Israel’s letter to the world

The following was written by Eliezer Whartman

A  Letter to the World from Jerusalem:

I am not a creature from another planet, as you seem to believe. I  am a  Jerusalemite – like yourselves, a man of flesh and blood. I am  a citizen of my  city, an integral part of my people.

I have a  few things to get off my  chest. Because I am not a diplomat, I do  not have to mince words. I do not  have to please you or even  persuade you.

I owe you nothing. You did not build this city, you did not live in  it, you  did not defend it when they came to destroy it. And we  will be damned if we will let you take it away.

There was  a Jerusalem before there was a New York .  When Berlin , Moscow , London ,  and Paris were miasmal forest and  swamp, there was a  thriving Jewish community here. It gave something to the  world which you nations have rejected ever since you established yourselves  – a humane moral code.
Here the prophets walked, their words  flashing like  forked lightning.

Here a people who wanted nothing more than to be left alone, fought off  waves of  heathen would-be conquerors, bled and died on the  battlements, hurled  themselves into the flames of their burning  Temple rather than surrender,  and when finally overwhelmed by  sheer numbers and led away into captivity,  swore that before they  forgot Jerusalem , they would see their tongues  cleave to their  palates, their right arms wither.

For two pain-filled millennia, while we were your unwelcome guests, we  prayed  daily to return to this city. Three times a day we  petitioned the Almighty:  “Gather us from the four corners of the  world, bring us upright to our land,  return in mercy to Jerusalem,  Thy City, and swell in it as Thou promised.”  On every Yom Kippur  and Passover, we fervently voiced the hope that next  year would  find us in Jerusalem.

Your inquisitions, pogroms,  expulsions,  the ghettos into which you jammed us, your forced  baptisms, your quota  systems, your genteel anti-Semitism, and the  final unspeakable horror, the  holocaust (and worse, your  terrifying disinterest in it)- all these have not  broken  us.

They may have sapped what little moral strength you still possessed,  but they  forged us into steel. Do you think that you can break us  now after all we  have been through? Do you really believe that  after Dachau and Auschwitz we  are frightened by your  threats of blockades and sanctions?

We have been  to Hell and  back- a Hell of your making. What more could you possibly have  in  your arsenal that could scare us?

I have watched this city bombarded twice by nations calling  themselves  civilized. In 1948, while you looked on apathetically,  I saw women and  children blown to smithereens, after we agreed to  your request to  internationalize the city. It was a deadly  combination that did the  job-British officers, Arab gunners, and  American-made cannon. And then the  savage sacking of the Old  City-the willful slaughter, the wanton  destruction of every  synagogue and religious school, the desecration of  Jewish  cemeteries, the sale by a ghoulish government of tombstones for   building materials, for poultry runs, army camps, even  latrines.

And you  never said a word.

Yousw never breathed the slightest protest when the Jordanians shut off  the  holiest of our places, the Western Wall, in violation of the  pledges they  had made after the war- a war they waged,  incidentally, against the decision  of the UN. Not a murmur came  from you whenever the legionnaires in their  spiked helmets  casually opened fire upon our citizens from behind the walls.

Your hearts bled when Berlin came under siege. You rushed  your airlift “to save  the gallant Berliners.” But you did not send  one ounce of food when Jews  starved in  besieged Jerusalem . You thundered against the wall which the   East Germans ran through the middle of the German capital-but not  one peep  out of you about that other wall, the one that tore  through the heart of  Jerusalem .

And when that same thing  happened 20 years later, and the  Arabs unleashed a savage,  unprovoked bombardment of  the Holy City again, did  any of  you do anything?

The only time you came to life was when the city was at last reunited.  Then you  wrung your hands and spoke loftily of “justice” and need  for the “Christian”  quality of turning the other cheek.
The  truth-and you know it deep  inside your gut – you would prefer the  city to be destroyed rather than have  it governed by Jews. No  matter how diplomatically you phrase it, the age-old  prejudices  seep out of every word.

If  our return to the city has tied your theology in knots, perhaps  you had  better re-examine your catechisms. After what we have been  through, we are  not passively going to accommodate ourselves to  the twisted idea that we are  to suffer eternal homelessness until  we accept your savior.

For the first  time since the year 70,  there is now complete religious freedom for all in   Jerusalem . For the first time since the Romans put a torch  to the Temple ,  everyone has equal rights (You prefer to  have some more equal than others.)  We loathe the sword-but it was  you who forced us to take it up. We crave  peace, but we are not  going back to the peace of 1948 as you would like us   to.

We are home. It has a lovely sound for a nation you have willed to  wander over  the face of the globe. We are not leaving. We are  redeeming the pledge made  by our  forefathers: Jerusalem is being rebuilt. “Next year” and the  year  after, and after, and after, until the end of time  – “in Jerusalem  “!


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16 replies »

  1. Thank you, Adam, for reprinting this excellent letter.

    It should be used to leaflet university campuses etc. on a massive scale, every time Israel is pilloried in the theatre of public opinion when invoking her right to self-defence, such as in the recent flotilla incidence, a right which any other country would not think twice in similar circumstances.

  2. ‘I am not a creature from another planet, as you seem to believe.’

    That certainly seems to be the train of thought at the UN. After all, Israel is the only member state of that organisation which is not allowed to sit on the Security Council because, according to them, it doesn’t belong to any of the geographical blocks which make up that body.

  3. Stanley was a friend and amazing soul. His stories about his exploits often mesmerized his audience. His wife Helen is also a wonderful human being. This couple and their love of Israel is always an inspiration to me and my family. Thanks for putting it up.


  4. He was also an intelligence officer for LEHI….

    I am friends with his cousin on Facebook, she says he was as much of a strong charactered person as his letter portrays…

    If anyone is interested in contacting his cousin for whatever reason, her FB address is http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1153485715

    Perhaps she can tell you more about him if you are interested in writing further articles on him…

    Here is a small tribute page to him on FB – http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=30523591926

    Israel Muse

  5. Thanks all, yeah, its amazing how relevant what he wrote over 40 years ago still is today. And, Israel Muse, thanks for the info about FB.

  6. Adam Levick:
    Was Goldfoot an intelligence officer for LEHI ? Your little introductory bio makes it sound like he was a dedicated “Shmutznik” who was a member of Mapam. It now seems that the opposite was probably true. What is the truth ? I hoped that careful omission of the facts was a trait of CiF, not CiFwatch !

  7. This is a strange site. Down there is an article denouncing Soviet Union, despite Israel having no other friend in 1947/48, and here there is an article lauding a fascist, terrorist, Nazi collaborator.

    Your politics is terrible.

  8. Details, names, dates, countries may change but the universal attitude to Israel remains the same.

  9. Fair to all:

    “and there was a thriving Roman culture in London 2000 years ago ….”

    I believe you’d find King David (the founder of Jewish Jerusalem) wasn’t around 2000 years ago.
    More like much much earlier….

    2000 years ago the Romans ruled Jerusalem and Jews had very little say.
    Hence the revolts.

  10. Daniel,

    Regarding: “This is a strange site. Down there is an article denouncing Soviet Union, despite Israel having no other friend in 1947/48, and here there is an article lauding a fascist, terrorist, Nazi collaborator.”

    First, are you saying that you find denunciations of the Soviet Union objectionable? I don’t know where to begin in responding to this one, but let me just start by suggesting that you read a book called “The Black Book of Communism”. The mass atrocities of Stalin, and other Soviet leaders, are – in this book and in many others – quite well documented.

    Second, who precisely are you calling a “Fascist, terrorist, Nazi collaborator”?