By Victor Sharpe
The despicable insults heaped upon the State of Israel by members of President Obama’s Administration, namely his Vice President James Biden, his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and by David Axelrod, all presumably orchestrated by the president himself, have emboldened the real enemies of peace in the Middle East: Iran and its proxies, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It has also encouraged the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to add more and more preconditions to the so-called peace process talks with Israel; this itself a flagrant breach of the Oslo “peace” accords. Already Hamas has again begun firing multiple missile barrages into Israel, killing a civilian working in a kibbutz greenhouse. It is only a matter of time before Hezbollah decides to get into the act. After all, it now has nearly 100,000 thousand Iranian supplied deadly rockets aimed at northern and central Israel.
It was not long, therefore, before the PA’s Prime Minister, Fayyad, called out his Arab street thugs to riot in east Jerusalem. Clinton and Biden thus gave a green light for the Arabs to commit acts that are the very opposite of peace. Then there was the appalling double standard employed by Messrs. Clinton and Biden for even during the Vice President’s visit the Palestinian Authority began the process of renaming a city square in Ramallah in honor of a vicious, blood stained female PLO terrorist who, with her accomplices, committed one of the worst massacres of Israeli civilians.
Thirty two years ago, in 1978, Dalal Moghrabi and her PLO gang landed on the Israeli shore just south of kibbutz Maagen Michael. They had come from Lebanon armed with automatic rifles and grenades. They immediately murdered the highly acclaimed American photographer, Gail Rubin, who was filming nature scenes and wildlife, before ambushing a bus on the Haifa-Tel Aviv highway.
The PLO terrorists then began shooting at the thirty seven passengers on the hi-jacked bus while also firing at passing traffic from the bus as it headed south. Finally the bus was stopped by the Israeli police just north of Tel Aviv but the Arabs set fire to the bus, burning 37 men, women and children alive. The terrorists were filmed tossing babies into the fire. This was one of the worst Palestinian Arab atrocities committed against Israeli civilians.
Even as Biden was chastising Israel for its housing ministry going through the formalities of seeking zonal authority for eventual construction of apartments in a north-west Jerusalem suburb, the Palestinian Authority, so beloved of Vice President Biden, et al, was naming the square in Ramallah in Dalal Moghrabi’s honor. To date, there has been deafening silence form Biden and Clinton. Not one word of disapproval has been uttered by this administration or the State Department at the PA’s honoring of a woman terrorist who perpetrated such an appalling atrocity. I leave you to your individual thoughts about the future of the “peace process” with such Arab savages.
So an American Administration, which reaches out to the nastiest and most evil regimes in the world, which ignores the honoring of a vile terrorist by the Palestinian Authority (the so-called moderate Palestinians), which has allowed the Iranian monster, Ahmadinejad, to continue for over a year under Obama’s watch to rush ahead in building nuclear bombs and the missiles to carry them, screams at its most loyal ally, Israel, because it wants to provide homes for its people in its ancient and united capital: Jerusalem.
Perhaps the most passionate words about the inextricable, historical and spiritual attachment of the Jewish people to their 3,500 year old capital city were expressed by a man whose name was Stanley Goldfoot. He changed it to the Hebrew name, Eliezer ben Yisrael. He was a member of the Jewish underground that fought for independence from the British occupiers of Mandatory Palestine. His letter may appear intemperate and undiplomatic to some. But remember, his soul had been seared with the knowledge that Britain, who had been given the Palestine Mandate with the requirement that it establish a Jewish National Home, had torn away four fifths of the land in 1921/22 and given it to the Hashemite Bedouin tribe. Immediately, Jews were barred from living in the enormous territory.
All that remained for a Jewish homeland was the tiny sliver of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan – a mere fifty miles at its widest and now under immense pressure to be further divided again so that Israel is reduced to nine miles wide at its most populous region. In 1939, bowing to Arab pressure and fearing the loss of oil, Britain had imposed the notorious White Paper severely limiting Jewish immigration at the very outbreak of the Second World War and the Holocaust. Thus millions of Jews perished who were prevented from escaping to the geographical territory known as Palestine.
In 1969, two years after Israel was forced to fight the June 1967, Six Day War against Egypt, Syria, Jordan and several other Arab states, he wrote this impassioned open letter to the world. He had seen at first hand the liberation of the eastern half of Jerusalem, which had endured for nineteen long years the terrible occupation by the Jordanian Arab Legion.
The city had been divided by barbed wire, pill boxes and walls. Jordanian snipers had made life a living hell for the Jewish residents and the Arab Legion had systematically destroyed some 57 synagogues and had uprooted and desecrated the ancient Jewish grave stones on the Mount of Olives, using them as latrines for the Arab Legion.
One synagogue in particular, the Hurva synagogue, which was originally built 300 years ago, was one of the Jewish holy places the Jordanian Arabs destroyed. It is significant to know that just this last month of March, 2010, it was rededicated after being lovingly rebuilt. It stands again, magnificent in the Jewish Quarter as a reminder of the eternal links of the Jewish people to their eternal city. But, all a spokesman of the so-called partner in peace – the Palestinian Authority – could utter was that the synagogue was a provocation to the Arab and Muslim world. So let the late Stanley Goldfoot’s Letter to the World from Jerusalem be a fitting reply to the Bidens, the Clintons and the Obamas of this world:
- I am not a creature from another planet, as you seem to believe. I am a Jerusalemite – like yourselves, a man of flesh and blood. A citizen of my city, an integral part of my people.I have a few things to get off my chest. Because I am not a diplomat, I do not have to mince words. I do not have to please you or even persuade you. I owe you nothing. You did not build this city, you did not live in it, you did not defend it when they came to destroy it.
And we will be damned if we will let you take it away. There was a Jerusalem before there was a New York. When Berlin, Moscow, London, and Paris were miasmal forest and swamp, there was a thriving Jewish community here. It gave something to the world which you nations have rejected ever since you established yourselves – a humane moral code.
Here the prophets walked, their words flashing like forked lightning. Here a people who wanted nothing more than to be left alone, fought off waves of heathen would-be conquerors, bled and died on the battlements, hurled themselves into the flames of their burning Temple rather than surrender, and when finally overwhelmed by sheer numbers and led away into captivity, swore that before they forgot Jerusalem, they would see their tongues cleave to their palates, their right arms wither.
For two pain-filled millennia, while we were your unwelcome guests, we prayed daily to return to this city. Three times a day we petitioned the Almighty: “Gather us from the four corners of the world, bring us upright to our land, return in mercy to Jerusalem, Thy city, and swell in it as Thou promised.” On every Yom Kippur and Passover, we fervently voiced the hope that next year would find us in Jerusalem.
Your inquisitions, pogroms, expulsions, the ghettos into which you jammed us, your forced baptisms, your quota systems, your genteel anti-Semitism, and the final unspeakable horror, the holocaust (and worse, your terrifying disinterest in it) – all these have not broken us. They may have sapped what little moral strength you still possessed, but they forged us into steel. Do you think that you can break us now after all we have been through? Do you really believe that after Dachau and Auschwitz we are frightened by your threats of blockades and sanctions?
We have been to Hell and back- a Hell of your making. What more could you possibly have in your arsenal that could scare us?
I have watched this city bombarded twice by nations calling themselves civilized. In 1948, while you looked on apathetically, I saw women and children blown to smithereens after we agreed to your request to internationalize the city. It was a deadly combination that did the job – British officers, Arab gunners, and American-made cannon. And then the savage sacking of the Old City – the willful slaughter, the wanton destruction of every synagogue and religious school, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, the use by a ghoulish government of tombstones for building materials, for poultry runs, army camps, even latrines.
And you never said a word. You never breathed the slightest protest when the Jordanians shut off the holiest of our places, the Western Wall, in violation of the pledges they had made after the war – a war they waged, incidentally, against the decision of the UN. Not a murmur came from you whenever the legionnaires in their spiked helmets casually opened fire upon our citizens from behind the walls. Your hearts bled when Berlin came under siege. You rushed your airlift “to save the gallant Berliners”. But you did not send one ounce of food when Jews starved in besieged Jerusalem. You thundered against the wall which the East Germans ran through the middle of the German capital – but not one peep out of you about that other wall, the one that tore through the heart of Jerusalem.
And when that same thing happened 20 years later, and the Arabs unleashed a savage, unprovoked bombardment of the Holy City again, did any of you do anything? The only time you came to life was when the city was at last reunited. Then you wrung your hands and spoke loftily of “justice” and need for the “Christian” quality of turning the other cheek. The truth – and you know it deep inside your gut – you would prefer the city to be destroyed rather than have it governed by Jews. No matter how diplomatically you phrase it, the age old prejudices seep out of every word. If our return to the city has tied your theology in knots, perhaps you had better reexamine your catechisms. After what we have been through, we are not passively going to accommodate ourselves to the twisted idea that we are to suffer eternal homelessness until we accept your savior. For the first time since the year 70, there is now complete religious freedom for all in Jerusalem. For the first time since the Romans put a torch to the Temple, everyone has equal rights (You prefer to have some more equal than others.) We loathe the sword – but it was you who forced us to take it up. We crave peace, but we are not going back to the peace of 1948 as you would like us to. We are home. It has a lovely sound for a nation you have willed to wander over the face of the globe. We are not leaving. We are redeeming the pledge made by our forefathers: Jerusalem is being rebuilt. “Next year” and the year after, and after, and after, until the end of time – “in Jerusalem.”
Stanley Goldfoot was the founding Editor of The Times of Israel. He wrote this open letter from Jerusalem in August, 1969.
Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer and author of Volumes One and Two of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state. An extract from Stanley Goldfoot’s open letter appears in Volume Two of Politicide: The book, along with Volume One, may be purchased on line from Amazon.com Permission to reproduce the letter was given by Mr. Goldfoot’s cousin, Ms. Nadene Goldfoot.