July 27, 2006

Rally for Israel thoughts

I got to the Jewish Community Center a bit early, and it was a good thing, too. As noted in the News Journal, over 500 people packed into the auditorium to listen to several speakers give short talks about different aspects of the current Israeli-Hizbollah conflict. The first thing I noticed upon arriving was the presence of at least three state police cars -- were they actually expecting trouble? It was a tad disconcerting, but as the News Journal noted, there were no incidents or counter-protests as there have been in other cities.

In the lobby I took some literature, and I filled out a postcard that was designated to go to the IDF, the Israeli Defense Force. I merely wrote "Best Wishes and Godspeed" and signed my name. After I turned the card in, though, I wondered if I should have written "Godspeed" as "G-dspeed." I'd forgotten that many Jews use the written word of the diety with a dash as it's considered ... improper to write out the entire word. Oh well -- I am a goyim after all, and it's the thought that counts!

The auditorium was about half full when I entered. That quickly changed as the hour approached 7pm. I recognized quite a few a people, including several students of mine from past and present (and their parents), as well as the wife of US Congress candidate Dennis Spivack whom I've known (along with Dennis) for some fifteen years. A couple students (and their parents) asked me "What are you doing here?" (I suppose because I'm not Jewish!) to which I replied "Standing with Israel!" I jokingly inquired if "clear-thinking" Gentiles were permitted to attend. "Absolutely!!" was the enthusiastic reply. I also got a hug from a mom of one of my students.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe I also saw Holocaust survivor Dorothy Finger in attendance. I've a pretty good memory, so I'm probably correct that it was her. I know Mrs. Finger from my very first job, as a busboy and then waiter at the old Brandywine Country Club that was located off of Concord Pike (rt. 202), now a big shopping center. I also once worked a private party for her and her family, and it was there that I read a lot of old news clippings about her ordeal in WW II. In a word, it was terrifying.

Close to 7pm, lo and behold Mike from Down With Absolutes walks in, followed about five minutes later by Ms. Anonymous Opinion! We stood in the back right-hand corner of the hall as the presentation got underway. Nathan Guttman of the Jerusalem Post spoke first. A couple students then spoke about their experiences working with students and families in Israel. But the best speaker (in my opinion) was Delaware's own treasurer, Jack Markell. Jack was vociferous and uncompromising in his defense of the Jewish state and he drew vigorous applause. He and the previous speakers touched on numerous FACTS about the current conflict:

  • Israel left Lebanon six years ago and Gaza earlier this year -- and still got over 1,000 rockets shot at them for it.
  • Israel has had to deal with 1 million displaced citizens from the north of the country during the present crisis. One speaker noted that Delaware doesn't even have 1 million people in the state, so just imagine if all of New Castle and Kent Counties were evacuated to southern Sussex County because, say, terrorists were lobbing missiles into those areas from the Philadelphia suburbs.
  • Israel is using "excessive force"? Israel has dealt with rocket and other terror attacks since time immemorial. Consider the United States' reaction to three jets ramming into buildings: They toppled the entire government of Afghanistan and continue military operations there to this day.
  • It is preposterous to claim Israel targets innocent civilians. The fact is that the IDF goes out of its way to avoid such casualties. Hizbollah and other terror groups hide away in civilian homes, and even hide their rockets there. (Anna Venger recently posted a cartoon which perfectly illustrates the difference between the Israelis and Hizbollah/pro-Palestinian terror groups.)

Also discussed was the history of the conflict between Israel and its neighbors. One must always keep in mind that if the Palestinians and their Arab supporters really wanted the "two-state solution," they had many opportunities to achieve it. The first, of course, was when the United Nations first put forth its "partition" plan which led to the creation of Israel -- and could have created a Palestinian state. Instead, the Palestinians and surrounding Arab nations attacked the new Israel, giving the finger to the UN and, obviously, their willingness to live alongside a predominately Jewish nation. 1967 was the next time there was a concerted effort to annihilate Israel by the same actors, and this led to the "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But even here, when Israel offered to give back these lands (along with the Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula) in exchange for a lasting peace, they were told, in so many words, to "go to hell." It actuality it was "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it."

It ill behooves me when people make Israel out to be the bad guy in this history. Their schools do not teach that Muslims are "swine" and less than human. Their maps do not omit surrounding Arab countries from their cartography. Jewish terror groups do not flourish within Israel's boundaries that seek the annihilation of surrounding Islamic states.

I said it before, I'll say it again: If the Muslim terror groups drop their arms, you'll get peace in the mid-east. If the Israelis drop their arms, you'll get a second Holocaust.

Posted by Hube at July 27, 2006 03:51 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

"If the Muslim terror groups drop their arms, you'll get peace in the mid-east. If the Israelis drop their arms, you'll get a second Holocaust."

So true! Israelis don't attack unless severely provoked, unlike their enemies.

Good write-up. Sorry I missed the rally.

Posted by: Anna Venger at July 28, 2006 06:25 AM

Brilliant "post," and oh-so-true. Thanks for the report and the insight.

Posted by: The Crack Young Staff at July 28, 2006 11:50 AM