A Vu Zoll Ich Gehn

There is an old emotional and nostalgic Yiddish song entitled “A vu zoll ich gehn”, …where should I go?

It reflects the wandering of a Jew fleeing from oppression, persecution and religious hatred in his own country (Poland, naturally). He knows that he has to flee but to where? He thinks of different countries, safer havens and he wonders “where should I go?”

The song comes to mind as I think of the present tragedy in Israel where a corrupt Prime Minister awaiting indictment on three criminal charges has made bed-fellows with a racist party that was once banned from politics and is now re-born under a new name but with the same racial hatred which caused the assassination of its founder decades ago.

I would not like to live in a country where the ideals and truths of democracy are being trampled in the ground, beaten until they no longer exist. Dead with no one to recite kaddish.

A vu zoll ich gehn? Where should I go? The European Union countries are flooded with anti-Semitism and pogrom-like riots in Britain, in France, in Holland…democratic nations with long traditions of liberty and equality for all of its citizens.

The United States has experienced shootings and killings in synagogues. In several cities in several states Jews are beaten up by hoodlums. Neo-Nazis march in parades bearing swastika flags and shouting “death to the Jews”.

Canada is safer but still not completely free of anti-Jewish violence.

I think about Thailand, a place I have never visited. But I hear from so many Israelis who have been there that it is a very pleasant land of tolerance.  Extremism is not permitted.

And I worry about the future of our beautiful Israel, our religious traditions, our Jewish heritage, our Zionist dreams and ideals. None of our political leaders or thinkers ever preached nor practiced racist ideas. Our beloved Zionist leader, Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky, father of Revisionist Zionism in contrary to Herzl’s proposals, always preached for a Jewish state on both banks of the Jordan River. But never did he say that Arab residents had to be expelled from the Jewish state.

Like leaders who came long after him, our practice has been to live in peace with our minority citizens. The relationship between the Jews and the Druze is the prime and classic example of understanding, harmony, friendship, respect and religious tolerance.

Regrettably and most despicable now is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s 180 degree turn to lie with Otzma and its associated terrorists and fascists for only one reason…to keep himself in power for a 5th term as Prime Minister. Ten years in his seat is not enough for him. It frankly surprises me that he has not proposed to the Knesset to consider passing a special law granting him the position of Prime Minister for Life.  (God help us)

The leader of that Jewish terrorist group, Ben-Gvir, is a lawyer and therefore is well acquainted with Israel’s code of laws…morality and ethics. He proposes not to expel ALL Arabs out of our country. Rather, only those Arabs who are disloyal to the State.

How will he make the determination of who is a loyal Arab citizen and who is not? Will he propose to expel Arab members of our Knesset like Dr. Ahmed Tibi and the hated Hanin Zouabi?

Can we tolerate a threatening letter sent to all members of the Joint Arab list in the Knesset by Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union Party informing each Arab Knesset member of the doom awaiting each of them?

In the previous Knesset, MK Zevulun Orlev of the Jewish Home Party initiated a law disqualifying the Arab members of our Parliament who visit in Arab enemy countries.

Perhaps Ben-Gvir might use Orlev’s law to determine who is a good and loyal Arab and who is a bad and disloyal Arab?

I do agree that Arabs who are disloyal to the State, who wantonly disobey our laws, who preach our elimination and destruction of our Jewish State and who commit acts of treason, burning our flag, sailing on a flotilla to open the closed gates of Gaza, and who praise the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists, they should be rounded up, given a court hearing (as is customary in a democratic nation) and if found guilty they must be driven out of Israel and never permitted to return.

In the meanwhile, good people everywhere, Jews and non-Jews, in Israel, America or other freedom-loving countries, must condemn Netanyahu’s encouraged merger to allow terrorists a seat in the Knesset.

Shame upon the hypocrites, among them the American AIPAC, who find Netanyahu’s act reprehensible and who refuse to meet with Jewish terrorist members yet invite Binyamin Netanyahu to deliver an address at their March convention in Washington from where he will go for a meeting with President Donald Trump.

I don’t know what has happened to the Israel of my youth. Where has that Israel disappeared?

In anger and in frustration I can only ask: a vu zoll ich gehn? Where should I go?

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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