On May 11, 1960, Israel’s Mossad agents captured Nazi leader Adolph Eichmann in Argentina. He had been among numerous Nazi leaders who had directed the torture and execution of six million Jews in Europe during World War Two, then fled to live under assumed identities in South America.

The news reached the rest of the world on the morning of May 24. As a ten-year-old buying the Inquirer at my corner newsstand, looking for late baseball game results, I came across a headline that changed the way I viewed the world. Up to that point, I had been unaware of the atrocities that were committed to people who were born like me. As I read the front-page article, I was stunned.

Some years later, as a young teen playing football on my block, I sent an insulting kid home with a bloody nose after he had hurled a slur at me. That article and realization, some years earlier, had gotten me on guard. I couldn’t imagine six million people being slaughtered with little resistance.

In the aftermath of World War Two, Israel was formed in 1948 as a refuge for Jews. Jews had lived there for centuries, and those who practiced the faith saw it as strongly biblical. From its beginnings, with the words “never again” being uttered by its citizens, the land was transformed from a desert into a strong country with top-notch defense and vast productivity that has contributed to the world.

Israel was immediately attacked at its very founding. What followed were countless attacks from the neighboring Muslim majority. Its defense forces have always prevailed. Now, with nine million citizens, seven million of whom are Jews, Israelis have always felt secure in knowing the Israeli Defense Force warriors were formidable. But along the way, Israel took its eye off the ball and was raided on Oct. 7 by Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip. Hamas hit the state’s underbelly, shooting randomly at the agricultural kibbutzim and torturing and killing women, children, and babies. They did not directly confront the army.

READ MORE — Guy Ciarrocchi: What ever happened to ‘never again’?

Israel has responded as any responsible country would, seeking to avenge the deaths of 1,400 of its citizens and wipe Hamas out of existence. They dropped leaflets over Gaza so average Palestinian residents could vacate the northern part of that strip while looking to remove the Hamas terrorists who occupy the network of tunnels that need to be breached.

Since the Gaza territory was established in 2005, large amounts of money have been sent there as aid packages. However, Hamas rulers did not allocate those dollars for schools and factories. They used it to build tunnels and buy weapons, intent on invading and conquering the Israelis.

“From the river to the sea” is not an idle expression. They and other Muslim militants are intent on driving the Jewish people out of the Mideast. If that were to happen, no doubt Christians would be the next target. To the militants, they are all just infidels.

It’s a shame for innocent Palestinians whom Hamas uses as human shields, hiding under them, then crying foul when their deaths occur. But that is how Hamas manipulates the media.

That Mossad capture 63 years ago has stayed with me. With a small population but high visibility, Jews are the canary in the world’s coal mine, often the first to be blamed for a society’s ills. Sadly, it is still our lot in life. But Israel has an answer for its existential threat. And as the only democracy in the Mideast, this key ally of the United States has every right to defend itself.

Jeff Hurvitz (jrhurvitz@aol.com) is a freelance writer and Philadelphia native.

11 thoughts on “Jeff Hurvitz: Israel, and the burden of being Jewish”

  1. That refuge for Jews story is quite a tale. If it was true for all Jews I doubt the attacks on the https://twitter.com/TorahJudaism/status/1719245433547940148 would have taken place.
    You can get a deeper understanding of the origins of the spirit behind the establishment of a national home for Jews in Palestine at https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-balfour-declaration-table-of-contents
    If you doubt that advocates of Tora Judaism are not enjoying the acceptance of zionist rule in Israel don’t visit https://www.bucksafa11.org/2023/10/23/ball-four/ and certainly don’t click on the links in the last sentence. They might feel like a punch in your nose.

    Oh, and that concern you have about Christians being the next target? They are a target already. In fact, they’ve been targeted for years, by the Jews.

    From https://www.twn.my/title2/resurgence/2019/341-342/human1.htm

    It must be understood that Palestinian Christians are neither aliens nor bystanders in Palestine. They have been victimised equally as their Muslim brethren. They have also played a significant role in defining the modern Palestinian identity, through their resistance, spirituality, deep connection to the land, artistic contributions and burgeoning scholarship.
    Israel must not be allowed to ostracise the world’s most ancient Christian community from their ancestral land so that it may score a few points in its fierce drive for racial supremacy.
    Equally important, our understanding of the legendary Palestinian soumoud – steadfastness – and solidarity cannot be complete without fully appreciating the centrality of Palestinian Christians to the modern Palestinian narrative and identity.

    1. https://www.twn.my/title2/resurgence/2019/341-342/human1.htm

      Speaks to the Christians living in the area administered by the Palestinian authority, not Israel. To quote from it

      “A population census carried out by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in 2017 concluded that 47,000 Palestinian Christians are living in Palestine – with reference to the Occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Ninety-eight percent of Palestine’s Christians live in the West Bank – concentrated mostly in the cities of Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jerusalem – while the remainder, a tiny Christian community of merely 1,100 people, live in the besieged Gaza Strip.” These are under Palestinian and Hamas. Why not look at the population of Christians within Israel? Yes, Let’s:
      Year Christian Population (in 000’s)
      1949 34
      1959 48.3
      1969 73.5
      1979 87.6
      1989 107
      1999 131.8
      2009 151.9
      2019 177.2

      What is genocide? According to the Merriam -Webster dictionary, it it the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. So a population that is, according to your source, shrinking in the Palestinian and Hamas controlled territory and is yet growing in the state of Israel is being destroyed by Israel???

      1. Just so we don’t confuse any readers, I was addressing the Palestinian Christian population. You moved the goal posts to Israel and provided unsourced numbers for the Christian population you claim live there.
        Btw, your link to https://www.twn.my/title2/resurgence/2019/341-342/human1.htm doesn’t work; have no fear, it can still be accessed if you copy and paste from my entries.

        But you asked,
        So a population that is, according to your source, shrinking in the Palestinian and Hamas controlled territory and is yet growing in the state of Israel is being destroyed by Israel???

        And I respond, read that Merriam-Webster definition again.

        Having been given the opportunity I’ll include a few more paragraphs from…


        …For example, 70 years ago, Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, was 86% Christian. The demographics of the city, however, have fundamentally shifted, especially after the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in June 1967 and the construction of the illegal Israeli apartheid wall starting in 2002. Parts of the wall were meant to cut off Bethlehem from Jerusalem and to isolate the former from the rest of the West Bank.

        ‘The Wall encircles Bethlehem by continuing south of East Jerusalem in both the east and west,’ the ‘Open Bethlehem’ organisation said, describing the devastating impact of the wall on the Palestinian city. ‘With the land isolated by the Wall, annexed for settlements, and closed under various pretexts, only 13% of the Bethlehem district is available for Palestinian use.’

        Increasingly beleaguered, Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem have been driven out from their historic city in large numbers. According to the city’s mayor, Vera Baboun, as of 2016, the Christian population of Bethlehem has dropped to 12%, merely 11,000 people.

        The most optimistic estimates place the overall number of Palestinian Christians in the whole of Occupied Palestine at less than 2%.

        And here’s a question about Hamas origins https://www.bucksafa11.org/2019/05/07/liars/

        What I think you can use is a peek at the bigger picture; State Department sized bigger picture. Of course it’s democrat controlled (I did wonder why they didn’t include pictures for their base) so there is a built in believability deficit right there. But you should be able to recognize the built in genocidal activity, according to Merriam-Webster.


        …In Jerusalem, the Israeli government provides separate public schools for Jewish and Arab/Palestinian children with instruction conducted in Hebrew and Arabic, respectively. For Jewish children, there are separate public schools available for religious and secular families. Individual families may choose a public school system for their children regardless of ethnicity or religious observance. Minors have the right to choose a public secular school instead of a religious school regardless of parental preference. By law, Israel provides the equivalent of public-school funding to two systems of “recognized but not official” (a form of semiprivate) ultra-Orthodox religious schools affiliated with ultra-Orthodox political parties: the United Torah Judaism-affiliated Independent Education System and the Shas-affiliated Fountain of Torah Education System. Churches, however, receive only partial government funding to operate “recognized but not official” schools. Palestinian residents in Jerusalem may send their children to one of these church schools, a private school that follows an internationally sanctioned curriculum, or a private school operated by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf (which also includes religious instruction). Some Israeli-funded public schools in Jerusalem use a version of the PA curriculum, modified by the Israeli Ministry of Education…

        …On March 10, the Knesset reenacted the Law of Citizenship and Entry, after the Knesset failed in 2021 to pass a previous version of the law, which requires annual renewals. The law explicitly prohibits residence status for non-Jewish Iranians, Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, and Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, including those who are spouses of Israeli residents or citizens. The amended law allows a quota of 58 cases in which the minister of interior can make a special determination, usually on humanitarian grounds. The figure is based on the total number of approvals of requests in 2018…

        1. john ryan: Hamas terrorists are scum and their actions in Israel on 10/7 are indefensible and require justice.
          “JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A (the “Bank”) has decided to end its banking relationship with Yeezy, LLC and its affiliated entities (collectively, the “Company”). To provide the Company with sufficient time to transition to another financial institution, we will continue to maintain the accounts (attached as Exhibit A), including all related products and services, until November 21, 2022.”
          That letter arrived for Kayne West as he faced backlash for his wave of “anti-Zionist” comments. At one point, his massively popular Twitter and Instagram accounts were restricted for posting controversial remarks. Kayne West was openly critical of JPMorgan Chase, rebuking “executives Bill Grous at JPMorgan’s wealth management business, investment banking Vice Chair Jing Ulrich and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon,” Bloomberg reported.
          Kayne West said Zionists ran the banking industry… and then he got kicked out of the banking industry, cut off by JP Morgan, and censored by social media companies like Twitter, Insta, etc. Zionists obviously run the banking industry and those social media companies. And people like Dom Giordano are too afraid to confront and talk about that complicated reality. But the average person understands it. And the average person also understands that reality is simply politics, and it has nothing to do with the reality that scum Hamas terrorists murdered innocent civilian Israelis on 10/7. That crime needs justice. And a thoughtful response, not a vengeful reaction that will keep feeding an endless war.

          1. Michael Sweeney: I’m having a problem framing a response to your opening remarks. I spent much energy and time condemning the Muslim Brotherhood, especially during the Obama administration and I don’t want those bona fides threatened. However, I’ve learned over the years to stop with the knee jerk reactions. A lot of planning goes into causing knee jerks and they are usually planned by an UNfriendly.

            https://www.state.gov/reports/2022-report-on-international-religious-freedom/israel-west-bank-and-gaza/west-bank-and-gaza/ hasn’t convinced me the zionist attitude is superior to the Palestinians in any way.

            I’ve been scrutinizing Jewish behavior since 1967 when Israel attacked the USS Liberty. Come to think of it, there was very little US knee jerk reaction to that combined air and sea attack reported even when …Of a crew of 294 officers and men (including three civilians), the ship suffered thirty four (34) killed in action and one hundred seventy three (173) wounded in action. I was in the Marine Corps at the time of the attack and home on leave. My interest level was rather keen.

            Another disturbing action was the ‘Dancing Israelis’ caught on video celebrating the burning Twin towers on 9/11 yet not a trace of the video remains on the internet as far as I can tell.

            My point is Israel has violently attacked our Navy in international waters and danced to the death and destruction that took place in NYC on 9/11 and the American public reaction is muted; but when the shoe is on the other foot, the entire geographical realm of the western world is put under the Guardians of the Weaponized Sacred Sorrow microscope as they search for anyone who questions the zionist reactionaries in order to chastise them, embarrass them and hurt them; in Kanye West’s case, financially, knowing that with each measure of chastisement the organized Guardians of the Weaponized Sacred Sorrows will forge another link of guilt that you claim the average person understands and accepts that ‘reality’ as ‘simply politics’? I don’t understand that. Does ‘simply politics’ make their attacks acceptable?

            Neither can I figure out why the ‘average’ person thinks Dom Giordano is afraid to talk about that ‘complicated reality’.The chastisement he’d face is, at the least, losing his job. Another liberty/security compromise, I’d say.

            But the use of the phrase ‘simply politics’ represents the lackadaisical thinking that contributes to the power that is debilitating our nation and the everyday acceptance of the use of that phrase is just plain mind boggling.

            It might sound like I live in a cave but I know enough about politicians to understand they are not capable of reshaping our national mind set on their own. Their major function is to make sure we don’t recognize them as the curtain the wizards are hiding behind.

            I got a post out of your comment so thanks for that; I limited this response to addressing your outlook. Cheers!

  2. John Ryan, you have a warped sense of history. In ’67 when the Israelis took over Jeruselem and the west bank, they opened the doors for Christians to worship. When controlled by the Muslims they were largely denied that access. If you have followed Israel’s history, you would know the destruction of the US ship in ’67 was a horrible mistake. There is no way on God’s green earth that they would have deliberately attacked a US vessel. Your inability to see the evil of Hamas and the western values of Israel unmasks your built in prejudice.

    1. Jeff Hurvitz, that November 8 message to Michel Sweeney was a paste from a post I did at my https://www.bucksafa11.org/2023/11/08/if-we-hear-lies-we-must-scrutinize/ At that site I pasted a link to a State Department paper https://www.state.gov/reports/2022-report-on-international-religious-freedom/israel-west-bank-and-gaza/west-bank-and-gaza/ . As you can see it is dated 2022. Once again, the points I make are shifted by the argumentative single minded. If you have credible support that your ’67 claim is still viable put it up. Until then I’ll stick with the 2022 State Department report.

      Regarding the USS Liberty, it looks like the hidden links under ‘USS Liberty’, https://www.usslibertyveterans.org/ and ‘international waters’, https://www.usslibertyveterans.org/files/War%20Crimes%20Report.pdf included in the ‘If We Hear Lies We Must Scrutinize’ post were not active here at Broad and Liberty so technically you get a pass on expressing your years long belief in the lie that was a ‘horrible mistake’ you used to attack me.

      Here’s some findings in the USS Liberty testimony at the War Crimes Report:

      At 1400 hours, while approximately 17 miles off the Gaza coast, USS Liberty’s crew
      observed three surface radar contacts closing with their position at high speed. A few
      moments later, the bridge radar crew observed high speed aircraft passing over the surface returns on the same heading.16
      Within a few short moments, and without any warning, Israeli fighter aircraft
      launched a rocket attack on USS Liberty. The aircraft made repeated firing passes, attacking USS Liberty with rockets and their internal cannons. After the first flight of fighter aircraft had exhausted their ordnance, subsequent flights of Israeli fighter aircraft continued to prosecute the attack with rockets, cannon fire, and napalm. 17
      During the air attack, USS Liberty’s crew had difficulty contacting Sixth Fleet to request assistance due to intense communications jamming18
      The initial targets on the ship were the command bridge, communications antennas, and the four .50 caliber machine guns, placed on the ship to repel boarders.
      It was a big story; a natural to turn into a Hollywood blockbuster if you ask me. But it just didn’t happen. The movie I mean not the mistake.

      Tell me something, what is your conclusion about my inability to see evil based on?

      What is evil?

      As far as I know Israel has supported Hamas for years. https://www.bucksafa11.org/2019/05/07/liars/ and I always include links to back up my accusations.

  3. Jeff: There is so much anti-semitism to learn about it’s taking me longer than I expected. I did leave a comment regarding that Hamas supported by Israel story but it spent all week in moderation and just timed out I guess. This is my reply but you will also see it soon at https://www.bucksafa11.org/

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