Dec. 7, the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, lives in infamy. But Dec. 6, 1987 lives on, now having as glorious an afterlife as any of us could have imagined back on that bitterly cold day Sunday afternoon when 250,000 of us, from across the American continent, gathered in Washington, D.C., to rally and demand freedom for Soviet Jewry.
“Well,” we imagine Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling his worried supporters this week, “we’ll always have Palau.”
It may well be true, but we’d rather have Paris.
Certainly we appreciate that in the United Nations vote that gave the Palestinian Authority (now “Palestine”) upgraded status last Thursday, the government of Palau cast one of nine votes in Israel’s favor. It’s just that we would have preferred the support of the European continent over the citizens of that small island in the Pacific, population 21,000.
How fitting that the body of PLO founder Yasir Arafat is being exhumed this week in the hopes that his death can be attributed to poisoning by the Israelis.
At a remarkably chaotic moment even for the always churning Mideast, with Syria collapsing and Egypt’s new leader seeking Pharaoh-like powers, it seems the Palestinians will do anything to review and return to the past while ignoring the reality of today and planning for tomorrow.
One of the positive things emerging from the tragic hurricane has been the solidarity of Israelis with the many New Yorkers who have lost their homes, or who are still dealing with physical and emotional desolation. Israeli groups such as IsraAID (the Israeli Forum For International Humanitarian Aid) and the alumni from the Ein Prat – Israel Leadership Academy, have come to us as volunteers, doing remarkable work in Breezy Point, Sea Gate and Far Rockaway, among other stricken areas, in conjunction with local agencies.
Some people joke that Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday, is also the ideal Jewish festival. After all, it’s about family, food, time off from work, and without those many hours in the synagogue.