Faith in the Future
Blass - September 2003
My name is Shlomo Blass.
I was born 29 years ago in Jerusalem, in the days before people thought twice before boarding buses or sitting in crowded pizza shops.
I am the oldest of 8 children. My parents who grew up and met in the U.S. decided to return to their ancient homeland where they also married.
When I was less than one year old my parents joined the group of pioneers which established Ofra -the first Jewish town in Samaria since the exile of our people 2000 years ago.
Until this day some people will identify me as the first Jewish child in Samaria.
Growing up on the mountains of Samaria seemed like the most natural thing to me. The landscape scenes I was living in, intermeshed with the heritage and history of my people.
The road from Jerusalem to Ofra was on the what is known to archeologists as the "trail of the ancestors", the town of Beth El Ėonly a few KMís away - was the place where our ancestor Jacob stopped for the night when escaping from his brother Esso who was out to kill him. This is where he saw the ladder standing on earth but reaching heaven and the angels going up and down and joining him to protect him.
My family lives now in Neve Tzuf. Tzuf was the area where the young Saul of the tribe of Ephraim went searching for his fatherís missing mules only to discover he was chosen to be Israelís first king. On the road leading to Tel Aviv (only half an hour away) is an ancient burial cave which some archeologists identify with the grave of Joshua who led our people into the land. I visited the place many years ago with a few friends. I would really like to take a walk to that place again today but I know that by doing so I would put my life in danger and too many sad examples can prove my point. Like the two 14 year olds from Tekoa Yossi Ishran & Kobi Mandel who went hiking a only few kilometers from their house and were brutally murdered by an Arab sheep herder who after killing the two by smashing their heads with a big rock tore their bodies apart and spread their blood on the rocks and land they loved so much.
I am a journalist.
I have seen things you have never seen and which I hope you will never have to see either.
I have seen the torn up and burnt bodies of the victims of the Arab terror. I have seen the bodies of mothers who will never return home to their bereaved children and husband. I have seen baby carriages covered with the blood of innocent babies whose only sin was that they were born Jewish.
I remember one time when I was covering yet another Arab terror attack in Jerusalem I met a young boy. He seemed about 12 or 13 years old he did not cry or yell but I could see the horror in his eyes. "Did you see what happened, were you here?" I asked the boy "yes" he said "I saw it all". Shortly after, he disappeared among the many policemen, medics and journalists who were on the scene.
How often do we stop to think about of the generation of children who will have to grow up with these sights imprinted in their minds forever? With the fear they may be next on line?
My youngest brother is 11 years old now. My parents do all they can so he will grow up like any child in a normal country. But they canít prevent him from seeing the newspaper headlines or from hearing of a friends mother who was murdered by an Arab sniper on the way home from the school she taught in.
Yes, I know there is pain and suffering on the other side as well. Arab babies die too, I know. But the simplistic equation made by outsiders infuriates me. The death of an innocent child is seen by Israelis as a tragic mistake while at the same time our enemies see a Jewish boy as a legitimate target and his death as the outcome of a successful attack. After large scale terror attacks even after September 11 crowds of Palestinians took to the streets to celebrate.
I am a religious Jew living in his homeland some call me a settler.
I donít hate Arabs. I donít hate Muslims. I donít hate. I donít preach for hate or teach to hate. When will I have a child I will tell himĖlike my parents told me when I was younger- that there are good Arabs and there are bad Arabs. There are terrorists and there are people who just want to live in peace. Unfortunately I know my Arab neighborís children are not being taught the same. Palestinian children grow up being taught that Jews are the sons of pigs and monkeys and that they should be killed wherever they are. They see the incitement on the official TV channels they learn it from their school books and hear it in their mosques. At the same time my little brother is playing soccer in his summer camp the Palestinian summer camps are teaching their children how to use guns and the value of becoming a martyr. I truly feel sorry for those children. I ask myself sometimes if there is any chance that these children will even know the option of peace exists? I guess the Arab terror will not stop in killing the preset it must also do its best to kill the future.
You might think I am an angry or bitter person. But the truth is exactly the opposite. I have faith in the future. I have faith in our peopleís destiny. Our nation survived the European death camps and much more and will come out strong again.
I believe that there is a purpose for our life on earth. We can really make the world a better place and the world Ėthroughout history- is slowly becoming a better place.
The way to continue is to fight for good and against evil. We as human beings must not compromise our morals. We must make distinctions between right and wrong. Zionism, the return of the Jewish people to their land after centuries of exile and suffering is right. The truth will win at the end even if it takes time. Even if the world will once again decide to stand aside while "the Jew" is being butchered once again. The truth will win even if the European Union keeps supporting the Palestinian Authority and its terror organizations. I have no doubt in my heart truth will win even if it isnít in my life time. And while my enemies are motivated by feelings of hate and destruction I will continue to live and build and grow and fight for the truth. You are from a different country and speak a different language but we are all human and these things are in the base of human aspirations. I hope you understand.
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