Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Seven Jewish Children, One British Anti-Semite

Carly Churchill's new blood libel against the Jewish people, a short play entitled Seven Jewish Children is making the rounds in civilized society, much as accusations that we use Chrisian childrens' blood to bake our matzos once did. The play is short and admission to its performances is free at the request of the author. The only stipulation is that patrons make a donation to a so-called Palestinian charity upon attendance.
And, in the finest tradition of all post-Holocaust Jew haters, all those involved with the play deny being anti-Semitic. This includes, of course, the Jewish directors who just have to involve themselves with this filth:
"People have a right to be offended, and I respect those who have read the play and are offended," said Roth, the artistic director of Theater J at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center where the 10-minute play was performed this week. It also will be staged Saturday night and Sunday afternoon in Washington at the Forum Theater.
Roth himself was upset by the script.
However, he has added two pro-Israel plays to the evening as well as a panel discussion as part of an effort to give a broader context to the play.

One of the great canards Jew-haters recite is that it is legitimate to criticize Israel just like it is fine to criticize any country for its perceived failings. And if they were being honest abou it, there would be little to argue about. Israel, chalilah, has a great many failings. Its determination to survive despite its enemies' wishese, is not one of those failings.
Pointing this out leads to one of two further lies. "I'm not anti-Semitics. I just hate Israel." Why, pray tell, of all the countries in the world do they specifically choose Israel to heap vitriol on? If its because of its supposedly brutal occupation, well China is more brutal in Tibet. If it's because they are supposedly denying an indigenous people their right to unfettered autonomy, doesn't Britain still occupy Northern Ireland?
The other lie is: I can't be an anti-Semite. I'm Jewish. The answer to that is also simple: You can be a self-hating Jew.
But let's look at the play itself (linked above) and it will become obvious where the biases are:

Tell her this is a photograph of her grandmother, her uncles and
Tell her her uncles died
Don’t tell her they were killed

First, look at the wording. "Tell her..." implies that the child has asked a question and, instead of receiving an honest answer, is getting a lie, a fabrication, something to make the situation easier. "Tell her the divorce isn't her fault" for example. Is this an implication that the people in the photos aren't her real relatives, that we somehow all carry around black and white pictures to use as guilt-inducers when someone questions our right to insist on surviving? Is this a reference to the anti-Semitic statement: You Jews suffered in the Holocaust. How can you do the same thing to the Arabs?

Tell her there were people who hated Jews
Don’t tell her
Tell her it’s over now
Tell her there are still people who hate Jews
Tell her there are people who love Jews
Don’t tell her to think Jews or not Jews
Tell her more when she’s older
Tell her how many when she’s older
Tell her it was before she was born and she’s not in danger

Maybe I'm just not into art but this isn't writing. This isn't even good poetry. It's rambling, aimless, meaningless rambling. What is the point here? Is it to convey that we'll say anything to our children, give them any answer to justify what we're doing to survive?

Tell her it’s sunny there
Tell her we’re going home
Tell her it’s the land God gave us

Did you know that the reason the Arabs care about Yerushalayim so much is because they have a tradition that Mohammed, y"sh, ascended to Heaven on his magical horse from there? Not that any of their sacred texts actually say that, but somewhere along the way they took the name of the place, al Aksa (the farthest place), decided it was Yerushalayim and this is why they consider it a holy city.
How many times is Yerushalayim mentioned in the Bible? Hundreds. How many times in the Koran and the Hadit? Zero, zip, nada. Israel is the land God gave us. How can that be presented as a shallow excuse, unless we are expected to stop believing it?

Tell her they’re Bedouin, they travel about
Tell her about camels in the desert and dates
Tell her they live in tents
Tell her this wasn’t their home

Until the Jews returned to Israel, the above is an unfortunately accurate. Mark Twain, upon touring the land in the late 19th century, was amazed at the emptiness and desolation. Until the Jews returned there was nothing there. No mythical, prosperous and civilized Palestine. They wandered in one end, wandered out the other. Only the Jews tenaciously stayed. And when the time came to fight for it, only they didn't run.
Of course, Churchill has a few lines for that:

Tell her for miles and miles all round they have lands of their own
Tell her again this is our promised land.
Don’t tell her they said it was a land without people
Don’t tell her I wouldn’t have come if I’d known.

Another little known fact about early Zionism is that it succeeded as a movement despite the attitude of some of the early Zionists. Since they were secular, the idea that God had chosen that time in history to begin the ingathering of the exiles was missed by them. Instead they were attracted by the idea of an empty land, a "land without a people for a people without a land". And when they discovered that a few Arabs actually lived there, they were horrified. All that they had been organizing went against their secular European values (the same values that would build the gas chambers of Auschwitz a few decades later).
Well the truth is different - the Arabs do have countless empty miles around and around. They have 23 states of their own. And the majority of the people who came knew why they were coming and would have come anyway because they simply had no place else to go.

Don’t tell her anything about bulldozers.
Don’t tell her about the queues at the checkpoint

And by all means, don't tell her about the suicide bomber who lived in the house getting bulldozed. Don't tell her about the terrorists that created the need for the checkpoints in the first place. The typical Jew-hater's response to Jewish survival - they start the fight, we survive and suddenly we're guilty for the whole fight in the first place.

Tell her we’re stronger
Tell her we’re entitled
Tell her they don’t understand anything except violence
Tell her we want peace

Ms Churchill, by the grace of God, for the first time in 1900 we are stronger, we are entitled, they don't understand anything except violence (ask them yourself if you don't believe me) and we don't want peace but they have rejected every legitimate offer. You might make these sound like worthless excuses but they are the inconvenient truth.
Is there any point in going on? This play should be ignored and any Jews who either help promote it or are involved with it should be shunned with the same hatred we now reserve for the Neturei Karta. For in the end, they are no different.


Manya Shochet said...

"Tell her..."? As the parent of 5 Israelis, I have not had to work at inculcating my kids with a sense that the world is out to get them, or that all the Arabs hate us. On the contrary, living through periods of terrorism and going to far more funerals than I ever did at their age has made them all talk like a bunch of old Lechi veterans. I have worked hard to balance the picture that the Arab terrorists have created through, well, terror; I have reiterated time and again that Arabs are not innately evil, that there are quite a few who just want to live their lives in peace. It's been an uphill climb. They have grown up as liberals mugged by reality.

And you have no ide how hard it was after the evacution from Gaza to get them to study for their matriculation exams in "Citizenship" with anything but total cynicism.

E-Man said...

This is just a stupid play. Clearly written by someone who is partial against Israel. The reason people are so obsessed with Israel and not China has to do with the news media. I mean, do we ever see news about China in Tibet, No. However, whenever the Israelis do anything that can be attacked they are demonized. Forget about the fact that every suicide bomber is ignored unless there is an israeli response that can be twisted to evil.

People hate Jews, hence Israel is hated. People don't care about China or many of the African nations, hence they are ignored for the most part.

Proud MO said...

Clearly, the people involved have issues with Israel. Jews should boycott the play. Hopefully it will be gone soon. And yes, the Jews involved should be shunned. But something tells me they probably aren't too involved in their shuls...

David said...

Not only is the play grossly anti-Semitic, it also sucks from a literary perspective.

While we're at it, here's a fun little play they could do "For Jerusalem":
Tell her Allah loves us better
Tell her we’re entitled
Tell her they don’t understand anything except suicide bombing
Tell her we want peace
Tell her the Jews are occupiers
Don't tell her they were here before us
Don't tell her that her grandparents moved here from Egypt because the Jews made this place better
Don't tell her that her big brother was sexually abused before he martyred himself...

I wonder how that play would go over among the bien-pensants in London?

Shalmo said...

Its amazing watching an Orthodox bitch about a play against Israel

your fellow adherant, Jewish Philosopher, is quite correct that original orthodox opinion was always against Israel, yet in the recent decades has now accepted it

consistency in beliefs, when will orthodox produce it?

FrumJewInYU said...

Shalmo, you know very little about the situation. And please, please don't take JP to be a valid source for anything.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

Actual Shalmo, even a quick study of history will show that the opinion of Torah authorities over the last several centuries has been very divided about whether or not a return to and a rebuilding of Israel is permitted or desirable under halacha. It is revisionism to declare that "original Orthodox opinion was always against Israel".
Quickly, I could note that the original modern Zionists, the Chovevei Tzion, were all what we would today call Chareidi rabbonim who attempted to raise money for a Jewish resettlement of Israel and a possible rebuilding of the Temple (one of them, Rav Tzvi Hirsch Kalisher, was not aware of the Dome of the Rock). They produced halachic opinions that showed that resettlement and rebuilding of Israel is desirable, certainly not forbidden.
What happened to them? Well the secular financiers they approached weren't interested so the movement faded away. But that does not change that many Torah leaders have shown that returning to and rebuilding Israel is a halachically desirable thing.

Shalmo said...

At the outset of the Jews' exile to Babylonia, the Prophet Jeremiah, in chapter 29 of his book proclaimed G-d's message to all the exiled…Verse seven reads, "Seek out the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you and pray for it to the Almighty, for through its welfare will you have welfare." This has been a cornerstone of Jewish "foreign policy" how to behave in the lands of the nations throughout our ensuing exiles till this very day.

There Jeremiah adds in the name of G-d (verses 8 and 9), "Do not let your false prophets among you and your sorcerers seduce you, do not head your dreamers which you cause them to dream. For they speak falsely to you in My name. I did not send them." This too has applied to all the would-be misleaders of Jewry whether they presented themselves as prophets or as sorcerers or as dreamers of national aspirations.

King Solomon in Song of Songs thrice adjured the "daughters of Jerusalem" not to arouse or bestir the love until it is ready." The Talmud explains That we have been foresworn, by three strong oaths, not to ascend to the Holy Land as a group using force, not to rebel against the governments of countries in which we live, and not by our sins, to prolong the coming of moshiach; as is written in Tractate Kesubos 111a .

Throughout the seventy years of the Babylonian exile, throughout the 200 years of the Hellenic exile and throughout the 1917 since the destruction of G-d's Holy House, we have steadfastly maintained our loyalty to G-d and have not transgressed His oaths. And we have prayed for the welfare of the cities and the countries of our host nations that did not oppress us, and in their welfare we indeed always found ours.

Whoever violates Jeremiah's principles or Solomon's oaths immediately imperils the welfare of Jews locally and elsewhere in the world.

Maimonides, Iggeres Teiman – Letter to Yemen

[Maimonides wrote this Letter to the Jewish Community of Yemen almost 1,000 years ago]

And as King Solomon knew with divine inspiration that the Jewish People would face the consequences of this and that suffering would come upon them, and warned the Jewish People not to do this (i.e. violate the Three Oaths), and in a metaphorical way made them swear not to commit these acts, as it is written in Song of Songs, 3,5: I made you swear Daughters of Jerusalem by the deer and gazelles of the field should you arouse or awaken love until it is so desired.

Therefore, you, dear brethren, must accept the Oath and do not attempt to arouse the love until the proper time when the Alm-ghty shall remember us and you with his trait of mercy to gather his portion from Exile to behold his glory at his holy Temple and redeem us from the Valley of the shadow of Death where he has placed us, thereby removing the darkness from our eyes and the fog from our hearts. He will then fulfill in our days and in yours the verse from Isaiah 9:1 The nation wandering in darkness shall see a great Light, and a Light shall shine on those residing in the land of the shadow of death. At that time G-d shall darken the eyes of all those who rise up against us, and fulfill the verse from Isaiah 9:2 Verily darkness shall cover the land and fog shall cover nations, but the light of G-d shall shine upon you, and you shall display his honor.

The Maharal of Prague (Rabbi Betzalel Lowy who lived in the 17th century) explained that the prohibition of violating the Three Oaths applies even if the other nations force the Jewish People to do so.

In addition, he wrote in his book Netzach Yisroel (Chapter 24) that these Oaths may not be modified so as to affect the decree of Exile, and he expanded on the description in the Midrashic text on Song of Songs 2:18.

“Even if the nations wanted to kill the Jews with terrible torture, the Jews are forbidden to change the applicability of the Oaths. This is relevant to every one of these oaths and must be understood.” Therefore, not only is it forbidden to leave the Exile even with the permission of the nations, but even if they force the Jewish People to do so under pain of death, it is forbidden to violate these Oaths in the same way it is required to give up one’s life rather than accept another religion.

Even during the forced conversions under the kingdom of Portugal in the late 15th century it was forbidden to violate the Oath.

Rabbi Avraham Galanti, who other rabbis described as outstanding in his level of holiness, and who was a student of the great kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Cordovero in the 16th century, explained aspects of the Three Oaths in his book Zechus Avos [Merit of the Patriarchs] where he recounts how some Jews in Portugal wanted to revolt against the kingdom rather than submit to forced conversion. A rabbi quoted the verses from Song of Songs to the people who wanted to revolt, and pointed to the Talmudic tractate Ketuboth p. 111 which states that G-d made the Jewish People take three Oaths – one was that they should not rebel against G-d by rebelling against the nations. Thereafter the Jews submitted to death rather than forced conversion. Although the description in Ketuboth does not say that the Oaths involve directly rebelling against G-d, it is clear that the very violation of these Oaths is rebellion against G-d himself.