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It's Time for Us Jews to Go Back Into Exile

B. Michael
B. Michael
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Jewish worshippers take part in the traditional priestly blessing prayer during Passover, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City in April
Jewish worshippers take part in the traditional priestly blessing prayer during Passover, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City in April Credit: Ronen Zvulun/ Reuters
B. Michael
B. Michael

I’m a proud exilic Jew. I’m an internationalist and a cosmopolitan. I’m also devoid of any relationship to my geographic birthplace, and “land” to me is just the dirt in which food grows and people are buried. It doesn’t have a single milligram of sanctity, and it isn’t worth even a single drop of blood.

My true homeland, I have learned the hard way, is found in words. In books, ideas, values and principles. I know how to be a good, useful citizen of any country I might live in, and I’ve accepted my inability to be a patriot.

Above all, I’m good at being a people. For 2,000 years, I’ve already been a people – without power, without territory, without an army, without a Temple. I’m quite proud of my people’s long-playing survival. I’m especially proud of the fact that this people never perpetrated a single massacre or a single mass atrocity during its 2,000 years of survival. There aren’t many peoples who can say the same.

In contrast, quite a few atrocities were perpetrated against it. But miracle of miracles, the slaughterers were annihilated and the slaughtered survived. They once again proved that soft grass is superior to a hard stick.

In our own day, we’ve learned that we owe our survival to being geographically dispersed rather than geographically concentrated. To diversity rather than unity. To communities rather than a state.

We’re really terrible at being a “nation.” We very quickly become as stupid, violent and greedy as most of the other nations of the world, and within a short time we brought destruction and exile on ourselves. Only there, in exile, do we regain the sense we lost and resume being a people that survives.

Apparently, being a majority doesn’t suit us – ruling, running an army and a state. We’re good at being a minority. Even a little persecution suits us. It brings out the best in us.

And now, we’re once again playing at being a “nation.” Ostensibly, that’s our eternal answer to the Holocaust that befell us. But in reality, it’s the continuation of the Holocaust. Not, heaven forbid, the burning of our bodies, only the crushing of our souls.

It’s the growth of another shoot from the Jewish tree that does harm to everyone around it. A rotten, poisonous brother of the Zealots, the Sicarii, Rabbi Akiva’s blind students and Simon bar Kochba’s foolish disciples. They ought to be called Jew-oids. They’re like Jews who took the trivial and wicked parts of Judaism and turned it into the essence.

And that’s how we got to where we are – a small, arrogant, violent, wicked “nation.” A little fish in a little pond and an ally to pariahs. The visionary whose efforts led to the state’s creation, were he to rise from his grave and see the results of his vision, would jump back in his coffin and demand that his bones be taken back to Vienna.

There is no longer any escape from this morass. Seventy-five years of racism and violence have thoroughly corrupted the Israeli electorate. No sane government will be elected here anymore. Consequently, there’s no choice but to admit that Zionism was a naïve mistake and to go into exile again to regain our strength and refresh our values.

I have already been exiled. Even internal exile is okay, for now. I’m currently an exile in the land where I was born. I’m once again a minority, once again a wimp who doesn’t belong, once again fairly powerless and a rather odd duck. Just the way I like it.

And like the Jews in all the countries of their exile, I take care to libel the one I live in, celebrate my holidays rather its holidays, despise its government and its actions and, of course, stab the nation in the back. Actually, a knife is a little too big for me. I’ll make do with the illusion that I’ve managed to stick a needle in the nation’s rear end.

(As for controlling the money and the media, as well as the secret cabals, I’m afraid I haven’t met the expectations of the Jews. But maybe the rumors those antisemitic Jew-oids spread about us will fill that hole.)

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