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Thoughts on the Passing of Ariel Sharon

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For the first time since 1967, I am worried about the fate of our country. The m’kubalim have warned that Ariel Sharon would be the last prime minister of a government of this kind in this country.

Ehud Olmert is ACTING prime minister with authority to remain in that post for 100 days, according to the “Basic Laws” of the State.

He fears releasing the news of the death of his predecessor. He faces elections in about 100 days.

He has the spine of a banana.

The enemies circle us like vultures, looking to see which eye they can pick out of the dying beast that is the State of Israel – a dying dictatorship that pretends to be a democracy – a country of thieves that pretends to be holy. And fools think they can revive the beast. False prophets cry “peace process, peace process!” There will be no peace – but there WILL be a process!

What they do not understand is that the State is the First Flowering of the Redemption of the Jewish people. First flowers must always fall. The point is not the first flowering, but the entire plant.

The Tree of Redemption shall arise upon the ashes of this sick State. The vultures will flee and die. Those who have cursed Israel and Jacob shall at last be accursed. The persecutors of my people shall at last be destroyed. But I fear the upcoming days.

For the G-d of Israel shall unleash a terrible holocaust upon this earth and the millions of unbelievers will at last acknowledge the Truth. The G-d of Israel will glorify Himself in the blood of His enemies. He will judge the nations – the persecutors of Israel.

Yet, I fear for the fate of our own nation. For we too shall be judged.

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About Ruvy

Hi!! Thanks for coming to my article! I was raised in Brooklyn, was graduated from the City University of New York in 1978 with a BA in political science and public administration there. I lived in Minnesota for a number of years. There I managed restaurants and wrote stories. We moved with our children family to Israel where we now reside. My work can be found at Ruvy's Roost, Jewish Indy,, and on Facebook under my full name, Reuven Kossover
  • http://trinimansblog.blogspot.com/ Triniman

    Ruvy;

    Not knowing much about Judasim, I wonder if you could expand it a bit on what you meant by:

    “For the G-d of Israel shall unleash a terrible holocaust upon this earth and the millions of unbelievers will at last acknowledge the Truth.”

    And what’s m’kubalim? Nothing in Wikipedia and no definitions in a few Google searches.

  • http:/ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Triniman,

    I’ll try to make this short – I have to help my wife prepare for the Sabbath – which arrives in about two hours. I’m forbidden to work on this computer, or do all other creative work on the Sabbath.

    L’kabél means to receive. Kabalá means receipt. A m’kubál (pl. m’kubalím) is one who does the receivng. So, to make it very simple, m’kubalím receive Divine wisdom.

    M’kubalím generally keep quiet and do not say much. For the most part they are sworn to secrecy. So when they DO talk, people here pay attention – even Jews in Israel whom one would suspect had no belief or respect for G-d.

    “For the G-d of Israel shall unleash a terrible holocaust upon this earth and the millions of unbelievers will at last acknowledge the Truth.”

    I’ve tried to summarize in one line the basic redemptive messages in the books of Zechariah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Isaiah.

    Naturally, I’m no biblical scholar. But I do believe I understand in my heart the essential redemptive promise of G-d to my people, many of whom are doubters themselves.

    I hope this gives you some understanding.

    Shabbat Shalom,

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Are you basically says the world is toast if Sharon doesn’t get up and walk?

  • http://trinimansblog.blogspot.com/ Triniman

    Thanks, Ruvy.
    Shalom.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    What you’re actually saying is G-d is opposed to the Middle East peace process

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Ruvy, I would be interested in your thoughts on my post here

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Ruvy, I was puzzled by your statement that the State of Israel is “a dying dictatorship that pretends to be a democracy.” Could you elaborate?

  • http:/ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Aaman,

    Comment #3 is way off the mark. If Sharon gets up and walks away from all this AND reverses course, THAT will be a miracle – but one does not rely on miracles.

    Comment #5 is almost on the money. Given that Jewish sources of what G-d wants and doesn’t want is the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud, then not only is G-d opposed to the “peace process” – in the end He will not allow it. Or if He chooses to allow it up to a point (as punishment to us Jews for arrogance and sinfulness), He will reverse it as a desecration to His name. One has to bear in mind that it is His universe and we are His creations – not the other way around.

    A concept that is not very frequently made clear – people who do not live in Israel can’t connect with its meaning and people who do would often prefer not to hear this – is that it is the Land here that is holy – NOT us. OUR obligation as Jews is to attempt ot be as holy as the Land, and that is the purpose of the laws we follow.

    We have been gifted with this Land by G-d. We do not have the authority to give it away.

    There is one final point that I need to make to help you understand the a few of these ideas.

    Elsewhere you have seen others point their finger and say “you will go to hell if you do not repent and believe MY way,” or something similar.

    You’ll never hear me say this. The 613 commandments enumerated in the Hebrew Bible are our burden to carry, in order to maintain the holiness expected of us.

    The rest of humanity is expected to follow the Seven Laws of Noah. And our job as Jews is to guide the rest of humanity in doing so.

    On Monday, with G-d’s help, there will inaugurated in Har Nof, Jerusalem, a High Council of the Sons of Noah. That is where I expect to be. And with G-d’s help, I’ll be submitting a report to Blog Critics – NEWS – from your Jerusalem correspondent.

    I’ll read your piece after the Sabbath.

    Shabbat Shalom,
    Reuven

  • http:/ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Elvira, you wanted me to explain “the State of Israel is ‘a dying dictatorship that pretends to be a democracy.’

    I can explain and elaborate – AFTER the Sabbath. The sun hits the treetops seven hours earlier here than in Brooklyn.

    Shabbat Shalom

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    So he’s a violent prick who would rather see people die than live in peace. Fuck it – I’m not getting onto that ark

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    It’s nice to know that Pat Robertson has like-minded compatriots in Israel. Maybe Pat will start observing the Sabbath and spare us his drivel on Saturdays.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Maybe we could send Pat directly to Israel with instructions that they keep him. I believe Jack van Impe already has a condo there he can live in.

    Dave

  • tommyd

    Too bad Ariel Sharon never got the chance that Saddam had….face his accusers in a war crimes tribunal. The infamous 1982 slaughter of thousands of Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatila (sic), under the command of General Sharon, goes on unpunished yet still fresh in the minds of Palestinians. Oh well.

    However much I disliked Sharon, he did try at the end to work on a solution to the Palestinian question to the chagrin of many an Israeli.

    Still, Pat Robertson is an enormous fucking fool and I hate his guts more than anything or anyone else. Even George W Bush. I wish God’s Wrath on Roberston.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Sad stuff, Reuven. Shabbat Shalom.

    Have a peaceful, reflective Shabbas; I look forward to seeing our Jerusalem correspondent in action next week.

  • http://trinimansblog.blogspot.com/ Triniman

    tommyd;

    Professor Michael Ignatieff, who is running for a seat in the upcoming Federal election in Canada (and is rumoured to be a successor to the Prime Minister) had this to say about Sharon’s Gaza pullout plan:

    “my point about the Sharon plan is that evacuation from Gaza conceals the consolidation of settlements on the West Bank. More than 200,000 Israelis will be settled on the West Bank. The placement of the law which is essentially a land-grab reduces the viability of the Palestinian state. The paradox that needs to be grasped is that unless the Palestinian state is viable, and is joined up, capable of providing employment and resources for it’s people, it will become a terrorist rogue state that threatens Israeli security. That’s my book. It’s not because I’m so nice to the Palestinians, I’m actually thinking about Israeli security.

    And my judgment is that the Sharon plan will make Israel less secure, not more secure. ”

    Professor describes himself as a stout pro-Israel supporter. From his perspective, Sharon’s plan wasn’t/ isn’t viable for the peace process. With more settlers on the West Bank, the Palestinians can’t be too happy.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Shabbat Shalom, Ruvy, and thanks…you’ve inspired me to join the fray.

  • http:/ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Elvira, I was raised on the stories of Jews washing the soil in the day and dancing the hora at night. I was raised on socialism and Zionism and how we had finally achieved a democracy in the face of a hostile world… You know the drill. Hava negila! This is Zionism 101. And it feels great.

    Unfortunately, eventually you have to grow up. And a lot of people never have in terms of understanding the nature of the government here and who and what it represents.

    One argument as to the nature of the Israeli state is that of Adam Drake, and he does a good job in presenting his points. Basically, he reflects the view of the Arabists in the State Department and elsewhere that a Jewish state is a historical mistake, and an intrusion upon the rights of the indigenous Arabs. They argue, in addition to many other things, that the State of Israel is inherently undemocratic.

    If we dismiss all reference to Torah, we have a good claim in court against these people, a justiciable one. It is a waste of time to argue this claim, not because it is weak, but because secular judges WILL rule against us. It took a miracle to get the UN to allow the division of the British mandate here, and the minute it did, the great powers did everything they could to reverse the decision.

    So let us leave them.

    They are right about one thing – the Israeli state is inherently undemocratic. But not for the reasons they present.

    The Israeli power structure was built by socialists from Poland and Russia. Their definition of democracy is that you were free to agree with them. If you disagreed with them, you were a traitor. The socialists built most of the Jewish economy, and assets were held by political parties.

    But when the state emerged, the socialists were not the only force to be reckoned with. There were also religious Jews of various stripes and non-socialists. But almost all of these Jews had the same view of democracy the Polish and Russian socialists had – you were free to agree with them or you were a traitor! And the parties of these Jews had copied the socialists and developed assets held by political parties.

    In order to prevent a civil war from erupting among Jews, the socialists agreed to a power sharing agreement.

    The agreement worked this way. There would bbe a Knesset elected every four years. For purposes of elections, the country would be ONE elction district and the members of the Knesset would be chosen based on the percentage received by the party. If you got a third of the votes, you get a third of the members. The candidates were chosen by the cental committees of the political parties. So the politcal parties would compete in elections and form coalitions, based on the votes and also the economic assets that the political parties had.

    So where does Adi Six-pack come in? How is the average guy represented? He isn’t. There was no “entry” point for new people for a long time. So at first Israel was a gerontocracy. Ben-Gurion retired in his seventies, his successor was in his seventies, Golda Meir was in her seventies. The young men who were touted to succeed them were generals from the army. So it became kind of a rule, that if you wanted to succeed in politics here, you had to be an army hero.

    From this rule, you got Dayan, Rabin, Sharon. Dayan never made it to the top spot. His failure to act decisively in the ’73 War killed that possibility. Sharon, by contrast got into the government by hooking up with Menahem Begin. He helped Begin found the Likud and when Leah Rabin got her husband into a scandal, Begin trounced Labor.

    Do you see any democratic process here? I don’t. It looks like democracy because you have elections and votes of confidence and the like – but there is no democracy. There is no rule of the people, only rule of the elites. In no small country like this that pretends to democracy are the people so thoroughly shut out from the possibility of achieving elective office.

    And remember, if you disagree with those in power, you are considered a traitor. That is the mentality of every single poilitical group here.

    It’s a bit late, and I need to get to bed, but I hope you begin to see why this is a dictatorship. It is dying because it is beginning to lose its credibility with the people it rules over.

  • gonzo marx

    i am definately saddened and dismayed over some of the things i have read this day…

    Ruvy on another Thread sez…
    *The sitting government of this country has undertaken to divide this land – its leader has been stricken with a stroke. If you have trouble with the causality, obviously, you have trouble believing in the books you say you do.*

    and yet on another Ruvy sez…
    *If what I say there bothers you, too bad. It isn’t my job to persuade you or to be diplomatic to you. I live here, and there will be NO “Palestinian” state.*

    and again, Ruvy sez…
    *Your government has consistently sandbaged the survival of this country, including transmitting information to the Egyptians while we were fighting them. THAT is why the USS Liberty was attacked. It was a spy ship that deserved to be destroyed.*

    there is more, including this Post…

    i had hoped that the Intellect Ruvy has displayed here at BC would keep him from ctossing that fine Line between a man of devout Faith and the blind dogmatic adherence of fanatical Fundamentalism

    it is my fervent Wish that sometime in the future Enlightenment will come and allow the “water” of Wisdom to temper the “metal” of your Intellect in the “fire” of your Faith

    because as of this Moment, you appear to be NO different than the worst of what you struggle against

    and unfortunately no matter the Power of arguments made from Facts or Reason…in the face of unbridled Zealotry, there is no chance for either Sanity, or Peace.

    under such circumstance, i fear for the Innocent of the area on BOTH sides…their Fate rests in the hands of well armed rabid fanatics to the detriment of ALL involved

    Excelsior!

  • http:/ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Gonzo writes,

    “and unfortunately no matter the Power of arguments made from Facts or Reason…in the face of unbridled Zealotry, there is no chance for either Sanity, or Peace.”

    Whatever you think of me, or my ideas, you have gotten one thing very clear. There is no chance for either sanity or peace in the coming days (or years).

    The universe has been running on a set of rules for a long time, and one of them is that we humans have had the power to choose beteen good and evil. That is about to change. When Jews talk about a messianic spiritual redemption, they are talking about the destruction of the ‘yétzer hará’ – the inclination to do evil. When Jews talk about the ‘End of Days,’ they are talking about those events immediately preceding the messianic destruction of the ‘yétzer hará.’

    We are hard wired to seek to extend events as they are today into tomorrow. It is part of the way most of us think. To accept change on the proportion the Jewish prophetic books talk about is counter-intuitive. The idea that the evil inclination will be destroyed is hard to accept or even imagine. But, if you want a small idea of what such a world might look like, read the story “In the Days of the Comet” by H.G. Wells.

    You’ve quoted me a number of times, and all I can say is that I wish MOST of those quotes were untrue. I wish that I was lying and that I was wrong. The world would be so much more comfortable, and I could just slide back into the habits that I’ve had of nearly five decades, arguing ‘reason’ and ‘fact.’ It is just so much easier. In addition, Proverbs tells us to seek to be seen well in the eyes of G-d and man.

    But to say other than what I have would be a lie.

    The evidence in front of me augurs counter-intuitive changes – dicontinuities of reality that will be very disturbing and hard to comprehend, much less accept.

    Example: David Bedein, who is a hard nosed reporter, reported that Sharon was dead and had died at about noon, Thursday. He did so in good faith, accepting the reality around him as something that would extend into tomorrow. It may be that he was right, and the doctors at Hadassah ‘Ein Kerem are putting on a show for the media while Ehud Olmert gets his ducks in a row.

    It may be that the doctors are telling the truth.

    Or it might be that something else is going on, something that we do not understand at all, something that the doctors certainly do not understand either…

    Now, I’m not sure I want to speculate. I know what my prayers are, but I’ll keep those to myself for the time being.

  • http:/ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Tommy D writes,

    “Still, Pat Robertson is an enormous fucking fool and I hate his guts more than anything or anyone else. Even George W Bush. I wish God’s Wrath on Roberston.”

    I don’t think much or Robertson either. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day. From where he spoke and WHEN he spoke, he was right. I wouldn’t waste my time on a lot of the other garbage he puts out, and it’s not my job to worry about it. I’m not his audience.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    RUVY: Can I get a date and place for this destruction of the ‘yétzer hará’ thing? That’s one gig I definitely don’t want to miss. And if there’s any other definite dates you know of, give ‘em up, I think I feel a road trip coming on.

    And, Ruvy, you don’t need to fall into habits old or new, like Sherlock, just follow the evidence.

    Can’t see Mr Olmert as more than a stop-gap leader; how could anyone with such a hideous combover ever be taken seriously?

  • Shark

    GONZO to Ruvy: “….because as of this Moment, you appear to be NO different than the worst of what you struggle against…”

    SPOT-ON, Gonzo.

    Ruvy has been coming unraveld the last few days on Blogcritics, and the guy is saying some of the most scary, evil shit I’ve ever heard around here. He’s starting to make Pat Robertson sound like the Dalai Lama.

    About the only thing to be learned from all this:’

    Beneath the dogma, tribal shit, nationalism, colors, flags, gods, ceremonies, and regalia — the face of Religious Fanatacism, whether christian, islamic, or jewish — LOOKS, ACTS, AND SOUNDS THE SAME.

    And these are some dangerous motherfuckers.

    *Study his word.

    *shark using a televangelist cliche in an ironic twist

  • Shark

    PS:

    um… Ruvy… I’d like you to meet “Mary Reborn Literally”…

    [Shark leaves them alone, sneaks out door of thread, hopes everyone will quietly tiptoe onto another thread where people are generally sane — and leave these two cute kids alone…]

  • Shark

    BTW: Four days ago, our esteemed “reporter” from Zionist Wonderland reported that Sharon was dead.

    As of this writing, Sunday 7 AM, all major news outlets are reporting him as alive — although in critical condition.

    Can’t wait for Ruvy’s story on the 12 miners still alive in West Virginia!

  • http:/ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “Can I get a date and place for this destruction of the ‘yétzer hará’ thing? That’s one gig I definitely don’t want to miss.”

    Can’t tell you what I don’t know. But when it happens, this is one gig you will not miss.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    Shark: If I remember correctly, Ruvy only reported that other people in Israel were saying this; he didn’t actually make the assertion himself.

    I share your concern for Ruvy. I find it very difficult to imagine the circumstances of life in Israel, or indeed in most of the Middle East right now from Palestine and Israel all the way to Iraq and beyond, it just seems to be one big depressing dustbowl.

    To have all these heady religious theories, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, so heavily focussed on a region with serious environmental and political problems (I’m wondering how much of the bitterness in the region is actually related to serious issues like water supply rather than religion per se?) really isn’t helping.

    Now, if this deity they all share could pop back over to planet Earth and tell the Jews to head back to their original home of Mesopotamia, we could solve several problems at once. Palestine could get a functioning state and Iraq could get it’s people back! This is not so ridiculous at it may at first seem if you like at things on a Ruvy-like timescale…

  • gonzo marx

    it seems my problem stems from a lack of Faith, shaving with Occam’s Razor, and a profound Distrust of snake oil salesman…

    meaning…i have always sought Wisdom in the Words of wise Men…but i have never been able to “believe” that ANY Man has heard or spoken with an Entity that most think of as “god”

    thus, the entire concept of religious Prophecy appears to me to be nothing more than a confidence scam or an expert huckster and a game of 3 card monty

    i am also not entirely unfamiliar with History, and recognize that many of the conflicts and ills of this World revolve around dogmatic adherence to variations of “Divine Word”

    if i am wrong, then of course i will stand on my own feet and take full Responsibility for the actions of my Lifetime…my Concern is that if i am correct, how much Pain and Blood of the “Faithful” has been spilled at the whim of those Con Men…

    i would Wish that each could learn from the Wisdom of those “Divine Words”, there IS much there for ANY to learn from, without feeling the need to take ancient texts Literally and kill over it

    what worked for people in a harsh environment 5000 years ago has degenerated into armed Conflict by the descendants of step-brothers, and it appears that rather than Reconciliation and learning to live with each other under what they have in common…more Blood and Suffering will flow on both “sides” due to the minor differences and dogmatic adherance

    in this, a Nuclear age, more raw Power than ever in History can be weilded by the hands of Zealots (and yes, Ruvy..i know exactly where that Word comes from) AND their foes

    and THAT concerns me greatly for the sake of the Innocent victims

    Excelsior!

  • http:/ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    So Gonzo, aside from spelling sceptic as skeptic, you have a philosophy very similar to Chris Rose.

    I used to have a similar outlook. I dismissed the entire Bible as nonsense – this before I shaved with Occam’s Razor or even Schick’s. Over time, I’ve changed my mind. It isn’t worth the bandwidth to explain why or how.

    If you can’t believe that G-d speaks to man, you can’t possibly accept any such a thing as prophecy. And you will be unable to cope with an unhinging of reality – which is one of the probable events if Judaism has any validity to it.

    That leaves us agreeing to disagree, Gonzo, with an eye on the future.

  • gonzo marx

    Ruvy..note i so NOT “dismiss” anything as “nonsense”..but praise the Wisdom shown via Parable and Allegory with said texts

    perhaps my own poor facility with words is part of the difficulty in expressing my Thoughts accurately

    so many others have done so much better…

    Ambrose Bierce defines Faith as…
    *Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks with Knowledge, of things without parallel*

    and while you and i will have to agree to disagree, it is True…might i suggest that ANY blind adherence to the will of mystics has shown to lead to copious bloodshed

    i will stand by my prime Equation…

    gnosis > dogma

    Excelsior!

  • troll

    Ruvy threatens – *And you will be unable to cope with an unhinging of reality*

    we each face our own unhinging at the ‘end of days’ – there are many ways to prepare for this piece of the human condition…Judaism and similar religions are just one way of coping

    (but how do the people of the book(s) cope when the One they wrote and read about is a no-show…when it becomes clear that no one gets out of this?)

    I contend that Gonzo is better prepared for the inevitable unhinging than you acknowledge (even though I don’t know the guy)

    or more simply put

    take your elitist born again crap….er I mean -over exuberance off my bridge

    troll

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    Ruvy: I don’t treat the bible as nonsense either. I see it, and other ancient works, as early attempts to explain the world back in the day. As such, I value them, particularly the uniquely beautiful old originals, as treasured historical artefacts; fascinating, if outdated, attempts to explain the world around us.

    I certainly can’t see any so-called holy books as some god to man type stuff though, simply because NOBODY is coming up with anything at all that persuades me there MIGHT be a god, never mind actually is.

    As for an unhinging of reality, bring it on! This plane of existence has many flaws and I’d welcome some major changes for the better.

  • Shark

    Ruvy: “…you will be unable to cope with an unhinging of reality…”

    ~ Probably one of the few areas where you’d qualify as an expert.

    ========

    With only a few minor changes to Ruvy’s podium-pounding speech above, I’ve emailed a copy to Osama Bin Laden. I thought he could use it.

    “The enemies circle us like vultures, looking to see which eye they can pick out of the dying beast that is Saudi Arabia – a dying dictatorship that pretends to be a democracy – a country of thieves that pretends to be holy.

    And fools think they can revive the beast. False prophets cry “peace process!” There will be no peace – but there WILL be a process!

    What they do not understand is that the State is the First Flowering of the Redemption of the Islamic people. First flowers must always fall. The point is not the first flowering, but the entire plant.

    The Tree of Redemption shall arise upon the ashes of this sick State. The vultures will flee and die. Those infidels who have cursed Islam and Mohammed shall at last be accursed. The persecutors of my people shall at last be destroyed. But I fear the upcoming days.

    For the Allah of Islam shall unleash a terrible holocaust upon this earth and the millions of INFIDELS will at last acknowledge the Truth. The Allah of Islam will glorify Himself in the blood of His enemies. He will judge the nations! Allah akbar!”

    =======

    See how that works, kids?

  • godoggo

    Sort of curious, how did you end up going to Israel, Ruvy? Was it an independent decision, or was it due to affiliation with some sort of organization? When I see a fanatical religious Zionist from Brooklyn, the name that leaps to mind is Kahane. Thanks.

  • http:ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Many Arab leaders say they will not abandon one square millimeter of the sacred soil of the land. This is the precise messzge our own leaders should be sending every day instead of seeking “compromise” daily. They compromise our honor, our dignity and have succeeded in losing 1,700 lives to terror because of their cowardice.

    Thousands more of us will die because of their cowardice – including all of them. But they are too stupid to see that.

    If you are too stupid in the west to see that, it’s forgiveable. Westerners, particularly Europeans, never gave a damn about us Jews. It’s not reasonable to expect you to start now.

    But it is indeed a tragedy that our own leaders are so stupid, for we Jews – here and overseas – will pay for that stupidity, many of us with our lives.

    In the meantime, try reading Ezekiel 38 and 39. It might look familiar.