The Jewish Week is always here for you.
We need your support now.
Your contribution will help us bring you vital news
and frequent updates about the impact of COVID-19.
Day of the Locust (in the wake of the flotilla)

Day of the Locust (in the wake of the flotilla)

Associate Editor

Don’t be fooled by the noise against Israel, the clacking of locusts in a darkening sky. Maybe Obama’s buying into it, announcing a $400 million gift to the Palestinians, including the Gaza of Hamas, which is like a geek handing over his lunch money to the bully in the playground, and there are plenty of Jews who crumple whenever the sky blackens, but most Americans aren’t buying it.

I’m not buying it, either.

I was thinking of the locusts because of the story in last week’s sedra that reminded me of all of those who, in the wake of the flotilla, were losing confidence in Israel’s chances for ultimate victory.

You could almost hear these pessimists in 2010 talking like the Jews of the ancient desert when they heard from 10 of the 12 scouts reporting that the non-Jewish residents of Canaan — the ancient equivalent of the Palestinians — were so strong, their victory so inevitable, that we pathetic Jews didn’t stand a chance.

In the words of one of the scouts, "We were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight" [Numbers 23:33].

I have no doubt that in every generation there are Jews who are, in their own sight, as "grasshoppers."

But that is not how Jews and Israel are seen in the eyes of millions of Americans. Despite the locusts, a new Rassmussen poll shows that 49 percent of U.S. voters believe pro-Palestinian activists on the Gaza-bound flotilla were to blame for the 9 deaths that resulted from trying to violate Israel’s blockade. Only 19 percent think the Israelis are to blame; 32 percent don’t know.

Well, now.

I’ve been hearing for the past ten days how bad Israel’s public relations are, how Israel can’t get its story out. But we see from this poll that only 19 percent of Americans are convinced that Israel was the guilty party, compared to 49 percent who blame the Palestinians. So maybe Israel — and the American media — did a pretty good job at getting the correct story out, after all.

And maybe those in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia or the most decadent corners of Eurotrash who criticized Israel could never have been convinced by Israel even if Israel had the most spectacular public relations on earth.

These pro-Israel numbers are an excellent foundation for us Zionists to be working with. You can go with the "grasshoppers" but I’ll take my chances wth the American people.

According to Rassmussen, nearly half (49%) of U.S. voters agree that, generally speaking, most countries are too critical of Israel; 21 percent say those countries are not critical enough; 17 percent say neither.

Is Israel getting to be too much of a pain in the neck to Americans, as so many of the "grasshoppers" fear? No, only 24 percent of Americans say that America is too supportive of Israel; 33 percent say the United States is not supportive enough, while 32% say neither is the case.

The best friends of Israel are Republicans: 65 percent of GOP voters say most countries are too critical of Israel. But only 37 percent of Democrats feel that way, and a 46 percent plurality of unaffiliated voters.

Here’s a number that’s good — but too low for comfort: 58 percent of Americans view Israel as a U.S. ally; 32 say Israel is neither ally nor enemy; and only 2 percent think of Israel as an enemy. By comparison, only 30 percent see the U.N. as an ally of the United States, and 16 percent see the U.N. as an enemy.

Here are the names of some people I care about a lot more than I care about the terrorists killed aboard the fake-aid for Gaza ship. The people I care about are the Israelis wounded by the "humanitarians."

Roee Ben-Shulamit
Daniel Lazar Ben-Tina Leah
Yotam Ben-Dorit
Ido Ben-Ilana
Boris Ben-Elaina

It’s been reported that one of the Israelis, Daniel, had an ear cut off — left hanging by a thread of tissue — by one of the "humanitarians," and needed surgery. He also needed surgery on his leg.

I can have mercy on the "grasshoppers" of the desert and even of today. People can have differing perceptions, or be introverted, and I’m not going to ask or judge people who see themselves as "grasshoppers" (in the Biblical imagery only, I don’t mean, God forbid, to insult anyone as an insect) to take to the streets and become big-time heroic activists, if that is not within their personality.

But if so many of the "grasshoppers" are suddenly finding their manly voices to be righteously indignant that the Gaza of Hamas ought to get its rightful share of humanitarian goods — even chocolates and tea — and demanding with placards, op-eds and campaigns that Israel lift its blockade and bring relief to this launching pad of the rockets, this ally of Iran’s Ahmadejinad, then these "grasshoppers" who were absolutely silent throughout the ongoing terrorism of the rockets, silent throughout the ongoing four-year torture of Gilad Shalit in his one-man Gaza Mauthausen in violation of every humanitarian standard, are either complete hypocrites or, well, grasshoppers.

read more: