Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."

 Happy 60th Israel... Good Timing, Mom & Dad!
 by Gerald A. Honigman

     My father, Edward Honigman, of blessed memory, returned home after spending four years as a gunner in the U.S. Navy\'s Armed Guard (assigned, especially, to protect Allied shipping from U-Boats and such) in World War II, met my mother, Sylvia, and soon joined the ranks of many others siring another baby

     While their timing wasn\'t perfect, it was close enough.

     I made my grand debut on May 8, 1948, Harry Truman\'s birthday.the President who would fight his own State Department within just a few days of my birth when he officially recognized the rebirth of Israel on May 14th. Thirteen years later I would become a Bar Mitzvah on that very same date.

     So, I guess you could say that modern Israel and myself have sort of grown up together.
     I have watched, with pride, as an Israel reborn arose from the ashes--the risen phoenix of my millennially persecuted, subjugated, and massacred people. It did so on a miniscule portion of the world\'s real estate, where Jews have 4,000 years of continuous history, and proceeded to produce one of the most vibrant, advanced, and productive societies on Earth.things which only make assorted anti-Semites (including those masking themselves as anti-Zionists) hate it even more. While imperfect for sure, as all human endeavors are, compared to the largely tyrannical mess which surrounds the Jew of the Nations in its neighborhood, Israel is indeed a light unto the nations.the Biblical mission of its "chosenness."

     While Arabs deliberately target the most innocent of Jews, Israel\'s Hadassah Hospital flies in Arabs for life-saving medical treatment unavailable in their own countries.

     Recall that when Theodore Herzl--the father of modern political Zionism--approached Pope Pius X for support around the turn of the 20th century, he was told that this would be impossible since Jews--the alleged deicide people--were condemned to be perpetual wanderers since they rejected the divinity of Jesus. Herzl was later quoted as saying that, in retrospect, maybe his refusal to kiss the Pope\'s ring ticked the latter off even more and sealed the fate of their meeting.

     No surprise here, however.

     The road to Auschwitz was paved by many of such "sacred" teachings.including those of the Vatican\'s nemesis, Martin Luther, and  even earlier in the Christian New Testament itself. The Gospel of John calls the Jews--not "just" Pharisees--children of the Devil. Not to mention similar problems in the Muslims\' Qur\'an.

     If ever an Hebraic prophesy could send chills up one\'s spine, certainly Ezekiel 37 (the Valley of the Dry Bones) rang true in the aftermath of the slaughter of one third of all world Jewry during the Holocaust. Listen.
     The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

     And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

     Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

     And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
     So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.

     And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

     Then said He unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

     So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

     Then He said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

     Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
     And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves...

     Within a few years of the Holocaust, besides remnants from the West, more Jews would flee Arab/Muslim lands to Israel than Arabs who fled in the reverse direction as a result of the combined Arab invasion of the renascent Jewish State in \'48.

     I have watched (and fought with my pen) from afar as an Israel, constantly under the spotlight\'s glare and subjected to hypocritical double standards by much of the rest of the world (including the American State Department--still fighting Truman\'s ghost), struggled as hard as humanly possible to honor the moral and ethical imperatives of its Hebraic traditions while fighting enemies who delight in disemboweling Jewish children and their own as shahids.

      As I have often noted, how dare Jews want, in one resurrected state covering less than one-sixth of one per cent of the Middle East (requiring a magnifying glass to find it on a world map), what Arabs have carved out for themselves in almost two dozen nations on over six million square miles of territory. Recall also that most of that territory was forcibly conquered and Arabized from native, non-Arab peoples. To Arabs, however, the area is simply purely Arab patrimony.

     And resurrected, indeed Israel was.

     To understand the meaning of reborn Israel to the Jew, one needs to know what Jewish history was like for two thousand years after the Jews dared to take on the conqueror of the world for their independence. A reading of the contemporary Roman-sponsored historians--Tacitus, Dio Cassius, Josephus, etc.-- gives a \'non-Zionist\' account of the fervor with which Jews fought for the freedom of their land.
     Listen to Tacitus in Vol. II, Book V, The Works of Tacitus:

     Vespasian... succeeded to the command.... it inflamed his resentment that the Jews were the only nation that had not yet submitted.Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea... he commanded three legions in Judaea itself... To these he added the twelfth from Syria and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria... amongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between neighboring nations

     This was during the first revolt in 66-73 C.E. The Arch of Titus stands in Rome to this very day to commemorate this victory over the Jews.

     Later, the emperor Hadrian became so enraged at the Jews\' persistence that in 135 C.E., after the second major (and even more costly) revolt, he renamed Judaea Syria Palaestina--Palestine--after the Jews\' historic enemies, the non-Semitic, non-Arab Philistines (who originated in the area around Crete), in an attempt to end the Jews\' hopes once and for all.
     Forced conversions, being branded the "deicide people," inquisitions, demonization, dehumanization, ghettos, blood libels, massacres, expulsions, the Holocaust, and constant existence as perpetual stranger in someone else\'s land became the plight of the Wandering Jew.
     Estimates have placed the number of Jews murdered as a result of these experiences, prior to the Holocaust, in both the Christian West--where they were considered to be "G_d killers" and children of the Devil--or in the Muslim East, where there was no Holocaust per se, but where Jews were still frequently regarded as "killers of prophets" and kilab yahud "Jew dogs" (frequently never knowing what the morrow would bring) in the millions.

     With all the imagined, real, and potential sins of nationalism, if ever any people needed the protection of their own nation state for just their very survival and to preserve their dignity, the Jews certainly fit the mold. Even the United States\' General Ulysses S. Grant (the future President) issued expulsion orders to the Jews of the South during the Civil War.

     As we approach both of our birthdays, my wish for Israel is that it regains leaders who will maintain the highest standards for Israel being a light unto the nations, but not at the sacrifice of its own long awaited resurrection and well matter who is tightening the screws.

     Finally, as a footnote, I will receive a very special gift this year...
     Modern Israel, on the Hebrew Calendar, also turns sixty on May 8th.