Ehud Goldwasser

(This was supposed to be a comment reply, but as usual, it grew too long and even acquired a quote from the Vulgate that i saw on a painting in my doctor’s office).

Dear N.,

First of all, thanks for teaching me the word tightfisted. I wholeheartedly appreciate it.

The “Dear N.” part was directed at you, of course, the rest was mostly a response to my new crazy fan MeahevServi. At first i thought that he is one of my linguist-friends playing a joke at me, but he convinced me that he really is a Serbian guy who learns Hebrew and listens to Esther Ofarim, Zehava Ben and Sarit Hadad for the fun of it. Weird, but true.

I liked the SPITE/DAVKA thing. Identified the SPITE immediately as a Seinfeld reference. I used to write a “Seinfeld dictionary” once, with words such as spongeworthy, ribbonbully, doubledipper etc…

Anyway, about ninety years ago a bunch of pioneers (“halutzim”) learned Hebrew for the fun of it and came to live in this crazy Land of Israel in the midst of Arab population. (Were your grandparents among them, by any chance?) For them SPITE was a very good reason. We still live here – hardly 6 million Jews in the midst of 600 million Arabs. In spite. Hæc dicit Dominus Deus: Iſta eſt Ieruſalem! In medio gentium poſui eam et in circuitu eius terras (Ezechielis V). I have a choice – i can go to the USA and be a VMS sysadmin there for a very good salary. But i don’t. (It also proves that i am not tightfisted).

By the way, to the best of my knowledge, a significant part of E. Olmert’s family made the other choice and lives abroad. I know that i sound like all those religious fanatics that call the radio to tell how they hate Olmert (Galey Tzahal – “Yesh im mi ledaber” etc.), but i just state a fact – there are a few differences between me and Olmert’s children and this is one of those differences. I don’t mind that his daughter is an outspoken lesbian radical left activist, but when a Prime Minister’s sons live abroad, it’s a bit too much. Which reminds me, that Y. Rabin’s mamramnik son Yuval lives abroad too. And so does Y. Arafat’s family. Hmmmm, i see a pattern here …

Gush-Katif settlers were tightfisted? Too much taxes were spent on them? Maybe. But people who did buy land 20 km’s to the north are now shelled with Kassams, so what’s the difference? Should they move further to the North, to Tel Aviv? Or maybe back to Poland, Russia, France, Morocco, Argentina? That’s what the terrorists want, and they are becoming better than ever at getting it.

Currently the most moral and reasonable and the least violent way to stop them and to make the world take us seriously is to rebuild Gush-Katif. The best argument that the supporters of the Disengagement kept repeating was that Israeli troops won’t die in Gaza anymore. Then i would always respond – they won’t die in Gaza, but they will die outside Gaza and then they will go back to Gaza too. I can’t tell that i’m happy about it, but turns out that i was right. So why did we have to destroy 25 villages and deport 10000 people – our own people?

We can fix this damage by rebuilding Gush-Katif just as it was a year ago. Kfar Darom existed in the time of Mishna, and abandoned some time later; the land was bought from the Arabs in the first years of Zionism and resettled by Jews, until the Arabs drew them away by force in 1948; than it was rebuilt again in 1970 and destroyed in 2005. It can be rebuilt again.

Bring the boys back home? I feel very cruel to tell it, but the last time that we brought the boys back home by releasing hundreds of terrorists, everyone knew that it’s a matter of time until Hizballah captures some more of our boys. Now they are rolling on the floor laughing at us. I’m terribly cynical here, but the way we’re dealing with it now, there won’t be a shortage of boys to bring back home any time soon.

I wish women ruled the world. Or at least more women than today. If i could, i would reserve 60 seats in the Knesset for women. Seriously. (But not Kipi Livni or Limor Livnat, please – they make me sick.) There’s a nice song that goes:

Women of the world,
Take over,
‘Cause if you don’t, the world
Will come to an end,
It won’t take long.

P.S. Did you read Allen Ginsberg’s Howl? It’s a little hard to understand at first, but when you just ignore the intentional grammar errors and let it flow, it’s quite powerful. My favorite part:

we hug and kiss the United States under
     our bedsheets the United States that coughs all
     night and won’t let us sleep


2 thoughts on “Ehud Goldwasser

  1. Hi Amir,
    When you talk about the first Israeli settlers making their homes in what was then a vast wasteland with a few old castles and lots of olive trees, you seem to think that they did it just for spite. Well, I won’t say that spite didn’t factor into it at all, but you seem to be ignoring what else happened in the world back then.
    In the late nineteenth century there came waht would late be called by my (and your) history teacher “Aviv HaAmim” (it just sounds better in Hebrew), meaning there was a great nationalistic awakening going on throughout Europe, and populations that were under some empire’s rule began to understand that they deserve their own rights. Zionism was born in those years as well. About ninety years ago, which would be 1916 – we’re talking already of the years after the second Aliyah (which, remarkably is already the fourth one
    A hundred years ago, anti-Semitism was at its (then) worst with pogroms sweeping through the south of the USSR, not to mention sporadic temple burnings throughout Europe. This was also a consequence of the national awakenings.
    Israel, since the conception of its idea, was seen as a shelter (Miklat, how appropriately) to all the Jewish people worldwide. To this day, over 100 years later, its existance is our insurance policy against the Holocaust happening again.
    Yes, I know, anti-semitism is on the rise, but in our world today where you live is a choice you make. If a said French Jew has a problem with anti-Semitism in Paris he can pack up and leave for Tel-Aviv. If he has a problem giving up croissants, well, that’s his choice, isn’t it?
    Like I said – where you live is a choice. Your own choice, not your parents’ or your childrens’. I could have been living a far nicer life in the US, but I’m here, because I choose to be here. I can’t see myself not living here. I can’t see myself not joining the Army, nor can I see myself packing my bags right now and hightailing it to Tel Aviv, or better yet – the United States.
    I think that, my friend, is patriotism. Once, I had a conversation with a few of my cadettes, and they convinced me that what I see as patriotism is basically Zionism.
    Zionism, based on your beloved Wikipedia, is a secular movement. It was founded by secular, highly educated Jews.
    “Eretz Israel HaShlema” is nowhere in their manifest. That’s a later addition.
    Do you really think that if we hadn’t gone forth with the Disengagement we wouldn’t be in this situation right now? I seriously doubt it. These guys are always looking for an excuse. If it wouldn’t have been now, it would have been either sooner or later.

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    Yes, we would be better off without destroying Gush-Katif.

    We would also be better off if we didn’t run away in panic from Lebanon instead of staying there until victory.

    > I seriously doubt it.

    Wake up – everyone except Olmert admits to the simple fact that it did damage and gained nothing. Can you tell me that we gained *anything* from it?

    > These guys are always looking for an excuse. If it wouldn’t have been now, it would have been either sooner or later.

    That just proves my point. If they always have an excuse, then why did we have to destroy 25 villages?

    If there are guys who are looking for an excuse to shoot me, i have no moral problem to shoot them first.

    It hurts, but wars must be won. Do you know that Hizballah, for example, always writes the name of our country in double quotes – “Israel” – because according to them we don’t really exist? The only way to win a war with someone who denies your existence is to destroy him. I’m all for Gandhi-style nonviolence, but in Gandhi’s case the Brits didn’t deny the existence of an Indian nation. It doesn’t work in the Middle East. I read somewhere (i think that it was the Encyclopedia Hebraica) that Gandhi said that Jews should fight non-violently for their rights in Europe. And you know what happened to Jews that stayed in Europe.

    > Zionism, based on your beloved Wikipedia, is a secular movement

    Wikipedia is fun, but it’s not trustworthy in its current form. Judge for yourself: Zionism is indeed a secular movement, except the Zion part, which comes from the Bible. Herzl could have fought against pogroms. But he made an insane decision to fight for Jews’ rights far away in the Land of Israel. There is no logical explanation for it. A Bible is a book – a bunch of letters on paper. But if we have a moral right to demand rights anywhere, this is the only place. It doesn’t really make sense, but it’s as good as it gets.

    Eretz Israel Hashlema came later, you say? Initially the Zionist congress demanded much more land than the E.I.H. people of today are talking about, including half of what later became the Kingdom of Jordan. Those Zionists demanded the land according to Biblical borders. How secular is that? They tried to offer us Uganda instead. It didn’t work out either.


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