The Pluperfect Storm

My Mother idolized her father. By edict, environment and desire, so did I. I adopted and accepted the gospel according to the Warshowskis. His creed was to respect and tolerate; his countenance was beatific. The only time Zeideh was not smiling was when he was laughing. And he laughed most when he was irreverent. He went to Schul and sat with his cronies. They cackled, told jokes and passed snuff. To mum’s horror and pride, I was always given some with comic- disastrous results. I wanted to be like him. And here I am blessed with grandchildren.

Granddad went through hell, and he reached the other side of cataclysm. The Warshowkis, Freunds, Gudfreunds and Lurias were wiped off the face of the earth. For seven years, till the day he died, my Mother scoured the Red Cross and every agency that may find one survivor. She found two. I was to visit Granddad’s Prazska. An idyllic village in Poland, I fell in love with it. I knew where Zeideh had gone as a boy. I saw his Schul – a replication of the one in Leeds.

I stood on a rickety bridge. The very one, the Nazis, crossed as they left Germany and set out to commit the darkest crime known to mankind. His, and my kith and kin, two hundred meters from that bridge, were the first to be swallowed into that black hole of pure evil. We lost Praszka, we lost a generation, my granddad lost his youth, his memories and his dearest. He reached the other side of the whirlpool, but granddad always looked for and always looked back. My Mother was his eyes. Within her was the deepest of sadness, she was a proxy partner in suffering and guilty of not alleviating the pain of the person she loved the most.

I am a Warshowski, I say that in pride. Yes, I am like both my Mother and her father. Like them, I have lived to see grandchildren. I see the beauty of the Lurias, the Polish pride, crazy humour, nigh arrogance and deep loyalty in the kids.

But of one thing I am different. I left Yorkshire to find more than refuge. I came to Israel to build Praszka anew. Oranit is Praszka; she will not fall. No tanks will clank into our square- no Jew will be exterminated.

My Zeideh looked at devastation in the rear mirror. I see the catastrophic cataclysm full force in front.

Israel is profoundly ill. The plague is upon us. We were blessed to receive time to prepare. We did not. It is clear that with social distancing, masks, early identification, rapid testing and effective quarantine, we would overcome. In Israel, we arrogantly, ignorantly spurned all precautions. The government were far too busy passing out fiddles so even more could play on the roof. Our head honcho was preparing for his day of reckoning- not ours.

A vainglorious peacock puffed his chest and the pea-hens scattered before him.

There are two hundred reported cases of Corona per day; the foci are many. We are in far greater danger than at the outset. We have lost control over the battle for our health.

If only that was all. But it is not; our strutting peacock of a failed PM wishes a new courtyard. Annexation will mark the peacock’s day in history. In reality, the PLO will collapse. The Palestinians will protest; there will be no one to restrain the demonstrations or the Hamas renaissance. Rockets will fly. The rockets were never meant to be a part of a Mutual Assured Deterrence. Those rockets, like those in Lebanon, are there to be fired. The only question is when?

The answer is when Iran is ready. Iran prepares itself above all to attack us. When could there be a better time? Israel is paralyzed, divided, demoralized, ill and about to get worse. Her resources and abilities are calamitously stretched to their limits.

Can there be a better time for Iran?

Can we defend ourselves?

My grandfather looked back at the death of six million Jews. I look forward and see the subjugation of nine million more.

About the Author
Born in Leeds in 1944, Michael Benjamin is a retired Psychiatrist and medical auditor, co-founder of Oranit, aspiring author and inveterate cynic.
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