Rise Up, O My People

Yesterday, our Knesset was in an uproar against vicious remarks made by an Arab MK, Hanin Zouabi.

I had published an article “Hyena in the Knesset” and immediately thereafter our Prime Minister took the case to the Attorney-General to find legal ways to remove Zouabi from the Knesset.

The majority of Knesset members demanded her suspension or expulsion. She has long been a traitor to the country of her birth and to the oath which she had sworn to give loyalty to the State.

Today, a young 13-year-old girl in Kiryat Arba was brutally murdered in her bed, stabbed to death by a 17-year-old Arab intruder.

Are we destined to suffer these tragedies and poisonous lies forever? I think the time has come to act with greater vigor.

Rise up, o my people! Rise up to defend our homeland. Not alone with weapons that kill but with weapons that will vanquish the haters in our midst.

I am surprised that NOT one Israeli reader responded to my article. Replies come more frequently from diaspora Jews or from Christians who relate to Israel.

The Hebrew press gave full coverage of yesterday’s Knesset maelstrom and both journalists and anguished readers demanded the expulsion of Hanin Zouabi from the Knesset.

Most of the readers of TIMES OF ISRAEL are of Anglo-Saxon backgrounds whose native tongue is English and for whom the Hebrew language press is not their first choice reading.

Are our Israeli readers not incensed with yesterday’s Knesset tragedy or with the tragedy in Kiryat Arba today? Why then is there no response in support of my declared wish to have Zouabi permanently removed from the Knesset by all possible means and to consider stripping her of Israeli citizenship with all its benefits and “allowing” her to be transferred to more comfortable living space in Gaza or the West Bank where she would truly be at home?

Generally, English-speaking Jews are quiet and genteel and try to avoid confrontation. But the time has passed. And their silence is deafening !

In 1896, Theodor Herzl wrote the following Hebrew words in a speech he was preparing to deliver to the Zionist Congress. “Im tirtzu ain zo agada…. V’im lo tirtzu, agada hi v’agada tishair”. If you will it, it is no legend. And if you do not wish it, it will be a legend and a legend it shall remain.

Herzl was calling for a time for action. Like the prophet Elijah at his confrontation with the priests of Baal on Mt. Carmel crying out to the assembled Hebrews, “how long will you go hopping from one foot to another? Choose this day whom you will serve…Baal or the God of Israel”.

Elijah demanded that our people make a choice. A man cannot serve two masters. And what are we doing?

Is it democracy or Judaism? Is it liberalism or Zionism? Is it live to kill or live to live?

Our country regrettably is not unified. We have “good” Jews and “not-so-good Jews” and even “Jews who are not recognized as Jews” by a rabbinate steeped in Talmudic wisdom but lacking knowledge of the “other” world, lacking compassion, humaneness and understanding.

We are a nation divided. And as the American great President, Abraham Lincoln, once said “a house divided will fall”. A nation that is divided will also fall.

Rise up, o my people. Demand a State wherein we can live with tolerance and a modicum of respect for one another. Kol Yisrael areivim zeh la zeh….every Jew is responsible for another Jew. Tragically, we have failed in our responsibility since the earliest years of our independence.

Rise up, o my people. Lift up your voices and be heard. Zouabi must be expelled from our Knesset. Period. Sof pasuk. We can no longer accept enemies of our Homeland, betrayers of our nation, to be representatives in our national parliament.

Zouabi does not represent her people. She represents only herself and her clique of traitors who hold Israeli citizenship, who travel on Israeli passports, who receive medical care from our National Health Insurance and who spout hatred and death wishes for the country which has provided for their care.

Rise up, o my people. Do not remain silent. Your words are your weapons. Use them wisely and well.

Rise up, o my people, and defend the land which God promised to our patriarch Avraham ben Terach.

May your efforts for the betterment of our beloved country be blessed with glorious victory.


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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