Wednesday, Jan 25, 2023

No Joke

I’m sure you heard the story about a rabbi, an imam and a priest who all walk into a bar. The bartender looks up at them and asks, “Is this a joke?”

Unfortunately, the joke is on us once again. This time, it’s not so funny. A Palestinian terrorist walks into a checkpoint. This time it’s not a joke. He pulls out a knife. He stabs two soldiers. One in the face. They try to subdue him. He breaks free and goes for a soldier’s gun. He is shot and neutralized.

It’s not funny. It is an almost daily occurrence. Unprovoked terror is rampant, and defending oneself becomes considered a crime. It would be easily understood when the condemnation comes from Hamas leaders or other Palestinian terror heads. However, the sad joke is that more and more often, the condemnations are coming from those who were once considered legitimate statesmen or representatives of recognized international organizations.

Just last week, an Arab terrorist, Ammar Mefleh, tried to stab Israeli soldiers and grab their guns. He was shot dead. But instead of the incident being portrayed in the factual manner in which it had occurred, it was portrayed as “Israeli soldiers shot a man dead after he scuffled with them.”

This was not a statement from the usual suspect liberal press, but rather Tor Wennesland, Norway’s Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process. He said in an electronic communication that he was “horrified by today’s killing of a Palestinian man during a scuffle with an Israeli soldier.”

Conveniently, he failed to mention that the Palestinian had already stabbed two other Israeli soldiers and was trying to seize the border guard’s automatic weapon when he was shot. Despite footage from a security camera of a clear attack on the soldiers who clearly defended themselves, Wennesland sent condolences to the attacker’s family, declaring, “My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family. Such incidents must be fully and promptly investigated and those responsible held accountable.”

Not long before that, just two days after terrorists bombed a bus stop in which two innocent Yidden were killed, UN envoy Francesca Albanese gave a speech justifying Hamas attacks on Israel, among other similar statements. Albanese has a very interesting title: United Nations Special Rapporteur (Reporter) on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.

She had addressed a Hamas conference in Gaza not long before that where she said, “You have a right to resist this occupation… Israel says ‘resistance equals terrorism,’ but an occupation requires violence and generates violence.”

Albanese repeatedly compares the Holocaust and the Nakba, the Arabic word for “catastrophe” that Palestinians use to describe Israel’s establishment. “Just as tragic, terrible, unspeakable is the tragedy that befell the Jewish people with the Shoah, so for the Palestinians, the Nakba represents the crumbling of the connective tissue of a people, and the physical and institutional crumbling,” she told an Italian station.

Like so many others in her international positions of power, she recently issued an official report accusing Israel of “apartheid practices” and “persecution” of Palestinians.

No matter what, there is really no way out. I’m reminded of the story in which they are dragging two nationals in front of the firing squad. They are asked for their last wishes. One hands a letter to give to his family, while the other man spits in his tormentor’s face. The first fellow screams at the second, “Are you crazy? What are you doing? You are going to get us in trouble!”

The second one responds, “When you are in front of a firing squad, you might as well spit in their face, because no matter what you do, ‘we are going to get in trouble’!”

Truth be told, when a diplomat uses the word “horrifying” so selectively, it is cause for outrage.

To me, what is “horrifying” is the fact that across the globe, hundreds of human beings who pose no threat at all to their neighbors and are not part of a cabal to throw their nemesis into the sea are being slaughtered without a peep from the word at large.

I’d love to say that you can skim the headlines for these truly “horrific” acts of brutality. Unfortunately, you cannot. They are tucked away in the back pages of prestigious newspapers and online journals, while whatever occurs in Israel or allegedly perpetrated by Jews is blown front and center.

Right now, there are massacres of Africans by other Africans in tribal warfare in those countries. No one is promoting books on Amazon that talk about it. That is not only because there are no books, but because no one cares. China is brutally locking down cities and arresting, if not killing, citizens who break their inane curfews, but the UN has yet to open its mouth.

Iran is currently killing hundreds of protestors who are fighting for civil rights and more freedom for its women. The left-wingers here in the United States, who would protest and incite mayhem here for the most perverse ideals, are suddenly silent. There is no UN. There are no diplomats. There are no protestors worrying about those Arabs or Persians who are being shot by their own government.

And it is even quieter when our enemies attack us. There are no United Nation condemnations of bus bombings or the incessant stabbings that occur almost daily in Israel. Just acts of self-defense are vilified.

Rav Yonasan Eibschutz explains why Yaakov Avinu’s children wanted the citizens of Shechem to get a bris milah. They knew something that was as relevant in Biblical times as it is in today’s “New York” times. Yaakov’s sons knew the secret of society. Give them a bris. Make them Jews. Then you can do whatever you want with them and no one will say a word. You can wipe out an entire city. As long as it is not a gentile city. If Shechem had remained a gentile city — had the men not become circumcised according to the laws of Avrohom’s folk – then Yaakov’s children would have been condemned by the entire world. But Yaakov’s children knew better. They made sure that the Shechemites went through a bris milah. Shechem was now a “circumcised city,” and when a Jewish city is destroyed, the story becomes as irrelevant as a Canadian citizen killedT by a Palestinian terrorist.

Maybe, before using the word “horrifying,” they should roll back the tape. After all, it is no joke.

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