About Ari Bussel
In the series "Postcards from Israel,” Ari
Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to
join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two
sets of eyes: Bussel’s on the ground, Zager’s counter-point from
home. Israel and the United States are inter-related - the two
countries we hold dearest to our hearts - and so is this "point
- counter-point” presentation that has, since 2008, become part
of our lives.
Would Stand By Israel
Well Coordinated Attack
& Speak Out
Bunch These Jewish People
They Burned Books
Indicators of Our Time
Candles of Darkness
December 1, 2009
Palestine, Stand Proud Israel
for Israel, But Why?
Blaming the Messenger
for Our Country, Fighting for our Lives
Who Would Stand By Israel
June 8, 2010
Who will stand for Israel? Who, alone, still carries the flame of humanity, a
sliver of sanity, a goodness of heart and the courage of the soul to save
Israel? To answer this question, I looked at seemingly unrelated events and
conclude that it will be from the least expected of places.
I cannot pinpoint who might that be, although I can state with certainty who it
will not be.
The Jews of America and the Israeli Jews are too embroiled in defending everyone
else. They enjoy the very many benefits and privileges they have amassed in
having the State of Israel and do not even notice how fragile their position has
We, the Jewish People, have become so comfortable and arrogant we do not see the
necessity to take a stand for ourselves, unequivocally and clear. Thus, we fight
for those who try to destroy us, facilitating our own downfall. Frighteningly,
our behavior is bearing a remarkable similarity to the German Jewish attitudes
in the 1930s.
Who among the religions stands on Israel’s side?
Over the years I have had the privilege of working with many Evangelist
Christians. They, more than any other mainstream in Christianity, have stood
steadfast with Israel. Many arguments have been raised why we need to be
suspicious of their motives and aware of their true intentions, and that we must
not trust them.
Ye of little faith, I tell the critics. Their unwavering support does not come
in vacuum. It rests on the Old Testament, particular verses from Genesis, on a
common G-d and His decree to His people and to other nations. Let us not forget
that the basis for the Christian belief is our very own Bible.
The Evangelists, apparently, have translated our faith into action and an
unwavering commitment, so they support us. We enjoy this support and have grown
dependent on it, although very little do we deserve it.
We are too busy contemplating, arguing and debating what the Christians do. We
see what is in front but do not recognize it is our very own ancient teachings
they are following.
Who among the nations stood on Israel’s side?
Operation Cast Lead was the name given by Israel to the Israeli incursion into
Gaza in December 2008 in a dual attempt to stop the launch of rockets from Gaza
to Israeli civilian population centers and the smuggling operations from the
Sinai Peninsula via a network of tunnels into Gaza.
In a normal state of affairs, Israel would not have waited eight years to
respond. No sane, responsible nation would have waited more than hours, at most
days, to respond forcefully to a non-stop bombardment of rockets. Undoubtedly,
this forbearance was conceived as weakness on Israel’s part.
Condemnation was fueled by critics within the Jewish State itself. From the
front pages of Ha’aretz, one of two leading English daily papers in Israel,
Israel was accused of a "blood bath” in Gaza.
Why did Israelis continue their subscriptions and advertisements in the paper?
Were they not concerned that fueling anger and hatred will lead to a Goldstone
Report and a wave of divestments, boycotts and burning of Israeli goods?
One country was singularly on Israel’s side. Indeed, that country had many
motives of her own, foremost of which was the realization that the same
Iran-backed action from Gaza and Lebanon can easily spread and undermine the
existing regime there as well.
Once again, while Israelis were busy debating, arguing, condemning and even
demonstrating in favor and assisting the enemy, it was Egypt who stood out and
supported Israel’s actions.
Who among the academic elite would stand by an Israeli lecturer?
This Memorial Day Weekend, the 8th Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies was
held in Los Angeles organized by the International Society for Iranian Studies
(ISIS). A scholar on Iran from Israel submitted a paper for the conference,
titled "The Hojjatiyey: The Real Creators of the Islamic Revolution of Iran.”
The topic was of great interest to the participants and to scholars and
practitioners around the world.
Upon arriving at the hotel where the conference was held, we were greeted by a
group of protestors carrying signs equating Israel and Apartheid and giving out
flyers against the speaker. The intention was quite clear—prevent the scholar
from giving the talk. The protest had nothing to do with the subject matter or
merits of the research.
The speaker who flew in from Israel was described as a "settler colonialist”
from the "Israeli Apartheid” State where "brutal occupation” is the name of the
One would have expected Jewish professors to stand for the visiting Israel
scholar but knew better. Recently, when Israeli Ambassador to the USA was
interrupted repeatedly at the University of California Irvine, Jewish professors
were the first to defend, not condemn, the Muslim protestors.
Similarly, Jewish professors at UCLA have done everything possible to disinvite
another scholar from Israel on sabbatical at USC’s Hebrew Union College from
giving a talk which is "too political” in their esteemed and quite delicate
Once again we turn to see who would stand by the representative of the Jewish
State, the face of scholarly research and the courageous soldier of freedom who,
even though he was shaking inside, crossed the protest line and stood up to give
It was a Muslim professor, who took a stand. Professor Hossein Ziai, the
Director of Iranian Studies at UCLA’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and
Cultures and Conference Chair, was very clear in his message and his doings: "We
will not permit hatred and bigotry to come in the way of academic freedom,” he
Prof. Ziai, with the support of the President of ISIS, convened a panel of
esteemed members who were not afraid to appear along side a colleague from
Israel. Symbolically, the father of beheaded Daniel Pearl participated, talking
about "Carving a Dialogue Between Muslims and Jews.”
If we do not stand up to fight when the fight is needed, for we fear it may be
uncomfortable, damaging or otherwise may tarnish our outwardly spotless
reputation, we may find ourselves one day in the very same position with no one
to stand for us. I call it plain and simple cowardice.
Who is standing for Israel now?
It has now been almost a week after a Convoy of Terror against Israel, a
Flotilla of Lies, set sail to break the blockade to Gaza. Within the next 24 to
48 hours, another vessel is determined to outperform last week’s successful
rendition of attacking the Jewish State.
There was not a single, vocal voice in support of Israel. The world has been in
a trance, as if under a spell or hypnotized. The drums of hatred, of an evil as
ancient as mankind, are playing. To their tune, we are once again being led to
Who will break the spell? Will anyone try? Will anyone succeed?
I am indebted to the Christian Evangelists, Egypt and Prof. Ziai for showing us
that action is both warranted and necessary to fight evil. Without their
examples, we are left with nothing as we continue with amazing determination to
pave the path to our very destruction.