by Naomi Ragen
I tried to see the world through their glasses.
Sitting here in Jerusalem reading the American poll numbers, I have a feeling of déjà vu.
There was a time in Israel when the Oslo Accords and the sincerity of Yasser Arafat were, believe it or not, controversial subjects. More than that, anyone who was against Oslo, who believed Arafat was a terrorist and a
liar, and that land for peace was a deception that would lead to terror and war, was vilified. What didn't they call us realists? War-mongers. Partners with Yigal Amir. There was no debate, just hysteria and vilification. I have to say that even my own family felt we should "give peace a chance" and watched the handshake on the White House lawn (which I refused to watch and which made me ill) with hope. I was informed that since I wasn't going to be serving in the army, I had no right to suggest that signing this peace agreement was a bad thing.
You know what? It intimidated me. I started to think: How could it be that everyone was so happy and enthusiastic, and I was miserable and depressed? How could they see doves and handshakes, and all I could see was terrorist bombs and dead bodies?
So, I tried to see the world through their glasses. I tried to be hopeful too. And when it came time to vote, I even voted for a Peace Now candidate, not because I thought there would be peace, but because I thought that it was better for the country to at least put into practice its wrong ideas, and to experience first hand how badly it was all going to work out. That there was no other way to have unity, because if they didn't get that chance, then they would never shut up, and would always blame the opposition for not giving them a chance. I stopped speaking out. I went along.
What we got, of course, was hell on earth. Thousands were killed, thousands more were injured as Arafat unleashed unbridled terrorist attacks, using the guns our government had given him to kill Israelis, many of them women and children; using the free access into Israel to blow up pizza parlors and discos and Bar Mitzvah celebrations.
And then came my turn, sitting in the Park Hotel with my family, including my child and political opponent, who was all in favor of Oslo, when the building blew up.
When I came out of that alive with my husband and children, I swore never to be intimidated again. I swore that next time when know-nothings asserted political beliefs that were blatantly wrong, and would lead to disaster, I would oppose them openly, come what may. I would also never again suspend my disbelief that other people knew better, including high level academics, intellectuals and other elites. Including my closest family members. I would keep my common sense.
The presidential election of the most liberal and inexperienced politician in America - a man with strong Muslim ties and a strong Muslim background; a man who is linked to domestic terrorism through Bill Ayers, and to numerous pro-Islamic and anti-American advisors, all of whom side with Israel's Leftist enemies (including Israelis), as well as to anti-American anti-Semites like Reverend Wright, a man whose supporters are among the same people who brought down the American economy with their 'liberalism' in money-lending - is just about a fait accompli. I have no idea what has happened to the America I knew. I have no idea what happened to the American Jewish community's support for Israel, how it has been washed away by deceptive self-interest and propaganda lies. But when I think what is in store for the America which is doing this to herself, and the American Jewish community that thinks by selling out Israel it will somehow achieve "change" that will benefit it, my heart aches.
I know that I am helpless to stop this juggernaut towards disaster. Perhaps it is America's turn to experience first hand what we in Israel experienced: the consequences of electing a leadership which does not have the best interests of the country in mind; which has an agenda that has nothing to do with those interests. Sometimes people have to make horrible mistakes in order to learn that they are horrible mistakes. In Israel, this included over 25,000 terrorist attacks. Children dying in the streets. Being afraid to walk to the bus stop or enter a store.
Americans have had a wonderful life in a wonderful country. Everybody in the world wants to live in America. Now, Americans want "change." They are about to get it.
May God watch over them. Maybe this is how G-d intends to get them all to make Aliyah? I wonder how they'll feel when they are sitting here with the rest of us, Obama in the White House, and Iran with an atom bomb.