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Thursday, November 10, 2011

In every generation they stand upon us to exterminate us

Michael Rosen reviews Giulio Meotti's new book : A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism.
The cultural editor of Italy's Il Foglio and a Wall Street Journal contributor, Meotti spent four years in Israel meeting with the families of the fallen, absorbing their stories, and marinating in their sorrow. The book lovingly and unsparingly describes the victims and survivors of Palestinian terror attacks, making flesh the abstract newspaper headlines that antiseptically summarize (and minimize) the brutal carnage. As Meotti explains, recounting these tales is nothing less than "an act of solidarity against the abandonment and dereliction of these thousands of victims, young and old, children and infants, women and men."

Both the Nazis during World War II and the Islamists today aim to eradicate not only the Jewish people, but also the Jewish name, and hope to stamp out any sense of Jewish personhood. As the author puts it, "the silence of Chelmno and the silence after a suicide bombing, the Zyklon B of the Nazis and the suicide belts of Hamas have this in common: the total destruction of the victim." And so Meotti set about "giving a voice to Israeli families destroyed by terrorism, letting them speak as the memories are beginning to fade" as "a form of incarnation like those stark walls of names at [Yad Vashem, Israel's] Holocaust memorial," which itself means "hand and name."

A sincere non-Jewish admirer of the Jewish state, Meotti enshrines the memory of the fallen in probably the most effective way possible: by gently turning over his pen to the families themselves. Seemingly half of the book consists of direct quotations by grieving parents, siblings, and children gleaned from interviews, eulogies, and other memorial speeches. These stories are organized haphazardly, and they're often graphic and difficult to stomach—both tendencies appear to be intentional.

Now, eight years later, insulated by the remarkably successful West Bank security fence, we easily forget the extreme anguish and mortal fear in which Israelis wallowed during the Second Intifada. In the 15 years since Oslo, 1,723 Israelis—equivalent in percentage terms to 74,000 Americans, or roughly 25 9/11's—have perished in some 150 suicide attacks, while another 10,000 have suffered injuries.
Read the whole thing.

Buy and read the book too (I would love to get a copy...).

And I know it's still early in the evening, but let's go to the videotape for Yaakov Shwekey's v'Hi She'amda.

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At 10:31 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

Beautiful music video!

At 1:00 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

You posted this video before. Love it! I think I favorited it on my youtube channel, but I'll have to double check. I'll get you the book. I also have a bio of Che that I set aside for you to read (goes with David Horowitz's Radical Son). You have to share with Mrs. Carl.


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