TheFridayReport: A Passover Blood Libel?
First and foremost, let me take a moment to wish you a happy and healthy Passover. Even while the Coronavirus plague is still upon us, disabling us from gathering with family and friends, let us rejoice in brighter days are ahead this coming summer and fall.
In my column in today's National Post, I wrote that "Passover is fast approaching and with it, endless political chaos in the promised land. After our enslavement in Egypt, our return home with the holy scriptures centuries later, followed by another exile that culminated in the Holocaust, our renewed statehood has been the fulfillment of a dream. We have been blessed with another chance to fulfill our destiny. The people of Israel are strong and devoted. But a fourth election in just two years is fracturing the fabric of this beautiful nation".
It's been a tumultuous week in Israel. The fourth election in two years has achieved nothing more than a gridlock. Prime Minister Netanyahu is no further ahead in establishing a government, having garnered only 30 seats in the 120 seat parliament. Coalition building is at a stalemate as the 13+ parties all have individualized agendas and refuse to cooperate or collaborate with other parties to form a government.
All this comes at a cost to the fabric of this incredible nation. Without question, the country is resilient and as has been proven, it could overcome wars and the pandemic, it should be able to overcome a bad political system. Let's remember, even in the desert there was dissent and disagreement. As Moses went up Har Sinai to claim the Torah from Hashem, his people were building a golden calf.
As punishment, Hashem made that idol-worshipping generation walk the desert in circles, until a new generation could lead the Jewish people to their homeland. Maybe there is a lesson in that for us today? In my article, I asked if there was such as thing as too much democracy? I am a staunch defender of democracy - but Israel's multiparty system has made it impossible to govern. (I have included a link to the NP article below)
But even while Israel was exercising and defending democracy through its vibrant elections, the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva went on a frontal assault against the state. Despite the fact Israel is encircled by terrorist run regimes, the UNHRC actually approved a resolution calling for an arms embargo against the state! Most disappointing was that it was also championed by supposed friendly nations like Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. Huh!
No other country is on the permanent agenda for condemnation at the UNHRC. It's a bigoted antisemitic institution that desperately needs reform. It is run by countries that have no business speaking about human rights. They use their participation to provide themselves cover, whitewash their atrocities and denounce the only free and democratic state in the Middle East - Israel.
An attack on Israel a few days before the start of Passover is nothing short of a blood libel against the Jewish state. It makes no difference that nearly 10% of newly elected members to Israel's parliament are Arab - showcasing an incredible form of political freedom and expression.
It is why principled leaders like Ambassador Nikki Haley pulled America out of participation and financial support of the UNHRC. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has declared its intent to rejoin the biased organization. No matter. It's now widely known and recognized as a farcical institution that desperately requires CPR.
The Jewish people have never had it easy. Despite the centuries of oppression and persecution, our place in this world as the "chosen people" continues to be one for the advancement of something that is larger than us. Over the generations into this moment, we have been a people concerned with "Tikkun Olam" - repair of the world.
Pharaohs always feature in our historical timeline. In every case, we survived, refocused, changed our coordinates and continued striving to make the world a better place. As a people, our justice came not as vengeance, but our continuation to exercise our "Tikvah" (hope) that with persistence, perseverance, passion and commitment to our cause, we will make the world a better place.
- Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach, Avi
To Subscribe: Go to my home page at www.avibenlolo.org
NP Article: "Election Weary Israelis Ask: Is it possible to have too much democracy?"
ABOUT: Avi Abraham Benlolo has been described as the nation's most prominent and noted expert in Holocaust studies, in countering Antisemitism and promoting human rights. He has dedicated nearly three decades in executive capacities in the Jewish community and as a leading voice in Canada. His academic research, graduate degree, Ph.D. coursework and nearly three decades of professional work has focused on these arenas in addition to peace and security in the Middle East. He has published hundreds of articles in these areas. In recognition of his national and international leadership in this area, he has received numerous awards including an Honorary Doctorate from a prestigious Israeli university for his work in Holocaust studies and combating antisemitism; an Order of Vaughan for his distinguished contribution to anti-racism, equity and diversity; the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award for his contributions to Canada and a race relations award for best practice, based on distinguished service in promoting human rights.
As a supporter of Israel, he is proud to have established "The Avi Benlolo Scholarship Fund in National Security" at Haifa University.