Esor Ben-Sorek

Good News. We Need More

Events in the world recently have brought some good news to Israel. For one thing, somewhere in Iran a suicide bomber blew himself up next to a bus carrying Revolutionary Guards, defenders of the Islamic Republic of the mullahs and ayatollahs. Reports indicate that some 20-30 Guards were killed in the attack, several more wounded.  For us, that is good news. Ken yirbu. Let’s have more of such good news.

No one yet knows who was responsible for the deadly attack. But one thing is sure… it was not me!

Iran’s government will revenge itself and will look for the group responsible for the attack. Many Iranian citizens will suffer as a result.

Prior to the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Jews lived securely and prosperous in the Kingdom of Persia. They had lived there for centuries…for many thousands of years. The Book of Esther which we read aloud on Purim is testimony to the large Jewish population in all of the Persian lands and territories and history records the contributions which Persian (Iranian) Jews have made to their native country.

Following the 1979 overthrow of the Shah and the return from exile in Paris of the Ayatollah Khomeini, some 95% of the Jewish community fled from the country and settled mainly in France, Canada and the United States.

The remaining small number of Jews is a very sad reminder of a once great Jewish community. Today’s Jewish population has freedom of religious worship and synagogues are active on Sabbaths and holidays. There is even one Jewish representative in the Iranian Parliament.

The military power of Iran cannot and should not be minimized. They have great supplies of weapons, ammunition, tanks, planes and now even missiles. Iran is a threat to the stability of the entire Middle East which it seeks to become sovereign over all.  But the State of Israel stands in their way.

They threaten Israel with destruction of Tel-Aviv and Haifa in the event of any attack upon them. But Prime Minister Netanyahu has replied to the Iranians that any attack by them upon Israel or Israeli citizens would be met by a massive response, destroying much of the ancient land of former Persia.

So for us, the killing of many Revolutionary Guards is welcome news. We need more.

On another side of the world we have a dear friend, one who befriended us long before we became an independent nation. That devoted friend is the small Latin American country of Guatemala.

They were the second country, after the United States, to move their embassy to Jerusalem.

And this week, Israel has welcomed Guatemala’s Minister of Tourism, Jorge Mario Chajon as an official guest of our country.

In his remarks shortly after arriving in Jerusalem, I was delighted to learn that he used some Yiddish vocabulary to make his point absolutely clear.

He said “We are a friend of Israel so we don’t need to show that we are a friend “ and he continued,

“Don’t be PAREVE  (neutral), be TACHLIS (realistic). If you are a friend of Israel, show it”.

And he encouraged other countries to follow Guatemala’s example by moving their respective embassies out of Tel-Aviv and into the  eternal capitol of Israel, Jerusalem.

How happy and blessed are we to have devoted friends like Guatemala. It is a small country with a big heart and we reciprocate that devotion.

Guatemala depends upon tourism and since it is well-known that Israelis love to travel, I suggest that they put Guatemala on their travel arrangements.

They are our friend. And we need to show our appreciation for their long years of friendship.

Gracias por la Amistad. Larga vida Guatemala !

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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