Zelda Harris
Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

Ramblings on “the day war broke out”! September 3rd 1939.

Wow! I feel as if I am the last person standing, which is a contradiction in terms.
Simply because, I am hardly standing unaided! I am 90 years of age and reluctantly agreed to have a Filipina care-giver who will, live-in with me. Or rather, take care of me!

I am a child of WW2.It is the third of September 1939 “I can hear the words of the BBC radio announcer. “The British people are at war with Nazi Germany”.

He may not have used the word Nazi?

So what is in our newspapers and on our TV screens today?

Desperate citizens of Afghanistan trying to leave their homeland lest they and their loved ones be murdered, by their own people! Those with whom they ostensibly share religious beliefs, traditions and history. Could it be any of us?

Where will or can they go? How indeed will they be treated by host countries?

Bearing in mind the vast difference in language and customs.

Some of whom may even be racist?

Those declaring that they are not racists but at the same time saying; “Why us? Isn’t there somewhere else that they can go to? Somewhere? With people who eat the same foods wear the same clothes and actually speak their language? Get that hint! “The scenes at the airport are identical to those of the time when the Americans pulled out of Vietnam”.

Some of us have been there, done that. We Jews carry a suitcase in our hearts. Its patently obvious that despite the years of longing for this land, injustice and inequality exists.

I have lost count of those Israelis living permanently in the United States of America who, by now completely settled. Their children may be aware that they are Israelis, but will undoubtedly prefer the fast and somewhat glamourous life in the GREAT USA! Not to mention, educational opportunities.

So can anyone explain to me what is going on in the big world and also in our little one?

One would imagine that a formerly persecuted people would have a common denominator.

Instead, at a stage as difficult as this Corona phenomena which has taken control of our daily lives but has also given us time to think, there is still so much evil and division in our society.

Not only criminal acts but down to trashing our verdant neighborhood parks or the JNF forests?

Where is the pride or the gratitude?

Readers are concerned about what to do with the plethora of books, photographs etc. accumulated over the years, hand written letters too! Some even suggest throwing them out!

I hold in my hand the letter which my beloved father wrote to Mummy in 1944, on the night before undergoing surgery for lung cancer. I feel the love. You do not get that from a computer.

What about those books with notations from the giver or even the author, they are uniquely mine.

The times they are a-changing. People say we should throw them out they are of no purpose!

Many of us thought that as intrusive as Corona has been in our lives some good may actually come out of it? Have we a sign of that? Or are we just hardened by this reality? Are we just content to survive and to plan our next holiday abroad.

About the Author
Zelda Harris first came to Israel 1949, aged 18. After living through the hardships of the nascent state, she returned to England in 1966. She was a founding member of the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry. In 1978, she returned with her family to Israel and has been active in various spheres of Israeli Society since. Together with the late Chaim Herzog, she founded CCC for Electoral Reform, was the Director of BIPAC in Israel, and a co-founder of Metuna, the Organisation for Road Safety, which received the Speaker of Knesset Quality of Life Award for saving lives on the roads and prevention of serious injury. She is now a peace activist, blogger for Times of Israel and is writing her life story.