What is it about saying "Death to Israel" that makes so many people feel so good?
Why is it, that so many people find so many ways to say it?
You can literally hear a new one every day. Sometimes twice.
This was, in fact, Death to Israel Weekend on the radical Islamist network. On Friday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar kicked things off at a rally in Khan Yunis, bringing down the house by declaring that Israel is "an abomination in the Middle East" that will someday "disappear."
"We will never recognize Israel, and in the end the [fate of] Zionists will be like that of the Crusaders, the Persians and the English, who left," said Zahar, a founding father of Hamas.
"We want all of Palestine, every centimeter, from the river to the sea, from Rosh Hanikra to Rafah. If we can form a state within the 1967 borders we will do so, but this doesn't mean that we will relinquish our right to every centimeter of Palestine's land."
There it is. No room for us Jews. No room for our history, our past presence here. No room for our common ancestry with the Palestinians. No room for Abraham. He was, after all, not from here. He was from Mesopotamia. Let him go back.
There it is. There's not a centimeter that we can call our own. But don't take Zahar's word for it. Listen to a speech from later that same day.
The occasion was the Silver Anniversary observance of al-Quds Day, a national festival of protests the length and breadth of Iran, meant as a tribute to the Jewish-occupied Holy City of Jerusalem (al-Quds in Arabic).
The speaker was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose opening reference to Israel said that there was no reason for Israel to exist.
"This regime, thanks to God, has lost the reason for its existence," Ahmadinejad told thousands at a Death to Israel pep rally in Tehran.
"Efforts to stabilize this fake (Israeli) regime, by the grace of God, have completely failed ... You should believe that this regime is disappearing," he said.
In a uniquely Mideastern mirror image of Theodor Herzl's 1897 prediction that a Jewish state would be founded "perhaps in five years, but certainly in 50," sworn enemies of Zionism have begun consoling themselves with the belief that relief from Israel's existence is just a matter of time.
These days, Jews have begun to suspect the same thing.
The comments of Nobel Laureate Yisrael Robert Aumann, who last week voiced doubts regarding Israel's long-term ability to survive, have reverberated far from the West Bank college where they were delivered.
"If we don't understand why we are here, and that we are not America or just a place in which to live, we will not survive," Aumann told a gathering at the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel.
"The desire to live like all the nations will sustain us maybe another 50 years, if we are still here."
Of course, the Death to America types might argue that the United States is no place to live, either.
This is probably the point at which I should make my confession. For some reason, all this talk of Death to Israel has fueled my optimism about this place.
In play, I want to believe, is what may be called the Herzl Inversion Principle, which states: "If you dream it, it will boomerang."
Around here, where you're not likely to get what you dream about anyway, things tend to blow up in your face in a way that has all the earmarks of a personal affront.
Just ask the Israeli right, which worked tirelessly for the election of Ariel Sharon, and wound up with the obliteration of all settlements in the Gaza Strip, and the erasure of four in the West Bank.
Just ask the Israeli left, which worked tirelessly for the election of Amir Peretz, and wound up with Avigdor Lieberman.
Be careful what you wish for. Or, as Ahmadinejad himself said in the Al-Quds Day stemwinder:
"Don't complain tomorrow."
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