Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The lesson of Munich

We saw the much talked about "Munich" last night. I actually really enjoyed it (even though my heart was racing the whole movie)! Although I understand why Spielberg thought that bringing up the morality of targeted assassinations was important, I do not agree with his conclusions. But, considering that the movie was only remotely based on reality (and from what Seth tells me is based on a book that an Israeli airport security guard named "Avner" wrote, who claims that he was involved in the mission, even though all the Mossad agents that are known to have been involved said they never heard of him), I am not going to get into the specifics.
In fact, what I walked away with from the movie had more to do with my understanding of the importance of a Jewish home in a secure State. 11 Israeli athletes were not brutally murdered because they were Israeli, it was because they were Jews. And, the world tried to be sympathetic, but would they even have tried if there was no State that represented us? The murderers were dealt with leniently enough, but would they have been punished at all if there was no Jewish State that was pressuring them to do so?
I know that it is difficult for non-Jews, and sometimes even for Jews, to understand why it is so important to have a Jewish State. Zionism is deemed to be racism. And I know it has been said hundreds of times, but it boils down to this for me: Jews have been persecuted for thousands of years. Since the destruction of the Second Temple and their expulsion from Israel, they have never been truly safe. Almost every religion has a country where that religion is the overwhelming majority. The Jews have yearned for such a country for thousands of years. History has made it clear that we need protection, and Israel has offered that protection to Jews all over the world: by rescuing Jews from persecution in Russia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Iraq to name a few, by performing outrageously dangerous rescue missions of Jews that were held hostage such as in the Entebbe Raid in 1976.
Some people believe that the world has learned its lesson and is more compassionate, and Jews do not need the same protection they used to. Open the newspapers, look at events from the past year, anti semitism is still thriving. Genocide is still occurring, and governments have only recently began to take some action in Darfur.
Israel, as a Jewish State, needs to exist, and therefore has a right to exist. Once our enemies recognize that, the rest is all details.