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Leon's No Newsletter No. 245 Happy Hannukah

Leon’s No Newsletter 245

Thu 14th Dec 2017

Arabs don't scare me anymore.

Although I emigrated to Israel in 1976, at the age of 36, the idea had been in my mind much earlier than then, but my urge to emigrate had been held back by the thought of danger that I perceived to be lurking in the heart of the Arabs living in Israel and surrounding it on every side.

My hesitation was brought about by Arab success in frightening people, like myself. That is really their only success. Each time a terrorist randomly kills some innocent person, the Arabs deepen the fear that people have of them.

Whenever I thought about immigrating to Israel, scenes of vicious looking horse mounted Arab warriors, entered my mind.

How had such a perception entered my mind? First of all I think I was influenced by the poem of Lord Byron about Sennacherib, the Assyrian king who laid siege to Jerusalem in the days of Hezekiah and whose army had gained fame for their victory of all the countries of the Middle East, but who when they came to Jerusalem God struck them down with a plague.

For me Sennacherib was the quintessential Arab. Byron puts it beautifully in his famous poem that a teacher taught me in the 5th grade in Krugersdorp Town School.

The Destruction of Sennacherib


The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,

And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;

And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,

When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,

That host with their banners at sunset were seen:

Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,

That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,

And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;

And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,

And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,

But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;

And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,

And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,

With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:

And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,

The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,

And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;

And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,

Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord

Secondly the Bible stories, also taught by that same 5th grade teacher, showed the Jews to be weak (Slavery in Egypt, slaughtered by the Amalekites, David and Goliath etc.) and it was only lucky for them that God stepped in to save them at the last moment.

This theme is repeated again in the prayer which we recite on Hanukkah, “For the Miracles”. Here is the essence of this prayer:

“You waged their battles, defended their rights, and avenged the wrong done to them. You delivered the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and the wanton sinners into the hands of those who occupy themselves with Your Torah. You made a great and holy name for Yourself in Your world, and effected a great deliverance and redemption for Your people Israel to this very day.”

In the light of such an education about Jews, which I think is taught to all children, Jewish and non Jewish, the modern Jewish victories over the Arabs, in the War of Independence, the Sinai Campaign, the 6 day War and many other battles, appeared miraculous.

It was the same old story of God making miracles for the Jews, who otherwise would have been defeated. The more mighty the enemy facing the Jews, the more mighty the Jews’ victories appeared to be.

But since the inception of Christianity God had forsaken the Jewish People; to their image as weaklings was added the accusation that they were Christ killers and then, as if to clinch the image of the Jew as a weakling we have the holocaust; the final proof that God had deservedly forsaken the Jews.

With the inception of the Jewish State two energies (rather than speaking of nations) more diametrically opposed to each other than any other possible forces or energies were brought into a contact of clash in one territorial entity.

While Israel counts her weaknesses the Arabs count their strengths; all their leaders are heroes. One would be hard pressed to find a weakling in Arab history.

When you have a force that considers itself so strong that it can crush any opposition, without effort, as a man treads on a measly ant or cockroach, opposing another force that feels weak and only wants to protect itself from annihilation, clash is inevitable.

In my opinion each day, nay each moment, that Israel exists is another hammer blow at the image of the Arab and with it Islam as a victorious giant of history, he is being cut down to size. (Trump struck a great blow in this direction).

Each day more and more people are coming to realize that Arab heroism was a big bluff for the last 1300 years, since the inception of Islam. This is why Erdogan is shouting and screaming that the Jews are child killers. (he hasn’t yet woken to the fact that this kind of lie doesn’t work anymore). This is why Iran is trying to make an atom bomb. They can’t accept the reality that they are a bunch of fakes and have been such for 1300 years. The Crusaders were fooled by them and the Muslims were fooling themselves, believing in their own lies.

We now know that the Arabs are like the veritable barking dogs that don’t bite.

Happy Hannukah - The message is don’t be scared and don’t allow a bunch of fake heroes frighten you.

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