American Jews Just Don’t Get It

editor Friday 3 August 2018 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email Printer friendly

By Naomi Ragen.. In the late spring of 1967, I was a 17-year-old high school student about to graduate from the Hebrew Institute of Long Island. But instead of dreams about prom night, what occupied my mind—and I expect those of most American Jews—was the “second Holocaust” in the making. After aligning with Syria and Jordan, blockading Israel’s Red Sea, kicking out United Nations peacekeeping forces and moving his vast army and air force into the Sinai, Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser had declared that the time had come to “annihilate the State of Israel once and for all.” [Photo top right: Steven Munchin, US Secretary of the Treasury, and daughter of President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, reveal a dedication plaque at the official opening ceremony of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90]. 

It seemed likely. Our enemies had double the planes and tanks and almost 100,000 more soldiers. In Tel Aviv, rabbis of the chevra kadisha (burial society) were busy consecrating public parks to be used as cemeteries, and warehouses had stockpiled enough body bags to accommodate 40,000 casualties.

And then came the miracle: the lightning preemptive strike that not only eliminated the military threat but brought the magic news that Jerusalem was back in Jewish hands for the first time since the days of the Maccabees.

I will never forget the stunning and absolute joy that I, a young American Jew, felt at that news. I trembled, I cried and I sent up a prayer of deepest thanksgiving to the God of my fathers.

More than 50 years later, a similar joy enveloped me as the U.S. Embassy finally moved to Jerusalem. This is the key element missing from nearly all American and international coverage of the move—and without it, no observer can grasp the magnitude of what has changed. Read the full story.



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