Some 70 years after high school students, shopkeepers and doctors stood with their backs to the wall of the ghettos and sang, "Never Say You Walk Upon Your Final Way" while reloading their pistols, a rally organized by "Jews Say No" gathered to protest against Israel for defending itself.
Jerusalem Post columnist Larry Derfner wrote on his blog that, "the Palestinians have the right to use terrorism against us." Of the terrorists who killed eight Israelis last week, "however vile their ideology was, they were justified to attack."
Larry Derfner is honest, if equally vile, he doesn't bother justifying the genocidal Islamism of the post-PLO order, instead he settles for justifying the murders without regard to ideology. It doesn't matter what you believe anymore, or what you're fighting for, the left now extends the right to kill Jews without any belief test. You can be on the left, you can even be on the right, you can have beliefs identical to those of the Nazis, but with an Islamic veneer. It's all good.
Derfner dresses up his murderous permissiveness in talk of resistance, but if the fathers of one of the children killed by Fatah terrorist attacks were to kick Abbas in the shin, he would be the first to call for his head. It's resistance when you kill Jews. It's occupation when Jews fight back.
Larry Derfner's comments aren't atypical, they're widely believed on the left, but less often said outside their own circles, and even less often in English by a well known columnist. The reason for that isn't that the Israeli left are any more moral than their American counterparts, but in a country where going off to the army is still a national duty, those are explosive words.
The Israeli left makes a game of harassing soldiers with groups such as Machsom Watch, but it also tries to maintain the fiction that it is advocating on behalf of the soldiers by freeing them of dangerous duty in the territories, rather than openly approving of murdering them. Opinions such as Derfner's can be found among anarchists and the far left which marches openly with red flags, but rarely among a Post columnist
But times are changing. The Israeli left of 2010 is less likely to have sons in the army than 50 years ago. The IDF is more religious and more tanned. Like the United States, service is less of a national duty, and more a matter of choice. There are those who serve, and those who go play on the Riviera or move to Hollywood. Or strap on their guitars and strum their best ripoff of a Lennon song, while taunting those who do serve.
These are the Jews who say no, whether they say it in New York near the Israeli embassy, smirking for the camera, or writing on their blogs ideas which are a little too much for the Jerusalem Post, it is still the same word. It is not a new word. For every Jew who picked up a rifle in the Warsaw Ghetto and refused to give up, there were those who also said, "No."
Worse than the Judenrats and the Kapos, was Zagiew and Group 13, collaborator groups who were ideologically opposed to fighting the Nazis and tried to track and betray those who did on behalf of their masters. The Jewish Nazi collaborator who was not hunted down by the resistance and survived the war, rarely felt any guilt over what he did. George Soros' complete lack of moral awareness is not an aberration. It is perfectly normal for such people.
The Soviet Union too had its Jews who said, "No". This was the Yevesktsia, or the Jewish Section, which shut down synagogues, persecuted Rabbis, executed Zionists or anyone suspected of Jewish activities. Like Zagiew, Group 13 and the Kapos-- the Yevsektsia was eventually purged by its own masters. But its spirit is reborn in a thousand modern day left wing groups like J-Street.
There were always more Jews who resisted, than turned Soros. More Jews who picked up a rifle or taught their children to pray. But the majority were neither. Like most people of every race and religion, they allowed themselves to be swept up by the tide. And the illusion that there were two sides kept them neutral. Balanced between those Jews who refused to die and those Jews who were trying to kill them.
In every society under occupation, there are those who collaborate and those who resist. But the modern occupation is not a thing of armies and fortresses. It is the occupation of the mind.
How does one challenge an occupation of Larry Derfners and J-Streets? In the ghettos they waited until the inevitable moment had come, and the situation was as bad as it was going to get, and those appeasers who had some scrap of decency committed suicide or stood aside. But a Warsaw Ghetto doomed last stand would be a terrible thing in Israel or the rest of the free world.
The Israeli right was proven right about appeasing terrorists over and over again. Every prediction that was made, from Arafat violating the accords, to widespread terrorism, to Jerusalem being on the table have come true. The right predicted disaster after withdrawal from Lebanon. They were right. They predicted that the pullout from Gaza would lead to a Hamas terrorist state, and they were right.
We can go back further than that to Jabotinsky pleading with the Jews of Poland to flee while they had the chance. He was right, but as usual it didn't matter. The Jews of Eastern Europe were wiped out as he had predicted. But the left still went on ridiculing him. What were a few million dead there. What are a few million more dead here?
Being right isn't enough. the left is rapidly metastasizing into its final genocidal form. Its occupation of the minds of civilized men has become a disease that is consuming the host. And like a mosquito deadening the nerve endings of the skin of its victim, the first symptom of the disease is an inability to recognize the problem. Its final symptom is to state that the problem is not the mosquito drinking blood, but the amount of blood that hasn't been drunk yet.
This is the point of view of the mosquito, of the Israeli left, the American left and of every left. It is Code Pink, the ACLU, Not in Our Name, Women in Black, J Street, Jews Say No, Please Kill Us Because We Raped the Planet and Don't Deserve to Go On Living.
The optimist says that the glass is half empty. The pessimist says that it is half full. The left says that it should be completely empty and you should feel ashamed that there is any water in it at all. And that if you had any humanity and decency, you would pour out that water right now. If you don't, then you're fair game. And if you do, you're fair game, because you didn't do it quickly enough. And if you do it quickly, you're fair game because you are descended from people who didn't pour out their own water quickly enough.
This is the occupation of the mind. It has a surface logic over an utterly irrational mindset. Its goal is to convince you to kill yourself. Its goal is to convince you to say, No, or at least, Maybe.
Most Jews will never say, No, but quite a few will say, Maybe-- because we are terribly reasonable people and we like to listen to both sides of the argument, even when one side insists that there are perfectly good reasons for killing us. And any concession to No, is a slow path to suicide.
People who say Maybe have announced that they are unwilling to stand up to those who say, No. Their minds are already under occupation. By saying Maybe they have given their assent to mass murder and all that follows. By refusing to stand up, they lie down and let the worst do their ugly work.
The Maybes are very concerned with extremism and finding a safe middle ground. They want to be reasonable. But eventually the reasonable people still end up behind barbed wire, waiting to die. And here lies the difference between reason and reasonable. To use reason is to know that there is no use in being reasonable in the face of people who want to kill you.
The occupation, says Larry Derfner. The occupation, choruses, Women in Black, Jews Say No and a thousand other organizations.
But what occupation was there when the Jews of Hebron were massacred in 1929? Ah, but there were Jews in Hebron. There is your occupation.
And why were the Jews massacred by Muslim mobs in 1066? Obviously they were occupying Spain. Not to mention Morocco, Syria and Iran-- and every Muslim country where Jews were persecuted for centuries before Herzl or Moshe Dayan.
"...the Jews of the city were herded into their synagogues and slaughtered to the last man; the young women were raped..."
Thus ended the Jewish occupation of Aleppo in 1400. Much as Hitler ended the Jewish occupation of Berlin. And as the Muslim world remains committed to ending the Jewish occupation of Israel.There are always occupations. The occupation of those who kill Jews, and the occupation of those who justify the acts. Those who say, No.
Those who say No to Israel, say Yes to genocide. As those who said, No, to the Jews of Warsaw did. That there are Jews who say no to the right of the Jewish people to live is the definitive testament to the occupation. And why the occupation of the mind must be broken.
The No's can never be entirely defeated, but that is not the point. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising did not bring down the Third Reich, but it remains a powerful symbol of "Yes". The Maccabee uprising too was a short term triumph, that ended in Roman occupation, but the story of Chanukah is eternal. These "Yes" moments represent our will to live, free of physical and mental occupation. They are the story of our national dignity.
The Jewish people began its history as slaves, every time we rise to fight impossible odds, we burn into our collective memory that our slavery is a temporary thing. That when we go down in defeat, we still do it as free men and women. The "No" is the legacy of the slave. It is a disease that lurks in the human mind. Every time we defeat it, we experience freedom if only for a moment. Every time we reject the colonization of our minds and the occupation of our experiences, we leave Egypt as free men and women once again.