Portney’s Complaint

Portneys Complaint

Portney’s Complaint

Devon Portney

It occurred to me recently that I have never shared my opinion about Israel. Growing up Jewish, I have always felt a connection to Israel. As a child I learned about the War for Independence in 1948, and how momentous it was that the Jews finally had a place to call home.

In the first hundred years of the modern Christian calendar, Rome ruled most of the world. Known as Judea, Israel was home to thousands of Jews, who were habitually persecuted for practicing their religion. Many practiced in secret, or escaped to mountainous areas where they could virtually live in peace.

A few hundred of these such people lived on top of a small, flat topped mountain, called Massada. They build stone homes on top of this mountain, and lived their lives. Yet the Romans were determined to convert or destroy any and all Jews. Building a ramp up the side of the mountain (which still stands today), the Romans slowly but surely advanced upon the community, which was trapped at the top of the mountain. After much deliberation, the Jews decided that it would be better to die with dignity and peace, rather than suffer at the hands of the merciless Romans. Rather than subject their wives and children to rape and torture, the men went to their homes and quickly, and painlessly took the lives of their families. Then some of the men took each other’s lives, and eventually, one young man, Elezar ben Yair, was left. He took his own life, and when the Romans reached the top of Massada, their victory was empty.

This is one of many stories of how the Jews have fought tooth and nail to preserve their way of life. But for some reason, whatever the era, there are those who wish to see them destroyed.

In the early part of the second millennium, the Jews were cast out from Israel (Judea) into Europe, especially Eastern Europe. This was known as the Diaspora. During the Diaspora, Jews encountered persecution from every direction. The Crusades Spanish Inquisition, were just a few, and of course the millennium of persecution culminated in the 1940s with the Holocaust.

It is adequate to say that the manner in which Britain simply handed an area already inhabited by thousands of Arabs over to the Jews, was improper. Were there any stipulations made regarding these people and where they would live? No, and that is unfortunate. But unless you believe that history only began sixty years ago, the Jews were originally thrown off that land way before the residents of Palestine. It is not sufficient to be given part of Israel for their home as well, but Palestinians wish to see the total destruction of a Jewish state.

Regardless of whether or not you condone Israel’s actions over the past weeks with regards to Lebanon, understand that Israel had no choice in their actions. The citizens of Israel have tried to live as Jews, surrounded by a region of those that wish to see Israel destroyed. If all the surrounding countries would put down their weapons, there would be no more war. If Israel put down its weapons, there would be no more Israel.