Saturday night, down town Jerusalem, my political antenna  picked up a strong signal as  I came  across a  gathering of  about a hundred young people, some  carrying signs.

They were  not dressed like the ultra Orthodox nor were  they wearing Kippot  at all. This  hint helped  eliminate a number of possible  themes for the  demonstration.
Curious, I questioned a few of the young Israelis. Their sign, in Hebrew and Arabic, protested  Jewish “racism”  against Arabs in Israel.
Leaflets  they distributed denounced a  candidate for Chief rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the  current Chief rabbi of the  city of Safed.
The  rabbi  is one of the lightening rods of the Left due  to his firm stance  about trying to keep Safed as Jewish as  possible. He  invokes non controvertible  Jewish  halacha / law that  forbids Jews to sell or  rent  to non Jews in the land of Israel. He decried the  influx of Arab students to the college in Safed as many harassed or dated the local Jewish  girls; an unwelcome  phenomenon according to the rabbi. Apparantly a  welcome one  to the  demonstrators.
The other  target of the  demonstration was “Lahava” an organization dedicated  to preventing intermarriage in Israel.
I asked some of the demonstrators, how is this racist? After all, “Lahava” and Jewish  law / halacha does not bar any RACE from its  ranks. The ban is on marrying into another FAITH. This by definition, is  NOT racism. Jews come in many colors and  shapes.
I did not convince them.
One of the  organizers told me,”The Torah I accept  has nothing to do with restrictions on marriage. My Torah tells me  to lift up  my voice  for the right to marry who ever one wants That is  the spirit  of my Torah”. Each to their own Torah…
I did ask one of them,why is it that  as Jews are  increasingly  being attacked , maimed and killed in Jerusalem, they never raise their voices for their  own brother’s and sister’s right  to security and life?  He answered,”as a Jew I am responsible for what Jews do and  I am ashamed of  the Jewish  racism practiced against Arabs.
I repeated,”but what about your own people. Is there  no  room left in your heart for them as they suffer Arab violence?” He  said, we  have  a police  that takes care of that” I rely upon them.”
He was  clearly  very concerned.
“Takes  care of that”. Rely upon the police”
 Some how, I did not pick up the anguish, the zeal, the outrage.
There  is  an old Jewish saying,”When it  truly hurts you scream”
But this is not a new phenomenon. Have we not witnessed Jews through out  our history who identified with our oppressors; from the  Hellenists right down to the “Jewish section of the  Communist party –  to those supporting the “Palestinian” cause  today.
The  main Israel state radio today discussed the latest Arab murder in which of three month old Chaya Zisel was  run  down. Why did he  do  it? Their  expert  suggested.. Poverty, Jewish settlers in his neighborhood. Jews visiting the Temple  Mount?
How long  can one  keep the  blinds on..?
Indeed, this  unique Jewish malaise has been predicted by our prophets.
 Zacharia 12:2  foretells, “All the  nations and Judah will besiege  Jerusalem…”
I have often wondered what he  meant by “and Judah”.
 It is  clear to me  now.
The  good news is  that Zacharia foretold this bizarre situation as  a part of the  final redemption.
May we  merit it quickly.


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