And, by the way, they spell “Peace”, “Piece” (pronounced by Arabs, “Biece”).
It should also be mentioned that it is understood by much of the world that Jews, naturally, are forbidden to enter or live in Jerusalem or near where our fathers Abraham, Isaac or Jacob are located in Hebron, or Joseph in Shechem (Nablus) or where King David and Jesus were born in Bethlehem because that is the “West Bank” of the Jordan River, and that is Arab soil, and must be for Arabs only, Judenrein. Though I have looked closely at the dirt, I could find nothing that makes it distinctly Arab. That is not to be confused with Arab racism or Anti-Semitism (forget that Arabs are equal citizens with Jews in the State of Israel, representing 20% of the population). “This makes perfect sense,” said the Mad Hatter.
I had reckoned the Mad Hatter to have been Yassir Arafat, the Father of modern terrorism who was awarded the coveted Nobel Peace Prize (now that makes sense), but I now see that the Hat has been passed down to his replacement.
Another incident occurred this last week. The ancient Hurva synagogue, which the Arab legion blew up with dynamite upon capturing the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948, was rebuilt in the Jewish Quarter and re-dedicated with a prayer. This, naturally, was a provocation and an insult to the sensitivities of Muslims everywhere, so they rioted for a few days. Never mind that between 1948 and 1967, when the Jews captured the Old City in a Six Day War (is that reminiscent of the Six Day Creation in Genesis?), Jews were forbidden to enter that ancient city to pray at the Wailing Wall. Nor were Jews allowed to enter the tomb of our Father Abraham to pray. But the Jewish conquerors under the eye-patched Moshe Dayan and General Rabin told the Arab losers that now we will share these sites equally, thank you. By the way, the Muslim mosque and its minaret next to the synagogue is still there, unmolested by the Jews.
But everyone knows that the Jewish homes and children therein are “an obstacle to peace”, and that the “settlements” are “occupation of Arab Land” and therefore the cause of all the world’s problems. If only a million and a half Israelis would just pull out of their homes there would be peace in the region and the world, just like before Israel became a state in 1948 (how sweet and peaceful the world was till then, yes?). Never mind that before 1967 there where no Jews whatsoever living on the West Bank of the Jordan or in Jerusalem, and President Nasser of Egypt gathered the Arab world for a war of liquidation in June 1967- which they lost. I wonder what their reason for that war might have been. And consider not that the Muslim countries have been incessantly at war with one another.
Now we have another issue. Israel has been condemned for the horrible murder of an arch terrorist in a Dubai hotel room. Those sloppy assassins didn’t even shed any blood or soil the hotel room. Though there is no hard evidence, it is clear to everyone that it must be the Israelis- who else? So England has just kicked out an Israeli diplomat, howbeit a low-level one. I wonder if the assassins of Osama bin Laden- if there were ever such successful folks- would be condemned also for such a heinous crime?
Several years back Israel unilaterally pulled out of Gaza, destroying Jewish homes and potted plants there as an experiment in “Land for Peace”. But after some eight years of rocketing Israeli towns from the now Jew-free Gaza, Israel simply got tired of asking the Palestinians to no avail to stop their fire, and so last year entered Gaza for a month of military operations in order to protect their terrified civilian population. For this Israel received the title of “War Criminals”. “This makes perfect sense”, cried the Mad Hatter and his friends at the Tea Party, and they erected a monument in the West Bank to one of their heroines who commandeered an Israeli bus and slew scores of innocent men, women and children on the road until she was finally “martyred”. Now that is a new and novel definition of Martyr, in my humble opinion.
“Of course”, said the Mad Hatter, “this makes perfect sense.” Especially after the Jews dared to put up a very effective fence to protect themselves from Muslim suicide martyrs who celebrated their terrific acts of Heroism previously performed in Israeli pizza parlors or Passover dinners. That Fence is, to the Mad Hatter and his friends, a real Offence, but to the Jews a Defense, being after all just a Fence- the most passive form of defense known to man. So I reckon this will all have to “make sense” until the King, Himself, of the upside-down Kingdom returns to the Emerald City- in this instance Golden Jerusalem- in order to straighten things up a bit all over.
Elhanan Jerusalem 3-2010