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Fight for Little Israel

May 21, 2010

As I thought about the brochure while watching a movie about the beginning of Israel, I understood the reality that Israel, like The Little Traitor, is filled with life and resilience, and yet the world gives it little respect.


I had never heard of the movie, The Little Traitor, when my wife asked if I wanted to join her and two friends at the Maple Theatre. I didn’t learn much other than it was an Israel/USA co-produced movie based on the novel “Panther in the Basement” by the world renowned author, Amos Oz, and took place in 1947 Palestine, just a few months before Israel became a state.

            The Little Traitor is no Avatar or Iron Man 2…no violence or special CGI effects, and little box office receipts. Instead, it’s a simple, funny, entertaining, and touching movie about a young boy, son of Holocaust survivors, in British-occupied Palestine who simply longs for the British soldiers to leave so Israel can become its own state.

            62 years later, Israel may be the only country in the world still fighting to maintain its statehood. Israel is no longer occupied by foreign troops but is still haunted by the condemnation of much of the world.

Relentless critical attacks on Israel are hard to withstand. How do we counter overwhelming critiques from all sides? The UN Goldstone Report lashes out at Israel Defense Forces; countries compare Israel to an Apartheid state deserving boycotts and sanctions. Even our own American government condemns new apartments in an established, heavily populated Jewish neighborhood in Northern Jerusalem, where 250,000 Jews live.

            How do we stop the frenzy of angry threats that back Israel’s supporters into a corner? As Rabbi Marvin Hier, the Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, writes, “It’s time for all of us who care about the state of Israel to join together and fight back!”

            When I received his 2010 TOP TEN ANTI-ISRAEL LIES brochure in the mail the day before I watched The Little Traitor, it revealed clearly that one of Israel’s biggest hurdles is convincingly explaining why so much of the world’s view is wrong. Wiesenthal’s fold-out pamphlet simply and effectively addresses distortions aimed at Israel and answers them with facts clearly stated. The map on its cover shows the little sliver that is Israel, dwarfed by massive countries such as Egypt, Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. It confronts lies like “Israel was created by European guilt over the Nazi Holocaust,” that Israel withdrawing to its 1967 borders would have created peace, that “Israel is the main stumbling block to achieving a Two-state solution,” and that nuclear Israel is the greatest threat to peace and stability.

            The brochure shows that Israeli policies are NOT the cause of worldwide anti-Semitism, illuminates Jewish history and Israel’s real past and present, addressing Arafat, Hamas, the Oslo Accords, Palestinian President Abbas, Goldstone, and Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. This excellent brochure is available to print from the Wiesenthal website ( or can be ordered on the phone at 800-900-9036. It is an excellent and invaluable resource necessary to defend Israel’s right to exist.

“It is up to us,” the brochure states on its last page, “to help disseminate the facts about Israel—to our Nation’s leaders, to world governments, to our media outlets, to all who will listen” (all listed on the pamphlet.)
            As I thought about the brochure while watching a movie about the beginning of Israel, I understood the reality that Israel, like The Little Traitor, is filled with life and resilience, and yet the world gives it little respect.

            Filmed in the streets of Jerusalem, the movie about Israel’s independence almost wasn’t finished. The American producers of the film were afraid of violence and, coincidently, the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon broke out on the 3rd day of shooting. Yet, as the war continued, so did the shooting of The Little Traitor. And when Alfred Molina, who played the British soldier, spoke the lines, “Eventually there will be trouble between the Arabs and the Jews; It’s in the Bible, the Prophets predict it,” the building they filmed in started to shake as five military jets were flying overhead on their way to Lebanon.

As writer/director, Lynn Roth, wrote, “We were filming a movie about Israel’s right to exist as she fought for her continued existence. The movie, the reality, the characters, the history, the news jumbled together. We saw the war through the perspective of our movie, and made the movie through the perspective of the war around us.”

Facing war and death is not new for Israel and litters the history of the Jewish people. Yet, even in the midst of terror and fear and death, we pray to God, give thanks for our lives, and we keep praying every single day for peace. As Jewish mourners throughout the world pray for their lost loved ones in the Mourner’s Kaddish, they recite, “May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and life, upon us and upon all Israel; and let us say, Amen.”

I hope that Jews everywhere refuse to be belittled and keep standing behind Israel. Who else will fight and pray for this little country surrounded by enemies? Who else but us?


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