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  • Writer's pictureDavid L. Burg

November 16, 2023: Published by Townhall - "From The Sea To The River Savages Don't Get A Sliver"

I'm pleased to let you all know that Townhall again has published my latest column:

Here's the piece as submitted (without their few publication boo-boos):

In early 2009 there was an ugly war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas. One sunny afternoon hundreds of people gathered near UCLA to support Israel. My wife and I attended the rally with our three young sons, then ages 7, 6, and 4. We proudly waved our Israeli flag and sang “AM YISRAEL CHAI” (“the people of Israel live”) with friends and strangers alike. It was an inspirational experience for our family.

But it also was shocking.

Across Wilshire Boulevard a crowd of pro-Hamas demonstrators also gathered. (In retrospect, I suspect they were organized by the UCLA chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, a Hamas front with branches at many American colleges and universities.) I didn’t question their right to be there or to express their views. But one particular slogan they shouted over and over again frankly stunned me: “FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA PALESTINE WILL BE FREE.” I hadn’t previously heard these words. As I explained to our young boys that day, this was not a call for a Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel. This was a demand for Israel’s destruction.

Of course, this vile chant – with identical banners advocating the annihilation of Israel and its Jews – has since been a ubiquitous feature of Palestinian demonstrations worldwide. Prior to October 7, 2023, however, many of my fellow American Jews refused to accept the obvious implication of these poisonous words: Because Hamas has never viewed its conflict with Israel as a border dispute – rather, Hamas exists solely to destroy Israel and thoroughly rid the Holy Land of Jews – a Palestinian state alongside Israel never has been acceptable to these reprobates.

Moreover, and despite tiresome protestations to the contrary, Hamas is not merely a radical fringe group. To the contrary, Hamas is quite popular among Palestinians worldwide. Indeed, Hamas was voted into control of Gaza nearly twenty years ago, and Fatah – which controls the Palestinian Authority that governs parts of Judea and Samaria – has long refused to hold elections there because they know Hamas will win resoundingly.

Now, with our sudden focus on this long-ignored Hamas death chant, for many American Jews the awful events of October 7 – and the concurrent explosion of vicious Jew hatred on our streets and campuses – has not merely been a nightmarish mini-Holocaust in our own time. Rather, it has forced these Jews to reassess their fundamental beliefs about Israel and its neighbors. Most of them have long been committed to the “Two-State Solution.” For them, peace with Israel’s neighbors was always just one more Israeli concession away. In fact, had they been living in Israel last month many of them, or their children, likely would have attended the peace festival where hundreds of young Jews were savagely raped and slaughtered by Nazi-like Hamas barbarians invading from Gaza.

Unquestionably, then, the awful events of the past few weeks have awakened American Jews from their long and deep slumber. But now what? As the shock wears off from the unmitigated evil unleased on October 7 – and the subsequent massive global demonstrations celebrating this Jewish carnage – it is clear that sudden widespread interest in firearms is insufficient. Rather, we must passionately and courageously rise up together in rare unity against this monstrous Jew hatred that is defiling our beloved country.

For example, American Jews across the political spectrum should unceasingly insist that state and federal authorities fully protect Jewish students on campuses across the county, and aggressively prosecute those who threaten their safety and security as zealously as government and university officials certainly would act to protect other minority student groups. We also should demand that the federal government revoke student and professor visas granted to anyone advocating harm to Jews or destruction of the State of Israel. We must not allow those whom we’ve graciously invited here to threaten Americans while simultaneously working – from our own soil – to destroy America’s strongest and most important Middle Eastern ally.

And here’s one more modest suggestion: Whenever we gather to express our unwavering support for Israel – as Americans of all faiths must do in ever increasing numbers and frequency – let’s loudly and enthusiastically respond to the vile Hamas chant calling for Israel’s destruction with our own poetic dose of reality: “FROM THE SEA TO THE RIVER SAVAGES DON’T GET A SLIVER.”

Fellow Jews and our many wonderful American friends: Let’s be heard – loudly and unambiguously – at this perilous moment in our history!

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