Friday, July 16, 2004

The Wizard of Oz

Musings #59
July 13, 2004

                                                             The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz was right, at least according to the Judy Garland movie. The Great and Powerful Wizard told Dorothy that the power to return home had been with her all the time. She didn’t need his help at all.

Over the years, ok decades, as my Hebrew slowly improved, words developed new connotations for me. One of them is “Oz.” If you pronounce it “oze,” with a long “o,” you have the Hebrew word meaning: valor, courage, strength, fortress, glory.

This week the news has been filled to overflowing with reactions to the World Court’s decision that we have to take down the security fence. Everyone’s hysterical about it, for various reasons. There are those who are against the fence, because it’s an inconvenience for the Arabs and is on “their” land. Others are hysterical because they fervently believe that the fence will bring security, so they are terrified that there won’t be one. Some Israelis are less concerned about the fence than the fact that “the world” is angry with us. That puts them in a real panic, since they want “the world” to love us and approve of us.

Sometimes I think I’m the only one who doesn’t care. I’m not even going to get on the issue of the fence right now. I just don’t care what the World Court, or Europe or the UN or the US, or any foreigners think of our policies. I’m also not impressed by something, just because “everyone” may be doing something or may think a certain way.

When I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed to use the word “everyone.” If I dared request something or permission to do something, “…because everyone is…” I’d get the lecture:

“If everyone was jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you jump, too?”

I learned very young to make my own decisions and not be swayed by the “great and powerful” “everyone.” In actuality “everyone” frequently ends up as weak and pathetic as the “wizard” who was hiding behind the curtains.

I don’t understand why our pre-State leaders felt it so necessary to receive the permission of the infant UN to declare statehood. I don’t understand why our politicians and media crave the approval of American and other foreign politicians. I don’t understand why our government accepts aid vouchers for military equipment from America, which results in the destruction of our own military industry. I don’t understand why our ancient and distinguished Jewish People keeps begging the wizard to do what we can and should do for ourselves.

Only when Toto, the dog, pulled the curtain away, and the wizard’s humanity and weakness were exposed did the Wizard of Oz admit the truth. He had no magic powers. Dorothy, who had killed the wicked witch, was much more powerful than himself. If Dorothy wanted to go home, she had the power to do it herself. If we want true security, it won’t come from the UN, US or any foreign body. It’s up to us, only us, to use the “oze” inherent in us.

Batya Medad, Shiloh