“The tanach is our kushan to the land of Israel." That sentence, uttered by Ben Gurion, has stayed with me all week as I finished reading the transcripts from the 1936 Peel-Commission.It wasn’t a random choice to go through them again; I was planning to write an article on my connection to Israel, my Aliya and my thoughts on our land after coming back to Sweden after what came to be one intense summer. But things changed.I am writing this five minutes after I learned of the assassination attempt on Yehuda Glick, a well-known Temple Mount activist who works tirelessly for Jews' right to pray at our holiest site. Yehuda Glick was gunned down by someone on a motorcycle after he had given a speech at the Begin Center, a method eerily similar to the one used in the shooting of an IDF soldier at Mount Scopus, just a few weeks ago. Before this shooting, the talk of the day was the fact that senior members of the Obama administration had referred to Bibi Netanyahu as “chicken-shit.” The day before that it was the international outcry over Israeli construction in east Jerusalem and the UN under-secretary-general saying that Israel seemed ”unwilling to promote peace”. Tonight, as I follow the constant updates on social media, I see the story of tomorrow shaping, and the headline reads “restraint.” Jerusalem is boiling and our children are slain in a third intifada, meanwhile the White House is busy calling Bibi names and demanding Israeli restraint in the face of mindless terror. They call for that, again and again. Restraint as a tractor kills pedestrians in downtown Jerusalem. Restraint, when a baby is murdered in front of her parents. Restraint, when terrorists run down a young woman, waiting at the light-rail station. Restraint when three boys are murdered and thrown in a ditch like trash. Restraint as terror tightens its grip and those we are supposed to make peace with are taking to the streets to celebrate our sorrow. In the piece I was supposed to write, before all of this, I wanted to describe my yearning for the land I was born to inhabit.For days I had tried to capture my fear of how being a citizen of the state might cost me my connection to the land, losing what had sustained me all those years in the galut; my fundamentally religious link to Israel and its sacred borders.That somehow the two would get mixed up and I would forget what was, lose sight of all the things I had fought for. Tonight I fear that, for all of us.I fear that as they attempt to hunt us down in our streets and indict us in their assemblies we will succumb to the choir of international condemnation and forget that every time we answer their accusations we lose a bit of our truth and give credibility to those undeserving. As I was reading Ben Gurion’s speech from '36 I thought of the times in our history when we were asked to show our papers, all the times we offered up our proof of birth, of blood and ownership. I thought of all the times those things were taken from us, piece by piece, either way. I pray tonight for the swift recovery of Yehuda Glick, and for us all to find strength in these words, as they were spoken: The tanach is our kushan to the land of Israel.
We protect, we build, and we govern what is ours. Emet Veyatziv.