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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Blessings for the New Year

from Naomi Ragen
Dearest Friends,

The Jewish New Year is just a few days away. Unlike secular New Years, which are ushered in with a great deal of noise and shouting, lots of booze and celebrating, the Jewish New Year comes in almost silently, in the wake of hours of synagogue prayers and soul searching, as we become acutely aware of the joysa and the terrors that lie in wait, shadowing the days to come.

When I began this mailing list, almost three years ago, we were just at the beginning of the Intifadah. Hopes were still high for Oslo, and Israelis and Jews still vehemently disagreed over the so-called peace process. I began sending out my e-mails as almost a form of self-therapy, a need to validate the obvious truths that were so clear to me as I lived the day to day experiences of being under attack by Arab terrorists, clueless politicians --local and foreign-- and the complicity of the world press in finding a sympathetic human face in those committing recurring crimes against humanity. I felt that the reason most people didn't see things as I did, was because they didn't know and experience what I had, living in Jerusalem. I had twenty subscribers.

We took on CNN for its pro-Palestinian terrorist bias, and its local bureau chief, Mike Hanna, imported from South Africa and intent on making Arafat the next Nelson Mandela.... We took on the BBC. We sent out the information about anti Semites, holding them to account all over the world. We showed the true face of trendy leftists like ISM, who were terror advocates. We cried over victims, and shared the small joys of being survivors in this heartbreaking country, this beloved place on earth, that is the Jewish homeland, the only place we Jews will ever be the native people.

Sometimes, the attempt to fight the tidal waves of hatred and lies washing over us felt like bailing out a sinking oceanliner with a teaspoon...And sometimes the horrors were too terrible to comprehend, and the political game too cynical to endure.

But as we come to the end of the third year of our relationship, I feel our journey together is reaching a different place. The war with the media is ongoing, but we have made inroads. I thank CAMERA and Honestreporting for doing a wonderful job. And I thank each and every one of you who ever took the time and trouble to write a letter to an editor, or a company, or a university or a network, holding them to account for misrepresenting the truth. Mike Hanna is gone, for one thing. And CNN isn't as gung ho as they used to be, although I still avoid watching them. But I'll give them credit for hosting Daniel Pipes last week...It's progress. If it keeps up, maybe next year, I can turn them back on. BBC is still a lost cause, but at least the British government now realizes it.... Yasir Arafat and his thugs are now revealed in all their gory truth as the murderers they always were, and we are united in the decision to get rid of them. There is no more useless debate in Israel over that.

I hope that all the television cameras of the world will turn their blind eyes towards us in the year to come and instead of broadcasting torn flesh and charred metal, will beam images of our continued faith, our strength, our love of life and mankind, and our loyalty to our country and people into the living rooms of the world, images that will enter the minds of hearts of people everywhere, bringing them blessing, and turning their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.

To all those thousands of readers who have written me such wonderful words of support, strengthening my spirit, and taking away the terrible sense of isolation, I thank you and bless you. I apologize for not writing every, single one of you back personally. It would have taken me months.

And to those who disagreed and were offended by what I had to say, I can't apologize for my beliefs. But I ask your forgiveness if I sometimes answered your letters with a sharp pen and no patience. The Intifadah hasn't sweetened our tempers or helped us to suffer fools more gladly....

To the thousands and thousands of you now on this list, let me wish you and yours every blessing. May you stay with me for the year to come and read only hopeful reports about how God blesses the land and people of Israel, Jews everywhere, good people everywhere. Shana Tova.

Naomi Ragen
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