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Sunday, June 15, 2008

What victory looks like

"You can't strive for victory if you can't even agree on the identity of your enemy".  I can't tell you how many times I've said this in discussions about middle eastern politics. 

Ask any Israeli (or Jew, for that matter) how they envision 'victory' in our ongoing struggle with our enemies, and you are likely to get an earful about resettling refugees... the location of final borders... an end to Israel's economic and physical isolation... and perhaps even the wording of some theoretical document signed by our various antagonists stating that hostilities were - at least for the time being - at an end. 

But for some reason we shy away from naming our enemies.  And I am certain that this is among the primary reasons we are still at war. 

We have 'peace partners'  We have 'militants'.  We have restive neighbors galore.  But to point a finger and say 'That is my enemy' is very un-PC, I guess. 

Better not to risk giving offense.  After all, if we really want an end to the conflict we need to stop using the terminology of war, right? 

Forget the nearly daily calls to wipe Israel off the map... the de-legitimization of Israeli sovereignty... the Arabic language speeches in mosques that allude knowingly to the 'war of stages' against the Zionist entity... the secret 'peace negotiations' where Israel's most painful concessions are assumed by all (including our leaders) to be the starting point (or even precondition!) to any official cessation of hostilities.

I mention this because over the past couple of days a few different friends have forwarded an email containing a photograph that, in my mind, relates to victory far more poignantly than any of the chatter I mentioned above.   I have no idea who took it or how long it has been floating around the ether. [If you know, please tell me so I can provide attribution.]

I'm sure this photograph has moved people in many ways and has proven itself worth at least twice its alloted 1000 words.  But when I look at this photo for the first time, I saw a litmus test... a test that crystallized in my mind who and what our enemies are.

Anyone who disputes the simple truth of the physical and moral victory pictured in the photograph below cannot reasonably hide behind the 'acceptable' term 'anti-Zionist'.  They are anti-Semites.  They are our enemies... and it tortures their very soul that we have already won.   

Victory

[UPDATE:  Thank you to several sharp-eyed readers who have informed me that *The award-winning picture was taken by Karen Gillerman-Harel.  The picture won the contest "Israel Sixtieth Birthday Flag".  ON another blog where the image was posted Ms Gillerman-Harel wrote: "I am proud and happy to have this oppertunity to deliver the message of hope & optimism of our future via my photograph.
The old lady's hand is my best grandmother's childhood friend Yaeli. Dora Dreiblatt was born 1922 in Poland and is an Aushwitz Holocaust survivor. The baby's hand is her great grandaughter Daniella who is the 4th generation in their family. they are a very special and close family to me." ]

Posted by David Bogner on June 15, 2008 | Permalink

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How scary is this? I just got that picture in my e-mail, and said to myself, "I've got to send it over to David." I clicked over here - and there it was!

Posted by: psachya | Jun 15, 2008 9:57:31 AM

Apparently the photo is by someone named Keren Gileman -- a quick Google search didn't turn up any useful info in the first page of hits. I'll email you the details of someone who knows how to contact her.

Wogo

Posted by: wogo | Jun 15, 2008 10:10:03 AM

Thank you for reminding us of the things that unite us

Posted by: asher | Jun 15, 2008 10:15:48 AM

Grandmother and grandchild?

Doesn't matter-- The Past Survived and The Future.

May it ever be so.

Posted by: Foxfier | Jun 15, 2008 10:42:11 AM

according to
http://blogs.sun.com/ChinaExperience/entry/tattoos_babies_and_the_israeli

(posted May 26)

* The picture was taken by Karen Gillerman-Harel. The picture won the contest "Israel Sixtieth Birthday Flag". All rights reserved to Karen Gillerman-Harel.

Posted by: asher | Jun 15, 2008 12:53:45 PM

forgot to mention - go to the link i gave above, and scroll down to the comments

Posted by: asher | Jun 15, 2008 12:58:45 PM

Anyone who disputes the simple truth of the physical and moral victory pictured in the photograph below cannot reasonably hide behind the 'acceptable' term 'anti-Zionist'. They are anti-Semites. They are our enemies... and it tortures their very soul that we have already won.

I agree but what about our own "anti-Zionists"?

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Jun 15, 2008 1:25:42 PM

I concur completely with that definition. But let's not delude ourselves. This means a large percentage of the world is "the enemy" and victory for Israel then means "continuing to exist". Such victory brings not peace - but the need for eternal vigilence.

Posted by: Bob | Jun 15, 2008 4:12:47 PM

Words fail me! This wonderful photo says so much--all of it pressing on the past as it presses on our present, all of which, I trust, shapes our future.

Posted by: Delmar Bogner | Jun 15, 2008 9:47:38 PM

(1) beautiful and touching picture. What probably *really* vexes a lot of people is that the Jewish people have been metaphorically "taking that picture" long before the Israeli country was reborn, and will -- so I believe -- until the world ends. The rest can do their worst; they will not prevail.

(2)Re: "You can't strive for victory if you can't even agree on the identity of your enemy". How weird! We have that problem here in the US, too -- but in our case (see recent Supreme Court decisions, unchecked borders, et. al.) we actually are trying to agree that the Enemy is really Us, too, and should be afforded all the rights and protections and privileges of US citizens -- AND that *that* is the sanest and best course for a country! Weeee! Woo-hahhh!... er... Can a goy make aliyah? ;o/

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Jun 15, 2008 11:21:03 PM

David - and anyone else reading this -

THE book to get, the book that makes sense of everything in the mideast, that explains perfectly why Muslims hate Jews, and intend to destroy Israel, is Dr Andrew Bostom's new book, 'The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism'. If you google FrontPage Bostom Islamic Antisemitism you should to find Dr Bostom discussing his book and giving a very handy summary of what's in it. He's dropped one massive bomb, or perhaps, a whole set of depth charges, destroying comforting myths left right and centre.

He's zeroed right in on the home-grown theologically justified hatred of Jews in Islam - a hatred summed up by one casual phrase from an Indian Sufi Muslim, Sirhindi, in the early 17th century, 'Every time a Jew is killed it is a benefit for Islam'. That quote was what pulled him up short and led him to put his book together.

Bostom conducts a detailed no-holds-barred examination of where Muslim Jew-hatred comes from and how it has played out on the ground, 7th century-21st century. (David: when I read Bat Yeor's The Dhimmi, and the sections of Bostom's Legacy of Jihad that deal with Muslim jihad conquests of eretz Israel and subsequent oppression of dhimmi Jews, I found it as agonisingly difficult to read, as accounts of the Shoah; it was like looking into a bottomless pit). It is sheer miracle that Jewish communities survived within the Empire of Islam at all (many did not - mass slaughtered, or mass 'converted').

Now - I speak as a Gentile Christian - I regard hatred of Jews, by 'Christians', no matter how common it's been, and what shameful deeds it's given rise to, as being in essence dangerously heretical, massively contradicting the core tenets of my faith, and therefore capable of being defanged (or, should one say, exorcised?) by a simple re-reading of the few texts that seem to support it. Where Christian communities seriously repent of, and renounce, hatred of Jews, their spiritual life blossoms.

Muslim hatred of, and contempt for, Jews, on the other hand, is hard-wired into the Quran, Sira and Hadith, such that it appears completely intractable. It is telling that a number of apostates from Islam - Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nonie Darwish, Magdi Cristiano Allam - have spoken openly of the banality and normality of Jew-hatred within Islam, and describe their departure from Islam as necessarily involving at the same time a dramatic and positive sea-change in their perception of Israel and the Jews: a change from hatred and fear, to love and appreciation.

It's also interesting that two secular whistle-blowers about the Jihad - the late Oriana Fallaci, and Geert Wilders - are people who have also stood forward praising Israel and condemning Islamic and modern European anti-semitism. Jacques Ellul, who warned about Islam as early as the 1970s, was a Righteous Gentile.

I hope that Bostom's book will help a lot of people, both Jews and non-Muslim Gentiles, to get their heads unfogged, and to resolutely resist the jihad against Israel.

Posted by: dumbledoresarmy | Jun 16, 2008 4:57:51 AM

"Now - I speak as a Gentile Christian - I regard hatred of Jews, by 'Christians', no matter how common it's been, and what shameful deeds it's given rise to, as being in essence dangerously heretical, massively contradicting the core tenets of [the] faith"

Hear; hear!

In fact, my self-coined religious category, "Messianic gentile," is an amusing-to-myself way of emphasizing to my circle how central Judaism is to the Christian sect. Indeed I feel that Christianity should be thought of by secularist folk and others outside the Christian tent no as some New Religion but as merely a Jewish breakaway sect.

I wouldn't believe that way if I didn't think Jesus and Paul would back me up on that point.

Moral: hating or "putting down" the Jews is, for a Christian, self-hatred, and therefore silly in the extreme. I'm with "dumbledoresarmy" on this one, even setting aside my mild concern about what characteristics of Dumbledore an army might be seeking to emulate...

;o/

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Jun 16, 2008 5:40:22 PM

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