< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Friday, April 30, 2004

Submitted to the Daily Camera

It is now over a hundred years ago that Theodor Herzl said, "If we [Jews] could only be left in peace. But I think we shall not be left in peace."

Certainly Leslie Lomas (OpenForum 4/29/04) would not leave us in peace. In Nov. 2002 she signed an ad placed in the Daily Camera that stated the first step to peace in the Middle East should be "Israel's withdrawal from the Occupied Territories, including evacuation of the settlements" (move the Jews).

That would be more feasible if we hadn't already been ping-ponged around the world. Our first expulsion, that from the land of Israel, was tended to by the Babylonians in 597 BCE. We were expelled from Rome by the emperor Claudius, from Alexandria in the year 415 and from Spain (the first time) in 694. We've been expelled from Switzerland four times and from France, five or six. We were expelled from England by Edward I in 1290, from Hungary in 1349 and from Cologne in 1453.

In 1492, we were expelled from Sicily, Sardinia, Lithuania and Spain. In the 1500s we were expelled from Arles, Italy, Carinthia, Austria, Portugal, Nuremberg and Brandenburg. We were then expelled from the French colonies in the New World, from the Ukraine, Brussels, Little Russia, Great Russia, Prague, Bohemia, Moravia and Warsaw. We were even expelled from northern Mississippi, Kentucky and western Tennessee - by Ulysses S. Grant.

Almost all the Jews (over 800,000) have been expelled from Arab countries since 1948.

The state of Israel was supposed to solve all that, yet in my lifetime, I have to read Leslie Lomas recommending moving the Jews again, as a "step to peace." And as if this weren't enough, she then adds insult to injury by being outraged against any notion of moving Arabs. That, she says, would be "ethnic cleansing"!

I was prepared to support Sharon's desperate plan to expel the Jews from Gaza, but Lomas has shown me the error of my ways: When it comes to moving the Jews, justification can always be found -be it a poisoned well or a chance at peace- but no matter how much we move, it's never enough. It reminds me of those medieval mobs who dug up Jewish cemeteries and burned our bones. We just cannot get dead enough to satisfy.

So why try to please?

Thorney Lieberman
Boulder, CO