All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Sunday, 8 February 2009

I Am A War Criminal (And Proud of It)

It appears that Lord Ahmed has a problem with British Jews going over to Israel and fighting in the IDF. Apparently, he considers them to be "war criminals". Well, I have a confession to make, I too am a war criminal.

Well, to be more exact, a wannabe war criminal.

Throughout my life, I have wanted to make aliyah - to go to live in Israel. The fact that I haven't (yet) is more a testament to my refusing to leave my immediate family, than any wish to avoid living in Israel.

When I was 17, I was on kibbutz and I called my folks to tell them I wasn't coming home. A telephone battle ensued with my mother which I eventually lost (as usual), because my mother convinced me to go back to the UK and finish off my studies. Not an unreasonable argument, but one that cost me the chance to get to Israel.

Now, zillions of years later, I'm all ready to go but neither my wife or daughters are upstairs packing their bags. If I do make the plunge, I'll be going out there on my own, not the best recipe for someone who has finally found his profession, is progressing very nicely and knows that he has now planted roots in the veddy British soil - then again, that doesn't mean much because if the hostility towards the Jews in this country exacerbates, we might end up in Zion sooner than we bargained for.

So here I am, 41 years old and still pining for the Land.

Things could have been different if I'd stuck to my guns in '87. I might have enlisted in the IDF and....well, probably not achieved much because I would have been assigned a "Jobnik" role - i.e. desk job, granted my status as an only child. But I would have been a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces!

Notwithstanding all of the above, although my physical entity isn't exactly sitting in a troop carrier outside Rafah, my entire soul and thoughts are there with the boys and have been throughout every military escapade. I backed the recent war in Gaza 100% - including, tragically the requirement to the shell civilian areas from which rockets were fired - and I would have no compunction whatsoever to be part of a fighting force entering Gaza to protect my fellow Jews from the rockets. If doing so makes me a "war criminal" in Lord Ahmed's eyes, then so be it.

Were I alive in 1948, I would have been right there working against the British to get Jews into what was then Palestine. I guess, I'd also be a terrorist in his eyes.

My chief concern is to defend my fellow Jews in the land of the Israel, using whatever means possible. If that's Lord Ahmed's understanding of what a "war crime" is, then I suggest that he reads his history books and then makes considered statements that are worthy of his title.

In the opinion of many of us, he is nothing but a titled buffoon who really doesn't know what he's talking about.

Then again, he's is in good company.

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