Keats said, ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” In that vein, land is prosperity and prosperity is survival. All throughout history the enemies of Jews have heaped economic deprivation on our people by limiting their access to land, education, and occupation, with one goal … economic deprivation that would eventually lead to death.

My ancestors, the Fiddler on the Roof people, were herded into the Pale by the Russian monarchy in a “death by a thousand cuts” strategy. The most chilling example known to all but the most twisted Holocaust deniers took place in the Warsaw ghetto. Jews were brought in from far and wide and crammed into overcrowded dwellings, prohibited access to food, and starved to death. And those who tried to get food for survival were murdered where they stood.

Even the land designated for the Jews by the Brits was whittled down or stolen by Arab armies. When Israeli Jews reclaimed the stolen land, the Arab thieves, like the thug caught with a geek’s lunch money, claimed it was theirs all along. Now the 21st century version of this “shrink the borders” is the Arab/Palestinian clearly stated goal of taking land from Jews in Israel, ALL OF IT. For those people who are knowingly or unwittingly  aiding and abetting those who make it abundantly clear that they want the extermination of Jews; for those whose capacity to think has been distorted by the Kool-Aid cocktail of ancient religious hatred and petrodollars …  “Let’s kill all the Jews!” is not a negotiating position.

Anti-Semitism always was, and still is, genocidal. Those who ignore this reality are doomed to be consumed by it.

Being Jewish is more than Judaism, more than the religion. Being Jewish is also a culture filled with its rich traditions. But truly being Jewish is more than the culture and the religion … being Jewish is the heritage. If someone practices the religion, but doesn’t cherish, preserve, and defend the heritage, then they have to relinquish their Membership in The Tribe, and tear up their MOT card. If someone engages in the BWC (bread, wine, and candle) traditions (and let’s throw in the potato latke part too), but not cherish, preserve, and defend the heritage, then they too have to tear up their MOT card. I know …those who don’t cherish, protect, and preserve the heritage will ask why I have the right to decide whether they get to keep their MOT card. And in the finest Jewish tradition, I answer that question with this question: Why do you want an MOT card anyway?