Thursday, June 24, 2004
[Part 1 appeared yesterday and can be found here.]
It looked like a real good crowd:
The afternoon's Philadelphi Corridor, separating the counter-protesters. As always with these things. Note the only side which thought to wave the American flag.
The formal festivities begin.
Rabbi Gershon Gewirtz of Young Israel of Brookline:
"We have come here today because we love Eretz Yisrael. The Land of Israel, the State of Israel, and the People of Israel. We are here today, to declare for all the world to hear, that Israel belongs to the Jewish People, and we will do everything in our power to maintain Israel as a Jewish State and a Jewish Homeland. Our bond with Israel is rooted in ancient history, and the blood we have shed and the rivers of tears we have cried. Both tears of pain and tears of joy. We are the only people in the world who's bonds with the Land of Israel span not only generations and centuries but more than three millennium. We have never forsaken our home and we never will..."
Hillel Newman, Consul of Israel to New England:
"...We know [through] our support of Israel, we support the values that we all believe in. The values of tradition, democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, liberty of individual and human rights. Friends, the modern State of Israel has recently celebrated 56 years. Yet, the link between the people of Israel and the Land of Israel and Jerusalem is not 56 years old. The history of the People of Israel and the Land of Israel does not begin in 1967. It does not begin in the War of Independence in 1948. It does not rely on a UN decision and the Partition of Palestine in 1947. It also does not begin with the modern Zionism of the 19th century. My friends, the link with the Land of Israel began with the historical promise to Abraham more than 3000 years ago. It continued with the settlement of the 12 Tribes of Israel more than three millennium ago. It continued with the first kingdom of Saul, David and Solomon, continued with the first Temple more than two-thousand four-hundred years ago and continued with the second Temple a mere two-thousand years ago. It continues today my friends, with us standing here and saying, "We have survived. We have prevailed."...
....the conflict is not about territories. The conflict is not about settlements. The conflict as about the existence and survival of a Jewish democratic state in the Middle East..."
Boston University Professor Richard Landes:
[Professor Landes' speech is published in full at the Boston for Israel site. Phew...saves me a lot of transcribing. Excerpted here.]
"...Israel is a social science miracle. She has, in her brief history, accomplished unheard of, unimaginable things. She has defied the laws of social science.
She is a cultural miracle: no other people have revived a dead language and made it live, made it the language that has brought people of many races and many cultures together.
She is an economic miracle: no area of the world which was undeveloped economically in 1900, no third-world country has became a first-world country. And yet Israel has gone from the very bottom of the third world to the top of the first in one century alone.
She is a Political miracle: there have been dozens of leftist revolutions in the last few centuries. Every one, when threatened from without went paranoid and totalitarian. Our Russian friends can attest to how ugly such cultures can be. Israel is the only progressive revolutionary country to sustain democracy under constant siege. Israel’s current record of 56 straight years of democracy under this threat is the unchallenged world record for progressive revolutionary states. The French revolutionaries took 4 years and the Russians, mere months to turn towards terror and totalitarianism...
....So if Israel is such an amazing place, what’s going on? Why are we inundated with an almost pathological need to dump on her? Since 2000 in particular, we hear a growing moral hysteria – violent attacks that hold Israel to standards so high that no country has ever met them, and justifications for the most atrocious Palestinian behavior. The ISM sign reads: Resistance is not Terrorism. Targeting civilians is okay if it’s the Palestinian resistance; targeting killers is a war crime, if it’s Israelis defending her citizens.
And if the radical left has gone morally mad, the centrist left, my people, the liberals, have gone strangely silent. “What choice do they have?” some ask, as if this insane, death worshiping Intifada were not the response to Barak’s immensely generous offer at Camp David. “They don’t have enough hope,” some say, as if all they wanted was a chance to live in peace and Israel were denying it.
Our media participates. "One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter," they say, as if when applied to the people who blew up this bus, that is not the worst of Orwellian Newspeak. “How could we call Hamas a terrorist organization, they ask. “They render social services too!” So did the Nazis. So what?...
....This bus then should inspire us to speak out. To defend civilized values and challenge the unconscious racists who dare not apply the lowest moral standards to the Palestinians.
This bus should not rob us of hope, but show us what obstacles there are to our hope. We cannot seriously hope to enter meaningful negotiations with the Palestinians until they confront and abandon the teaching of hatred with which they poison their children. And that will not happen as along as our liberal and progressive leaders – politicians, journalists, intellectuals, community leaders, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, secular – do not challenge the Arabs and the Palestinians morally.
We cannot be silent and embarrassed now. Especially not now.
Let me be clear. As a Jew and a Liberal, I think words matter. Hateful words and lies can kill, and honest words and good faith can give life. But in a time when lies born of hatred have begun to spread like a disease, I do not think we can afford to be like Isaac faced with the Philistine shepherds, and back away from every well that we dig and they contest. I think that to find the way to life and hope now, we need honesty and courage.
Words matter. It matters that we not become afraid to speak up for Israel, to point out the moral hysteria and hypocrisy that underlies the attacks on her. Wherever we are, we stand with Israel.
Words matter. They can kill; they can give life. And I say to you here today, to the protesters over there, to the good citizens of Boston and this great nation of the US, and to all the inhabitants of our darkening world… Choose life."
I should note at this point that the pro-terror group was continuing their bull-horn assisted ranting from the back, and although I was right up front standing in front of a very loud speaker, I could hear it much of the time.
Brig. Gen., Dr. James M. Hutchins, US Army, ret., President of Christians for Israel:
[The speech is available in full at the Boston for Israel site.]"...We have found wherever we have taken the bus, that there is a galvanizing together of Jews and Christians...and we find that when we read our Bible, we read it the same way that you do...and we believe the Covenants that God has made to the Jewish people are still valid today. [The General read a lengthy quote from David Frum and Richard Perle's book, An End to Evil.]
We have a new evil in our day...Islamic Jihadism...
To be sure, not all Muslims are terrorists, but we can be equally sure that 95 and 44/100th percent of the bomb murdering terrorists of the world are Muslim Islamic Jihadists...
....the sacredness of life is completely foreign to the Islamic Jihadist. Indeed they must be sought out pre-emptively, cooperatively [?] and aggressively stopped...
....This is very important. Antisemitism and anti-Zionism are being morphed together against Israel throughout the world. We need to make a united statement of our solidarity and our willingness to stand and support Israel..."
Don Siegel, past President of the Jewish Community Relations Council, current Chair of Israel Strategy Group:
[Part 3, including the text of another excellent speech by Dr. Charles Jacobs, President of the American Anti-Slavery Group and the David Project will appear here tomorrow.]
Update: Go on to Part 3, here.
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Boston for Israel Rally - Jerusalem Bus #19 - Report with Pics [Part 2].
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