Monday, September 13, 2010

Ifs, Ands and Buts

Ari Bussel

“I understand what you are saying, Ari, the rockets launched at the City of Sderot created eight long years of horror and hardship, but…” or “the significance there was not a maritime route to Gaza is noteworthy, but there is, after all, a naval blockade causing the population to starve…” and a new all-time favorite accepted by Jews and Palestinians alike: “The Palestinians are eager for a two state solution, people living side by side in peace, but the right-wing Netanyahu Government is blocking any prospects for peace.” There always seems to be a “but” at the end of the sentence. An omnipresent, towering and defying all logic “but.” It matters not what one says, their rationale or factual reasoning. Straight ahead is the doubt, the lingering bad taste, the truth in all its ugly nakedness, the supposition that whatever was just said is invalid, there is a bigger, more important truth, one which the speaker choose to so skillfully ignore.

Thus, I always find myself on the side that is right, yet does not win the argument and is constantly stumbling to stand straight. Then self-doubt trickles in, maybe we are wrong after all, maybe the sun, at a zenith, is an illusion and we are really in the middle of a dark night, or the heat outside is imaginary and the sweat soaking our shirt is only a figment of the imagination.

The BUT comes from within our own ranks, American Jews, Israeli Jews, those who love Israel and would do everything for it (“still, it is legitimate to criticize the State, Israel is not exempt from criticism”).

This ever present BUT is dangerous. It is the door beyond which there is a cliff, and the person walking through is bound to fall into the abyss below. There are no safety nets, just the lure of a simple, innocent, quiet “but,” where fate is sealed, the person beheaded, the end near. The Devil stands hands quivering with anticipation, a laugh struggling to escape his lips. Alas, another human fly headed straight into the trap!

Since we are, generally speaking, intelligent and observant human beings, capable of learning and not repeating mistakes, I wonder how we fail to see the lure. Like a landmine that explodes after a person steps onto it, here too the trap is armed, awaiting a victim.

It is time we realize “criticizing Israel” and “legitimate criticism” are no more than keywords for “anti-Semitism.” We must not run after an elusive peace either. “Peace” can only be achieved when actively sought by two sides. We must reject misleading titles like “Jews for Peace” or “Americans for Peace Now.” Neither wants peace. Both seek to create a platform for further attacks on the Jewish State and Israelis.

Gazans are no more under siege than is my ability to drive to Rodeo Drive and buy as much as my bank account affords me, Nor are the Arabs in Israel oppressed or otherwise disadvantaged more than Spanish-speaking Americans from all points south of the border.

Palestinians do not thirst for water, at least not more than any other desert inhabitant Jewish or Muslim.

Jerusalem has always been the Jewish center of existence and the capital of the State of Israel. Worship for all religions is only feasible in Israel, the Jewish State. It is not permissible in Saudi Arabia, it is as weak as a person on a dying bed in Palestinian Authority rule (e.g. Christians in Bethlehem) and it did not quite exist under Jordanian rule (1948 – 1967 in Jerusalem).

There are no “two Palestines,” one in Gaza the other in Judea and Samaria. Similarly, there are no “moderate Fatah” and “terrorist Hamas.” They are all one and their goal the same, the Jewish State is to be eradicated, uprooted and destroyed. In fact, until three decades ago, even the Palestinians did not realize there was a Palestine belonging to them, just the urge and the process to fight the Jewish State to death.

There is no partner for peace, unless “peace” is understood to be complete submission and conversion to Islam. Actually, it is not even that, for Jews will be slaughtered, possibly a token few left to show the world the benevolent nature of Islam or serve as a living deterrent to others.

The next time you are told, contrary to what you see staring you in the face, the entertaining and so simply luring word “but,” stop the speaker and say: “no ifs, ands and buts. There are no half pregnancies.” And as President George W. Bush liked to say “you are either with us or against us.”

In the new war of Evil vs. Good, one must take sides. One must remain focused as the enemy uses our methodology, culture and very being against us. We find ourselves doubting the correctness of our ways, our convictions start fading and diminishing. We are in a precarious position so away with the “ifs, ands and buts.”

There are indeed shades of grey remaining as not everything is black and white. In Schindler’s List there was a red dress among the black and white and a glowing pair of Shabbat candles within the darkness. Likewise in today’s world one can still find hope and a better existence.

The shaded area, even the one most full of colors, is a place where children play, where love is free to roam, laughter to roll and life to blossom. This amazing pastoral location can be found in legends, fairytales and the story lands of our imaginations. It is an amazing land called Israel and as the adults attempt to protect this world, the Devil stands, his whole being quivering with anticipation, seeking new lambs to slaughter, new blood, another innocent poised to burn on the altar of “ifs, ands and buts.”

The time has come to take sides. An enemy shooting at you, firing rockets, arming itself with missiles and other methods of destruction, cannot turn its face toward peace. That same enemy sends its young ones shouting “Allah u Akbar” to become shaiids, as an example to their friends. Exploding themselves with those “pigs” and “apes,” they cannot crave peace but seek destruction. Israel’s so-called “partners for peace” stand by and watch as the horrors unfold. Wake up, Israel, and witness the evil you so easily ignore.

We dare not compare the values of life and friendship Judaism (and thus Christianity) teaches with those of the death cult of 7th Century Islam – a geopolitical cancer expanding the world over.

And those who still wear the eternal “but” on the tip of their tongues, stop this nonsense designed to bring about our downfall. If you are so convinced life is better with the enemy, or that you must act to bring about change – try life in Gaza for a few months. Live in Palestinian Authority or even Saudi Arabia where slavery and trafficking are commonplace and women are treated as disposable possessions.

Interestingly, even Muslim Arabs living in Israel will not trade their “oppressed, inferior and unbearable conditions” under Israeli “brutal Zionist Occupation” to live somewhere else, specifically not under Palestinian rule of any sort. It makes one wonder at these claims of such oppression. Just something to chew on in lieu of the usual “but.”

The series “Postcards from America—Postcards from Israel” by Ari Bussel and Norma Zager is a compilation of articles capturing the essence of life in America and Israel during the first two decades of the 21st Century.

The writers invite readers to view and experience an Israel and her politics through their eyes, Israel visitors rarely discover.

This point—and often—counter-point presentation is sprinkled with humor and sadness and attempts to tackle serious and relevant issues of the day. The series began in 2008, appears both in print in the USA and on numerous websites and is followed regularly by readership from around the world.

© “Postcards from Israel—Postcards from America,” September, 2010

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