As we wrap up this month and walk right into the holiday season, I can’t help but feel a sense of loss. All that the month of November represents has never had a stronger bearing on myself as it did this year. The month of Remembrance was filled with mourning the losses of our loved ones from a century ago up until today. War is no longer a distant memory belonging to our parents and grandparents for it has come alive within all of us – on social media, on our television screens, and for those who are in the wrong place at the wrong time, in front of our very own eyes. As the month of November comes to an end, I realize that I, personally, haven’t spent that much time actually ‘remembering’. I have been so engrossed with today’s global issues and wars that I actually forgot to go out and simply buy a poppy. I feel guilty and I want to scream to the heavens at my great-grandparents and uncles and aunts to “Forgive me! I have not forgotten the sacrifices you’ve made so that I can live freely in Canada and America! THANK YOU!”
But, for some reason I feel like I’m not alone in this situation. I am not the only one who has forgotten.
This new trend, BDS against Israel specifically on college campus’s, has left me shocked and in utter disappointment. What would our ancestors think? The ones who fought in WWII and helped to free the Jews from Hitler’s atrocities and genocide? The ones who fought so that the Jews could return to their homeland to prosper and to no longer be victims of anti-Semitic peoples? What would they think?
We are forgetting and we are losing our way. We must remember history as it is written and not how it is said by the aggressive and uneducated people around us. Stop following this destructive trend. Your ancestors are to thank for the existence of Israel. They are to thank for all the medical advancements and technological creations made by Israelis that have saved millions upon millions of lives and protected many more from war and radical activists. This is what our ancestors fought for. And this is what you’re fighting for: Palestinians who are going around stabbing innocent civilians (both Jews and Arabs) and for leaders to rise who in fact, have no mercy on their own people. They (Gaza) shoot rockets that fall into their own territories, killing their own people. I would scream, “BOYCOTT PALESTINE” except they don’t have anything for me to boycott. They have contributed nothing to the world of medicine, science, start-ups, technology, etc. They have taken the tax dollars paid by every Israeli, and built terror tunnels instead of schools and hospitals. They are destructive and you, BDS-er, are not helping anyone. You are not remembering.
Has anyone stopped to ask the Lebanese and the Jordanian and the Egyptian who is promoting the BDS movement why their countries refused to adopt their Palestinian brothers? Are we forgetting that they were either turned away or put in refugee camps that were in the poorest of conditions? These specific Palestinians who left Israel in 1947 to their brother countries left because they couldn’t stand sharing a State with Jews. They left with the dream to build an army with their brothers big enough to finish off the Jewish people. To the Lebanese and the Jordanian and the Egyptian who are standing on a stage yelling into a microphone to reject Israel and to defend the Palestinians – you have no right. Boycott your own countries who refuse to help even today, the Syrian refugees who are seeking asylum. These are your brothers! And you are rejecting them. You are using the vulnerability of the Palestinian people to create hate against Israel – your eternal Jewish enemy. Shame. Shame. Shame.
The Arab-Israeli’s who are at peace with the Jews are living within Israel and are flourishing. They are growing and contributing to the economy. They are travelling the world, living in homes, communities, attending academic institutions that are world-renowned. They are working and they are happy; happier than those living under Hezbollah’s control in Lebanon, happier than the Syrians, than the Iranians, etc. Israel isn’t perfect but it is also still new. It’s still growing and learning and making adjustments to better the lives of each Muslim, Jew, Christian, and Buddhist. Give her a chance and watch how she will accommodate to each life within her borders. Your ancestors fought for something great.
Remember. Educate yourselves. Be thankful. Happy holidays.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
by John McCrae, May 1915