Nov. 1, 2023
They are fighting for their lives in Israel. All they have to do is lose just once, and it’s all over. The Arabs can lose one war after another. But if Israel loses once, the ship goes down. Activate your moral compass. This is a fight for Western civilization over barbarity. Islamic jihad could hit the United States any moment we let down our own guard.
They don’t teach Israel’s war battles in military academies because its victories were so miraculous as to defy logic. Battles in which one Israeli tank out maneuvered 50 Arab tanks; battles in which retreating enemy armies claimed to see the God of Israel over the skies. But the country survives only because it has fighter planes, bombs, a powerful army. Otherwise, Israel would have been wiped out 75 years ago.
For decades, we said Never Again. But it happened again on Oct. 7th. It’s been reported that half of the terrorists who attacked during the pogram of Oct. 7th were Palestinians who were not even Hamas. They joined up for the blood orgy of torture and death. Mothers in Gaza teach their children to hate and kill Jews. And Hamas violently holds power over their masses, including those who are innocent. Hamas forces sacrifices of their own, as the IDF flushes out a confederacy of poisonous, jihadist roaches from the terror tunnels of Gaza. Meanwhile, qassam rockets continue to reign down on Israel, even as the ground invasion proceeds.
The New York Times pours gasoline on the flames of Jew hatred every day. It’s a sickening feeling. Their Palestinian photo ops emphasize Palestinian misery without regard to the fact that Hamas entirely brought this on. The Times plays into Hamas’s narrative, sourcing Hamas’s health ministry casualties as true. Their columnists pontificate on what Israel should or shouldn’t do, from the safety of their high castles in America.
I have spoken with my dear friend, Ronny in Jerusalem, six nights a week for the last three years. He and his wife practice what they call Lubavitcher Lite. We speak every night but Friday, Shabbat, Jerusalem to Dallas. Like other Jews I know in the music biz, they have applied for their first gun licenses. During a trip to Jerusalem last year to visit them, I saw uniformed members of the Israeli Defense Forces everywhere. Beautiful children, right out of high school. It seemed incredible that these were warriors of the vaunted IDF—these fresh young freckled faces comprise the only entity that stands in the way of the jihadist death cults of Hamas, Hezbollah, the PA and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
This is not a moment of casual anti-semitism, but of barbaric threats to Jews across the world. Flames of pure hatred have been unmasked in an instant. It is a different world than it was a month ago. Anti-sem has jumped off the charts–not the atmosphere for what I’d hoped would be my relaxed senior years. The winds of war against the Jewish people are swarming. There is existential dread like never before in our lifetime. The anti-semitism that my grandfather alluded to, which seemed so old-fashioned and distant, is now all too real.
Three works of fiction come to mind. The 1935 dystopian novel, It Can’t Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis, about this country’s first dictator rising to power. Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, an alternative history in which the anti-semitic Charles Lindbergh defeats FDR for the presidency. And finally, my father, Bruce Jay Friedman’s 1995 play, Have You Spoken to Any Jews Lately? In that play, Jews keep disappearing from Miami Beach and the protagonist finds himself in a cattle car headed toward God knows where. And God knows where we’re headed for now.