Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Keeping a sense of humor

Scientists say that smiling and laughing are good for our health, so I always try to find the bright side, even if it's just the irony that presses my lips into a grin and extracts a chuckle from my chest. Sometimes that's the only way to survive Israeli political news.

In Israel the public parasites--pp's for short--are in the midst of cooking up a Pork Barrel stew. The Shas Party, which promotes itself as strongly religious, is looking for justification to join the traif (non-kosher/forbidden) feast, even though it campaigned against Olmert's policies. Their latest statement, to ban Ministers Without Portfolios , is like saying it's OK to eat the stew, just don't lick the gravy.

A major sector of their support comes from families which send their kids to the Shas schools which provide long hours and hot lunches. Shas needs to be part of the government coalition to financially support these schools. The fact that most of their voters are strongly right wing is ignored for the survival of their educational institutions.

Yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day. It's a day of ceremonies and speeches and public mourning. A couple of years ago I traveled to the Neve Yaakov swimming pool and was surprised to find it closed.

Unlike many descended from European Jews, the Holocaust did not play a part in my formative years. Until the Diary of Anne Frank was published, I was totally oblivious and ignorant of it. My grandparents, some of their siblings and parents left Europe before Hitler, and those who remained were never found. I was not raised with any longing, nostalgia for the "old country." My grandparents enthusiastically embraced their new lives in America and firmly closed the door to their old ones.

Israeli society thrives on its connection to the Holocaust. There's a perversity in how it markets "The Shoah" to foreign visitors. Instead of showing pride in our Biblical connection of thousands of years to Our Land and how rapidly we've developed a modern society here, they schlepp everyone to Yad Veshem to say: "The Nazis murdered Six Million of us, so pity us."

Even worse, they haven't learned from it. De facto Prime Minister Olmert speaks of the dangers of appeasement, but he's a prime promoter of appeasing the Arab terrorists. His Disengagment and Convergence--Resettlement--are the epitome of appeasement.

The same goes for Peres, the Oslo, "New Middle-east," architect, who doesn't recognize the demons he has invited into our Homeland. The most dangerous enemies to our very existence are his friends, whom he calls the "Palestinians." They are the terrorists who are attempting to annihilate us at this very moment.

Is this funny? No, not at all, but there's an irony for sure, and the story, our history, isn't over either. We have outlived our enemies, and the true lesson of the Holocaust is to look forward and leave the Diaspora behind. That's why I'm here, in Israel, in Shiloh.

In Biblical times, it was in Shiloh where our people developed from tribes into a nation. It took 369 years, longer than the existence of the United States. Yes, it's hard to wait. Patience is important for us to learn. We're of the "instant," "now" generation.

We must be strong and determined, like the Holocaust survivors who picked themselves up, out of the ashes, made news lives, new families.

Yes, we will have the last laugh.


Esther said...

What an interesting post. You make many excellent points. And we will have the last laugh.

Batya said...

Thanks, and amen!

beakerkin said...

Hold on a second did you honestly expect any politician to hold to principles and respect their constituents ? Politicians everywhere are all sell outs and the few good ones are few and far between

Batya said...

No, there seems to be something inherently wrong with politicians, major personality faults.

Dan Zaremba said...

When I visited Israel (professional, business visit)I mostly dealt and talked with young Israelis, whose background was mostly "Asian" or "African".
Their views resembled yours.
I still think that remembering Holocaust is extremely important but at the same time the legitimacy of Israel stays with the history of the land itself.
Great post

Batya said...

It's very important to remind people, since the Jewish establishment is all caught up in European history and very narrowly focused.