- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 3, 2005

Paul Greenberg’s Commentary article: “Family quarrel” (Aug. 25, Page A18) is more like family breakdown.

His analogy of Israel’s forced expulsion of fellow Jews out of Gaza for which he merely equates to that of “mishpocha”(Jewish family), may sound nice by defining this so-called “disengagement” as the right Jewish thing to do even if it hurts. But I believe it is a very misdirected liberal justification for a cruel evacuation.

He implied no matter how tearful the soldiers and how upset the settlers, they cooperated because it’s all in the family. He said: It’s like “Uncle Moysh or Cousin Abie was a bum who would never make it on his own, but, nu, we had to help him make a fresh start.” What’s wrong with this statement?

First, the people living in Gaza were not bums who could not make it on their own. They were successful farmers and business people who created jobs and produced millions of dollars of revenue for themselves and the country with their farms and high-tech greenhouses. The only help they needed was to be defended against the terrorists.

Second, true if Uncle Moysh and cousin Abie were bums or having problems, you may help them once, twice, maybe three or four times, but once they are over a certain age, it’s time to grow up.

Even a family or a government, in order to be stable and maintain some law and order, must have some moral guidelines and/or redlines that you just don’t cross.

This liberal unconditional love is overplayed. Even G-d has some requirements for us to receive the “blessing or the curse.” It’s called the Ten Commandments, something world terrorism does not respect at all. A Jewish family should promote the Ten Commandments and not demean them.

A family that kicks some family members out to appease an enemy that still calls for its destruction or to make land deals for casinos and other business investments with the family’s enemy, is to me a dysfunctional family. A Jewish family that will bulldoze synagogues in Gaza but allows mosques in Gaza and Jerusalem to remain when they are known to be used to incite Arabs to kill Jews, Christians and other “infidels,” is a family divided by more than a quarrel; it has lost its self-respect.

Ariel Sharon betrayed his family and democratic principles when he refused to have a referendum by the Jewish people for or against the “Disengagement Plan.” He threatened (suppressed freedom of speech and dissent) anyone who disagreed with the “Disengagement Plan,” that they would be guilty of incitement if they did not leave as ordered, and that they would be forcefully removed, all their belongings confiscated, their children taken away from them and would be thrown in jail.

The only reason the evacuations went reasonably easy despite all the heart-wrenching scenes is the religious Jews did not want to be separated from their children or to resort to extreme violence and have Jews fight each other; and because they reluctantly accepted G-d’s will even if justice may be delayed, to expose who their real enemies are — members of their own family. Our ancient sages in the Bible warned us about this too. (Micah 7:6)

Our liberal Jewish leaders and journalists don’t seem to understand: The mishpocha of the Jewish family is not the same as the mishpocha of the Arab terrorist family. We don’t take pride in sending our children out on suicide missions or beheadings, when we feel displaced or despair.

No matter how bad things are for us, we still put our faith in G-d even in the darkest moments.

The truth is: Our Jewish people unfortunately are divided in Israel and elsewhere. It’s the religious Jewish Israelis versus the secular Jewish Israelis, and so forth.

But still, we don’t enjoy fighting physically with each other. We may quarrel, and there may be very rare cases when one person may lose his cool and do something violent un-Jewish. But generally, we won’t hurt each other.

However, when the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, al Qaeda and their ilk fill the void in Gaza, all I can say to Mr. Greenberg is: If you go over there to interview anyone, just hold on to your head because the settlers and the rest of your Jewish mishpocha (family) will no longer be there to protect you.

BARBARA ANN FENNELL BLOOM

Owings Mills, MD.

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