Paula R. Stern

Paula R. Stern – Can you cry for your enemy?

A picture from the Armenian genocide.

Paula R. Stern – Can you cry for your enemy?

Have you ever felt sick to your stomach? I mean that in a very literal sense. My throat feels clogged, my eyes are stinging. I almost can’t breathe. I’m not being dramatic.

My son sits there reading from the computer and asks me if I had heard this news? He uses a Hebrew word, but I don’t recognize it. “Meesrepha” – “srepha” is a fire. I tell him I don’t know what that is, already feeling pressure inside. I can tell it’s bad from his face.

“It’s what they used in the Holocaust,” he says, “to burn the bodies.”

“Crematoria,” I whisper.

He continues reading. There are reports that Bashir Assad has set up crematoria in a prison and is killing something like 50 prisoners a day and burning their bodies. The report comes from American sources. Israel has reacted. A former Chief of Staff says Israel should take Assad out. Enough.

Has the world learned nothing? Has nothing changed? Can despots still do as they please?

Is it Israel’s responsibility to attack Syria to defend the Syrian people from their maniac president?

Hillel was a wise and learned Jewish scholar who teaches us, even generations and generations after he is gone, that life and living is about morality. Hillel says, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?” Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14

In 1942, the world had options they didn’t take. They could have bombed the rail lines to stop the trains going to Auschwitz. They could have bombed the camps themselves. There must have been something they could have done. One could perhaps argue that the world did not know about the Holocaust at the beginning. Perhaps. But we now know the truth. As early as 1942, it was known…known and ignored. At least four million people could have been saved…four million Jews and countless others, had the world acted.The answer then was to “take Hitler out.” Today, the answer is “take Assad out.”

We have a moral obligation, every one of us, to do what we can to make this world a better place and so yes, you can cry for your enemy…you should cry for them. I cry for the people of Syria and though I cringe at the idea of risking Israeli lives, it is what we asked of the world 75 years ago and what they did not do.

Listen to the words. There are crematoria alight in Syria. They are burning bodies or murdered people. Almost half a million people have already been burned. Take Assad out.

A picture from the Armenian genocide to your right. A picture from the trains in Poland loaded and taking Jews to their deaths below…what picture will we post for the dead of Syria?

How many more must die before the world acts? Take Assad out – and if no one else will do it, the we in Israel should. He’s weak enough not to pose a threat to us as Jews and Israelis but as humans it is our moral obligation to do what we can…if we are for ourselves alone, what are we?

By Blogger to A Soldier’s Mother
  • heb macman

    While I totally agree with the theory of your article I’m afraid that there’s more to consider… Israel haters already say that the Israeli flag represents Israel as it should be (from the great river in Egypt to the great river in Iraq)… They already say that 1967 was, on the part of Israel, just a war of aggression and a land grab… Israel simply can’t continue to exist if the world turns on it… And much of the world has already turned on it since day 1…

    In short, while Israel SHOULD ring the alarm on Syria as loud and for as long as necessary it should NOT intervene on its own…

    As has been said, for great evil to occur good people have to look elsewhere… If Israel forces the rational nations to face up to their inaction it’s doing enough IMHO… Nobody expected the weak and feeble Dutch resistance to take on Nazi Germany for any reason… However, if the Dutch Queen (in exile in Britain at the time) would have taken on this cause she would have been considered a great leader after WWII… (as it is she was pilloried for abandoning her people – Jewish or otherwise – by escaping to Britain)

  • V.V.

    Israel attacks only in self defense…. this is G-d’s command. Let Hashem deal with what is going on in Syria. This is all part of His Prophecy. He will enlarge the borders of Israel back to the original borders given to Father Abraham…. to do that He is going to have to rid the surrounding lands of Islam. Trust Him Paula, He knows what He is doing. Israel will defend her people but we are not to attack or intervene in what Hashem is doing to the enemies of G-d and our people. He said He would set kingdoms against kingdoms and brothers against brothers…. Trust HIM.

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