I Accuse!

On January 13, 1898, Emile Zola wrote an open letter in the newspaper L’Aurore the world-shaking J’accuse, which was pivotal to the re-opening of the Dreyfus trial and the exposure of the treason and conspiracy that made this Jew a scapegoat in an anti-Semitic French society convicted wrongly and sentenced to Devil’s Island. His article was instrumental in the reversal of his conviction, reinstatement to his rank and the cleansing of his family’s disgrace.

We are here in a world experiencing a frightening resurgence of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hatred. We are more than a hundred years after the infamous Dreyfus Affair, and 70 years after World War II, when the remnants of European Jewry survived the Holocaust. For me, born in Krakow in 1945 to Holocaust survivors, living almost five years in D.P. camps before coming to America, I marveled then and am horrified now at the world’s upside-down morality.

As a three-year old, I questioned my parents why we were behind barbed wires, four families cramped into an unheated room, while the defeated Germans, who had perpretrated the horrific acts that exterminated 6,000,000 Jews, and maimed physically and emotionally those that survived, walked the streets freely and ate and drank merrily in the Brauhaus.

Not much has changed as I cross over my own 70th birthday and gaze at a world that celebrates and popularizes the murdering terrorists who kill and maim fathers and mothers, children and infants, military and defenseless civilians, rabbis and random Jews, in Israel, in Europe & Asia, in South America, in Africa, and, yes, in the United States. All the while, the terrorists dubbed the “victims” are pitted in mainstream media, and in the halls of the United Nations and governments around the globe, Jews are villified and branded the “aggressors”, even as 21st Century Nazis.  These characterizations do not go out simply over social media by ignorant boors, nor do they come only from the poisoned lips of young Muslim school childen molded from the crib, but they come from the intellectuals, the college campuses (both at the student and professorial levels) and from the pulpits of religious leaders preaching to their faithful.

So, I cry out: “J’accuse!”, “I Accuse!”  To whom and for what reasons do these words ring out in anger, in frustration, in bewilderment?

I Accuse — the overwhelming majority of the world’s mainstream media!

I Accuse — the fraudulent and weak-spirited protesters, who hide behind the superficial opposition to Israel, when they really hate and condemn all Jews by their anti-Semitic lies!

I Accuse — the oil-driven corporations, who lobby and support in their greed and avarice, sworn enemies of freedom, human rights and Life itself against all who do not share their vision of a new-World Order, wherein non-Moslems, or Moslems who will not walk in lockstep to radical Islam, are raped, enslaved and brutally murdered!

I Accuse — our Government for destroying our credibility by playing dangerously in the world arena in chameleon-like fashion, bouncing back and forth between warring factions, giving no clear sign of our dedication to Truth and Democracy!

I Accuse — the Knesset for not unequivocally and unremittingly reaffirming the Jewish State, the indivisibility of Jerusalem, the inviolability of our Holy Sites (primarily, Har HaBayit, Machpelah, Rochel’s and Yosef’s kevorim), for allowing Hevron to become an armed site virtually devoid of its rich Jewish heritage, for allowing Shechem to become Nablus, for tolerating the branding of Judea and Samaria as the “West Bank”, for acquiescing to the status quo in permitting Moslem worship on the Har HaBayit while prohibiting Jews from even moving their lips at the site of the Beit HaMikdash, and for permitting members of the Knesset to remain within the legislative heart of Israel while they spout hatred and openly support the intifada!

I Accuse — the State of Israel for allowing the homes of murdering terrorists to remain standing, for not evicting them from the Land of Israel, for not decisively striking back when the PLA or Gaza attack Israel with rockets, suicide bombers or knife-wielders, or with inciting words to kill Jews!

I Accuse — Jews in and outside of Israel for allowing the War of Words to be lost!

I Accuse — Israel and Jews everywhere who get trapped into the false premise that Israel’s Right to Exist depends upon a UN vote!

I Accuse — the self-hating Jews for not supporting Israel and those who practice Judaism and have faith in G-d!

I Accuse — the arrogant and divisive Jews on the Right for attacking and not embracing and displaying rachmones and unconditional Love on all Jews!

I Accuse — the far Right and the far Left, and any religious leader, who by actions and deeds, divide alienate, and fail to bring achdus into the hearts and minds of all Jews!

I Accuse — the Jewish People for not being the Light Unto the Nations we were created and commanded to be!

I Accuse — the United Nations for tearing up its Charter, and for blatantly passing resolution after resolution against Israel, while applauding and embracing the peoples and nations that are the true violators of World Peace, for which the UN was empowered to defend!

I Accuse — those political leaders, in which we the American People have elected and entrusted our trust, who do not stand behind Israel and NAME the Enemies of democracy, freedom, human rights, and the pledge of our Founding Fathers that this Nation was founded upon Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness!

I Accuse — all Jewish parents who do not educate and engender in the hearts and minds of our children: a love of Torah, a love of Israel, a love for all Jews whether affiliated or not, a love of morality and justice in every corner of the world, a spirit of tikun olam, an appreciation that Abraham was the Father of Yitzchak and Yishmael, that Isaac was the Father of Jacob and Esau, and that Adam was the Father of all Mankind, but most of all, that our children believe and love the One G-d who created the entire world and all its inhabitants!

I Accuse — a world that has replaced the Almighty G-d with the Almighty Dollar — has created a value system that elevates the material over the spiritual, has worshiped the false gods of science and technology, and looks down upon Believers!

I Accuse — anyone who seeks to divide rather than unite, who seeks to hate other than love, who advocates a godless world over the world over which G-d reigns!

I Accuse — all of us who advocate or believe in a world of “OR” rather than the inclusivity of a world of “AND”!

I Accuse — a world that calls darkness light, and light darkness!

I Accuse — a world that will not define itself by Truth and Justice, untarnished by greed, bias or prejudice!

I Accuse — all of us, including myself, for not speaking out loudly and unabashedly against the Voices and Forces that would obliterate G-d’s Love, Truth and Good!

And so, while the List could go on and on, I trust and pray that other voices, wiser than me, join in composing what our Sages say will be a New Song, praising G-d and calling upon Him to bring us the salvation that only He can bring.  But, as it is written in Shemos (Exodus), Hashem heard our cries — did He not see and hear them over the centuries?  Of course, He did, but He awaited then, and awaits now, that our clarion call seeking His Help, is preceded by our own thoughts, words and actions reflective of the Mission of Creation –to make this world a fitting and loving Dwelling Place in which G-d may, so to speak, inhabit this space in a unified, loving world.




About the Author
Naphtali Perlberger is a Senior Lecturer for AISH HaTorah and gives Parsha HaShavua shiurim at Young Israel of the Main Line. He is one of the founders and a past president of the Philadelphia Community Kollel. He is Founder & President of Philadelphia Chapter of Children of the Holocaust, and past FJA Chairman of Men's Organizations; talk show host for a radio show, "G-d is Listening" and former radio news broadcaster. Currently President of Kosloff Torah Academy High School for Girls.