More Than Four Seder Questions for Gaza This Passover

IDF on the Gaza Border by Israel Defense Forces is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

IDF on the Gaza Border by Israel Defense Forces is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

On Erev Pesach, Israelis were nervously glued to news reports on the progress of the "March of Return" of masses of Gaza’s Arab "Palestinians" towards the Israeli border.

I was reminded of the events that led us to this pathetic point in our history; the monster that we created is rising up against us and we don't know what to expect or just how to handle it. The Hamas leadership in Gaza declared that their people are going home to all of “Palestine,” i.e., all of Israel. It turns out that decades of "land for peace" and "two-state solution" mantras were the clothes wrapped around the very naked and very foolish king we dared not point to.

The Israeli public allowed themselves to be lullabied to sleep by the sweet siren songs of the prophets of the illusion of disengagement from Gaza.

They were oblivious to the pleas of their brothers and sisters to please open their ears and eyes! They cared not as their brothers were dragged from their homes, as synagogues were sacked, and graves dug up in Gaza. They felt not the tears and ignored them as they were kicked out of their homes and wandered the roads outside the homes of their "rational, practical" brothers. They felt secure and justified as the sweet addictive lies of their leadership, the press, the courts, and the police and IDF placated them.

Journalist Caroline Glick wrote in 2015 that the goal of the Left and the so-called “Peace Movement” had been laid out explicitly by Ron Pundak, Yossi Beilin’s partner in negotiating the Oslo Accords:

In an interview with the International Crisis Group Pundak explained, “Peace is not an objective by itself. It is a way to transition Israel from one era to another: to an era of what I consider is a normal state. Israelization of society rather than its ‘Judaization.’”

Glick went on to describe the demonization of and alienation from fellow Israelis whose lives were being shattered, citing the media’s daily hatred and derision against the Jews of Gaza and descriptions of religious Zionists as fanatics and potential terrorists. She detailed the actions of the police, public prosecution, and Supreme Court which trampled the civil rights of protesters. On Erev Pesach 2018 — the holiday of our freedom and historic march to Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) — we witnessed the Arab "March of Return" to our promised land!

What do we do? After decades of "Post Zionist" denigration of the very ideas of nation, land, patriotism, and belief in a destiny, with which tools do we face strong Arab determination to force continued Israeli retreats? The Jewish communities that lived outside Gaza were in total agreement with the retreat and expulsions of 2005. Today they are anything but calm and complacent.

The authorities have asked all those with a licensed weapon there to carry it at all times. They nervously stare at the ground for signs of terror tunnels. They must take shelter from terror missiles at a moment’s notice. Children do not sleep at night; they are traumatized. The 9,000 Jewish pioneers that lived in Gaza before the expulsion experienced constant terror attacks, especially mortar bombardment. Their cemetery tells the stories. They knew well that their presence and sacrifice protected their brothers a short distance away, though they knew too that they received only derision in return. Not one of those idealists left until the day they were dragged out by the IDF. So there we were, glued to the news - all military and police holiday vacations were canceled, as we waited to see how our neighbors to whom we handed Gaza on a silver platter would act and decide our fate. I fear there were many more than just “Four Questions” in the Jewish communities near Gaza - and beyond. Who is the wise one to give us answers? Pray it is not the same "wise ones" who got us into all of this!

Photo of Shalom Pollack

Contact Shalom Pollack, veteran licensed tour guide, for upcoming tours at Shalom Pollack Tours: Personalized Tours in Israel.

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