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Is It Still Purim?

My ongoing ailment of confusion over world events is already well documented. However, the condition seems to be worsening and no antidote has as of the time of writing been discovered. Having too much time to ponder and reflect does not help but what else can one do, or should one do on this most solemn day when we remember and recognize our heroes of Israel.

Many have labelled October 7 as an inflection point in history. Other have ascribed the same label to the night of Iranian missiles (April 13/14). I am left wondering whether such events represent ‘inversion’ points rather than ‘inflection’ points in world history.

What else can possibly explain how the good guys became bad and the bad guys became good?

Last week while at a Holocaust memorial event at of all places Columbia University I was thinking about how hostile campus life is today for Jews as it was for Jews in 1930’s Germany. I was wondering how the democratic state of Israel can be so vilified by international leaders globally for responding to the torture and slaughter carried out by an organization almost universally defined as terrorists. I feared the shocking possibility that while being encouraged to destroy the enmity around her by her closest ally Israel would be deprived of the means of conducting a protracted multi front war while minimizing collateral damage – by her closest ally.

Somehow the norms of decent society do not apply when Jews are victimized.

Perhaps I would feel a little better if any of these hostile actors was genuinely concerned about the plight of Palestinians, but this is clearly not the case. Advocating for repeats of October 7 and for Jews to return to Auschwitz is clearly something else completely- plain old antisemitism. In fairness neighboring Arab nations are fighting hard for the Palestinians- to keep them out of their own territories!

For 25 years in voluntary community relations work I argued that not everybody is against us. Now I am not so sure. The violence and vitriol on the streets and the rhetoric and remonstrations in the halls of power certainly suggest otherwise. It never arose in the face of other conflicts and certainly nobody was bothered by the persecution, displacement and mass murder of Moslems in China, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.

I suppose that is what classic antisemitism seeks to do- to erode our legitimacy and our identity as Jews notwithstanding that we are the very ones who crave peace and that it is Israel which actively facilitates and provides humanitarian aid to her enemies. And we are in the wrong!

I have not given up completely. I still believe in societal bridge building with spans of respect and compassion. Unfortunately, however there seem to be fewer and fewer who are prepared to meet us halfway over the raging torrents of hatred in the river below.

It is tradition on Purim that everything is topsy turvy or at least be perceived as such. Inversion in the true sense of the word. I find a celebratory drink helps to turn everything on its head. However, that is for one day but here we are months later, and our enemies continue to be emboldened by the indifference of the world to the plight of Jews. That is why the tail wags the dog in these endless ceasefire/hostage negotiations. A terrorist organization dictating terms to the sovereign democracy of Israel represents the height of ridiculousness. Can you imagine Al Kheida or ISIS being allowed to dictate to anybody?! But the world audience sits and applauds this theater of the absurd much of which takes place in the morality sewer located at 42 nd street and 1st Avenue in Manhattan.  I thought that they were cleaning up the East River -talk about raging torrents of hatred-, but the UN still pollutes the environment with unique efficiency. Israel is condemned endlessly while Iran chairs the Human Rights Commission. UN employees participate in the barbaric butchering of innocent Israeli civilians which brought this conflict into being in the first place- all in the name of peace and unity?! Then inversion morphs into perversion when they want to reward murderers, rapists, kidnappers and baby burners by conferring the privileges of statehood upon those who have no desire or intention to live in peace side by side with a Jewish state. How has the world forgotten the Palestinian rejectionism that has stained the region since 1947?

Somehow, we are living in an alternate universe of antisemitism in which Groundhog Day and Purim collided. Every day Israel is demonized and the H’s – Hamas, Hezbollah and Houthis are held up as paragons of virtue that are worth fighting for in parliaments and streets around the world. That represents an inversion of reality of historic proportions. So many have lost their moral compass and can no longer distinguish right from wrong and good from evil. It must still be the inversion of Purim.

We indeed live in challenging times, but we never again will allow our pride in being a Jew to become inverted to paranoia. We have a noble state, and we have a courageous army.

Well anyway if it is still Purim I am going for another drink and in that regard, long live Groundhog Day! A transient antidote the alcohol might be, but it is a necessary respite from the moral bankruptcy that envelops us all.

Am Yisrael Chai!

About the Author
Spent most of my professional career in financial services but for some years now I have been a freelance writer and photographer with a keen interest in and love for Israel. Additionally I have been very involved in civic community relations.
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