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. I am a citizen of my city, an integral part of the Jewish 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 do not live in it; you did not defend it when the Arabs came to destroy it. And we will be damned if we let you take it all away.
There was a Jerusalem before there was a New York. When Berlin, Moscow, London and Paris were nothing more than forest swamp, there was a thriving Jewish community here. It gave something to the world, which your nations have rejected ever since you established for 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 themselvesinto the flames of their burning temples 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, and their right arm wither.
For two pain filled millennia, while we were unwelcome guests, we prayed 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 us in mercy to Jerusalem, Thy city, and dwell in it as Thou promised ... Next year in Jerusalem".
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, our 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 really believe that after Dachau and Auschwitz we are frightened by your threats of blockades and other obscene U.N. 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, this after we had agreed to your request to internationalize the city. It was a deadly combination that did the job: British officers, Arab gunners and American-made cannons. Today again I have seen Jews blown to bits and all you can say is the peace process must go on. How little has changed. For too long we have been your victims, your moral vision is still non-existent.
And in 1948 the savage sacking of the Old city; the willful slaughter, the wanton destruction of every synagogue and religious school; the destruction of Jewish cemeteries; the sale by ghoulish Jordanian 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 Jordanians shut off the holiest of holy places, the Western Wall, in violation of pledges they made after the war - a war they waged, incidentally, against a decision of the U.N. Not a murmur came from you whenever the legionnaires with the 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. And when the same thing happened 19 years later, and the Arabs again unleashed a savage, unprovoked bombardment of the Holy City, did any of you do anything? The only time you came to life was when the city was at last liberated by a Jewish army and reunited. Then you wrung your hands and spoke loftily of "justice" and held out the charade of peace ... but for the Jews of Israel, unless they are dead there is no talk of justice.
The truth is - and you know it deep inside your gut - you would prefer the city 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 Jerusalem has tied your theology in knots; perhaps you had better re-examine 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 demands.
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 the torch to the Temple, everyone has equal rights. (You preferred to have some more equal than others). We loathe the sword - but we are not going back to the peace of 1948, as you would like us to. In your heart of hearts you now know that this peace processof 1993 is just another charade to try to once again drive us out of our Land and our City. It is time for you to make atonement for your sins and acknowledge that land for peace is fraud, chaver.
We are home. It has a lovely sound for a nation you have willed to wander for 2000 years over the face of the globe, and we are not leaving nor giving up one centimeter. We have redeemed the pledge made by our forefathers; Jerusalem, the Jerusalem of the Jewish people, is being rebuilt. All of Jerusalem, east and west, north and south, our Jerusalem. "Next year" - and the year after, and the year after, until the end of time. - "Next year in Jerusalem."Short URL:
Letter to the World from Jerusalem
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2008 @ 22:51:38 EDT in Hebrews