Last year I couldn’t attend the President’s Conference, and truth be told, I didn’t want to. I was working several freelance writing jobs and my household was dependent on my monthly contribution. If I wanted to pay the rent, I had to be home at my computer, churning out copy.
Besides, I am not a fan of President Shimon Peres and he’s the host of this event. It didn’t seem right somehow, attending his bash when I can’t stand the guy. It would have felt exploitative, and well, kind of slimy. I wouldn’t have respected myself.
This year things were different. For one thing, I landed myself a fulltime job working for a nonprofit. I’m the communications writer for the Kars4Kids car donation program. Part of my job is to make myself as high profile as possible in the blogging, writing, and social networking world. As long as I had my daily writing assignments prepared ahead of time, I could go and be at the conference on the company dime.
The only problem left was for me to convince myself it was okay to go to the conference, feeling as I do about President Peres. Going to the conference is good for my career. Staying home on principle just wouldn’t have been smart.
Why don’t I like Shimon Peres, you might ask? It’s this: he has Jewish blood on his hands.
I know you’re waiting for me to explain that sentence and yes, it does sound rather extreme.
Here’s the deal: It was Shimon Peres who brought Yasser Arafat (ptui) to Israel from Tunisia. It was Shimon Peres who gave him and his PA henchmen guns. Those guns were then turned on the Jews, and in particular, the Jews who live in my neck of the woods, in Judea and Samaria—you know—that place the rest of the world calls “The West Bank?”
Pres. Peres brought this arch terrorist to our Holy Land and armed him to the teeth. He did this telling us it would bring peace.
It did not bring peace.
It brought bloodshed.
For instance, those guns now in circulation in “The West Bank” killed the nephew of MK Limor Livnat, Ben-Yosef Livnat. Ben-Yosef was killed during a raid by PA policemen on Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. Ben-Yosef was there to pray. The PA policemen, armed with guns given them by President Shimon Peres, were there to kill Livnat and in fact, anyone Jewish.
Ben-Yosef Livnat was 25 years-old. He was a husband and the father of four children.
I brushed those thoughts aside (how did I even do that??) and told myself that going to the conference was good for my family, because my job helps to support my family. My job helps keep a Jewish family going in the Land of Israel. That, I told myself, is my mitzvah, a deed that is a religious imperative to fulfill.
So I went. And I was snarky. Very snarky.
During the opening plenary session I had my smartphone open to Facebook where I offered a running commentary that was pithy, witty, and oh so sarcastic, making fun of the talking heads on the stage who one by one told us we have no choice but to buy into the two-State Solution that has done nothing but kill Jews and empower an enemy in our midst, even as our own government armed them against us.
I made comments about Rahm’s hair versus Bill’s hair. I made fun of the way President Peres pronounced “schizophrenics” as in, “Some people are s**ts-ophrenics. I made Monica jokes. I made fun of the moderator’s malapropisms, such as when she asked Rahm Immanuel if he thought that Bill Clinton had “abducted” the Peace Process.
It got me through the morning: something completely unbearable.
Something that made me ill.
That dais was filled with liars telling us that the only solution was the Two-State Solution when clearly, this is a plan born of lunacy which could never in one’s wildest imagination work, and which has brought a bloodbath to my people.
There is a theory that everyone in Israel has PTSD to some degree or another. We get through our days by putting on a mask of sarcasm or denial. We do what we have to do to stomach thousands of missiles shot at our people. We do what we have to do to keep on going when we have murderers among us who can and will quite happily break into a home that is filled with the peace of a Sabbath Eve and decapitate a three month-old infant.
And I go to conferences that cost 11 million shekels when I don’t own my own home and wonder what will be, what will be in my old age?
It wasn’t all bad. In fact, meeting Dr. Ruth, speaking to her personally and shaking her hand was, honest to God, something I will always remember. The memory of that moment will remain forever one of the highlights of my time on this earth.
President Peres was my host today. He is elderly and I was brought up to respect my elders. But I was not brought up to applaud the architect behind the murder of my fellow Jews. I will be there tomorrow, but you’ll excuse me if I don’t stick around for the special bloggers session with President Peres and Sharon Stone.
I just can’t wrap my head around attending that particular session.