When Horrible History Repeats Itself

During the past five months we have borne witness to horrible stabbings, car rammings, shootings and suicide bombings by groups of Arab disenchanted youth, mainly in Jerusalem but also in Tel-Aviv and other parts of our country.

Organized or lone assassins, their sole mission is to kill Jews wherever they can find them. History has not changed. It only repeats itself.
The English-language PALESTINE POST (forerunner to the JERUSALEM POST) published the following article on its front page edition of Sunday, May 17, 1936 under the headline “War of Extermination?”

“After the cold-blooded triple murder in the Edison theater last night, all Jews must ask themselves ,’Whose Turn Is It Next ? ‘
For no Jew, however sheltered, is now safe. Be he a Jew bent on a pious errand in the Old City
or one who seeks relaxation in a cinema house, the assassin’s bullet is there waiting for him.
…..indiscriminate gangsterism strikes down old men and snuffs out the lives of young men.

Therefore every Jew must now be on his guard. He must know that the streets are infested with murderers, the public places with assassins whose orders are to kill and maim Jews.

….If this is a war of extermination the Arabs have declared on the Jews, the Arabs had better know that the shooting down of four hundred thousand Jews will not alter the course of history, will not shake the Jews determination to resettle the land of their fathers.

…..This movement of the Arab Supreme Council seeks not only to terrorise the Jews; it aims to throw this land back into the dark ages.
Jews are no longer safe…for the assassin now holds the stage, the assassin calls the tune.”

Déjà vu ! From 1936 until 2016 … 80 years… the Arab assassin’s bullets or knives await us at every opportunity. And yet, we survive, we thrive, we live.

I am reminded of a phrase from my Zionist youth: “livnot u’l’hibanot ba”… to build and to be re-built.

That was the mission of our earliest chalutzim and it remains the mission for us still today. No amount of Arab terrorism, no amount of UN, EU and USA condemnation of settlers or settlements can wash away our determination to build on the land of our fathers and, in turn, to be ourselves re-built.

It will never again be a “war of extermination”. It will be a war of Jewish determination. And we will win.

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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