I’m in the mood

So I woke up this morning in the mood, and not the kind of mood right after you listen to Barry White. Or the kind of mood you get when you unwrap a large slab of chocolate — the creamy kind with extra almonds.  Or even the kind of mood you feel when your team clinches a victory in the dying moments of extra time.

Nope — I woke up this morning with the exact opposite mood, and when I looked around at the world today, my mood only grew worse.

Because I see countries and I see organisations and I see entities who are trying to steal the land of my people through subterfuge and dishonestly and underhanded deals. I see people who are supposed to be educated ignore my history as if it was just a passing sheet of morning dew, gone by the time the sun’s first rays peek out from over the horizon.

I see some of my fellow Jews trying to justify our place in the world, by reaching out to others seeking their approval for doing things that any sovereign country has the right to do. Sometimes I see them embracing everyone else, but their own people. They’re looking out when they should be looking in. And I don’t get excited by countries saying that Israel has the right to defend itself.  That’s like saying the sky is blue.  Do we applaud people for stating the obvious?

I see how Israel is expected to live up to a standard that no country in the world follows.

Egypt builds walls and creates a buffer zone that evicts people from their homes with very little warning. The world remains silent, but when Israel creates a zone just a fraction of the size in order to protect its people as well — the world bodies whip themselves into a frenzy of condemnation.

America launches missiles that accidentally kills innocent people in a hospital, and well… that’s war, I guess. But when Israel does the same thing, the condemnations could not come quick enough. “Disgraceful,” they say. Another war crime, we hear.

America defends its freedom by launching wars in countries around the world and hey — that’s cool. Let the consequences be damned. But when Israel defends itself in its own land, we are told you must be mindful of the consequences. Well, I think the Jews already know the consequences of not doing anything to defend themselves. Yeah… somehow the goodwill of others doesn’t seem to apply to the Jewish state.

I also look at the American election campaign which has been going on forever and I hear the words “disproportionate response” being thrown around as if saying it enough times gives you extra sensory powers and intelligence. Actually, it works the opposite, because the more often you say it, the stupider you become. And what does it even mean anyway? Because if you truly want wars that are “proportionate” why use state of the art modern jet fighters and sophisticated weaponry against people in pick-up trucks? Perhaps next time a war is launched across the globe, why not make sure your enemy is armed with the same weaponry as yourself — just to be sure the war is a “proportionate” one and everyone is happy.

And I also look at the American presidential candidates with their winning smiles, their perfectly timed eyebrow inclinations, their perfect hair, their focus group answers, their fake laughs and their fake tans, who promise every campaign to move the American embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, as per the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. I look at them, but know they will also inevitably go back on their word and put it off every 6 months, as they’ve all done year after year after year, because well… they don’t want to upset anyone, you see… anyone except Israel of course.

I see how countries like America and France and the United Kingdom and Europe all get upset with Bibi Netanyahu, often insulting him and calling him an obstacle for peace, closing the door on a democratically elected leader, while simultaneously opening it to Mahmoud Abbas, an unelected thug who encourages violence and supports terrorists and their families. What a nerve these leaders have to insult the Israeli prime minister, a man who knows more about war and about loss and about sacrifice and about pain than any leader alive on the world stage today.  They don’t even belong in the same playing field as him.

I also see a world that is tone deaf to Jewish suffering and Jewish concern. A world that ignores the dangers the State of Israel faces on a daily, even hourly basis. Terrorist attacks that get summarily dismissed while preparation for the next anti-Israel resolution is drawn up.

I see tunnels being discovered that lead into the Jewish state from Gaza — tunnels of terror designed with only a single purpose — wanton murder and destruction.  Do I see a world that pressed so hard for more materials to be given to Gaza, hang their heads in shame and regret?  Nope, I see nothing and hear only the deafening sounds of cowardly silence.

I see Jordan saying that they will no longer install cameras on the Temple Mount, because the Palestinians object. And do I then see an outrage from the world who were jumping all over themselves telling Israel not to change the “status quo.” Nope… not a word. Somehow, they’ll just let this pass…

And I also see university students across America marching against Israel, with fire in their eyes, anger in their heart, and blood-lust on their mind, marching passionately to end the sole democratic country in the Middle East. And while they’re marching against freedom, Israeli kids of the same age are also marching, but marching to defend their freedom and their country and marching to defend the Jews from all around the world, because without Israel, all Jews are vulnerable. Israeli kids stand for a future of hope, while these protesters stand for a future of despair.

And then I see smoking Joe Biden! Everyone loves Joe! What a guy! He’s funny and a bit of a laugh and a great friend of Israel. So great, that just a few hours after an Israeli bus exploded in Jerusalem in a terror attack, he was at a J-Street conference, telling the audience how frustrated the Obama administration was with Israel and how Israel is moving in the wrong direction. And I understand Joe — I really do. It’s damn frustrating that Israel just won’t capitulate and commit suicide on the path you want to drag them. But you know Joe… a country barely 250 years old dictating to another one that’s 3,000 years old about what the correct path is… that’s kinda rich, isn’t it? But hey — he was in the right place. A conference of Jews who have given so much of their identity away in some vain attempt to receive affection and acceptance from a world that will not give it anyway. A conference of Jews who’ve adopted anti-Israel positions so passionately that Joe was bound to get a rapturous applause for the crap he was shoveling.

When I look around at all these leaders and countries who preach to Israel about what the correct path is, I understand their frustration — I truly do! Israel is supposed to be a miserable and unhappy place coming apart at the seams, and yet they rate consistently high on the happiness scale of the world. They’re supposed to be falling apart, and yet are steaming ahead.

So these countries or organisations may want to claim they have a higher moral ground than Israel, but in actual fact they have a lower one… much much lower.

And when you take on Israel, you aren’t just taking on the IDF. You aren’t just taking on the prime minister. You aren’t just taking on the Israeli people. You’re taking on me and you’re taking on the might of the Jewish nation as well — a nation that has been around for thousands of years.

Jews don’t need to apologize for having Israel. We don’t need to cower in the corner and talk of it in hushed tones. We don’t need to justify to others about where we are and what we do to protect ourselves. We don’t have to meet a criteria that no country on earth meets. Our story is well documented through time. We are home and living in the land of our past and our future.

That’s something that should only exude pride.

About the Author
Justin Amler is a South African born, Melbourne based writer who has lived in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.