The Modern Amalekites
British Take On Role of Israels Biblical
Foe in Barring Him From Homeland
As one looks through the newspapers of this time a year
ago, one wonders at the things that were possible in Palestine only 12
Dispatches then reported strict curfews imposed on cities
and even entire areas of the country by means of which the population
was placed under house arrest for weeks; sentences to the gallows and
firing squads; exiles to Kenya without trial or even formal accusation;
ships intercepted on the sea and rammed; and the High Commissioners
or military chiefs summoning the heads of the Jewish Agency and
speaking to them arrogantly.
Pictures in newspapers showed Jewish inhabitants of towns
and farms corralled behind barbed wire. Today the jailer and the hangman
are thrown out of the Holy Land. The barbed wire exists only on Cyprus.
A few days ago we read of the military parade in Tel-Aviv,
when the city of 250,000 crowded the streets and the rooftops and thunderously
cheered the Israeli fighters who came from the fronts of Negeb, and Saron,
and Jerusalem, and Emek, and Galilee. A nation defended a little place
under the sun.
* * *
It is not correct to say that the nation was born. The
nation never died.When the boys and girls of Kfar-Etzion in the wilderness
of Hebron sacrificed their lives that the gates of Palestine might be
opened to survivors from Dachau and Oswieczim, no kin of theirs, or to
immigrants, unknown to them, from Romania and Galicia, then, by the Almighty,
they in Kfar-Etzion and in Oswieczim are of one nation.
There will come a day when new chapters will be written
in the Hebrew Bible, chapters that will record the history of the wandering
of the Jews among nations and of their life as a persecuted minority everywhere,
and of their return to their homeland after a long nightmare.
* * *
The Hebrew Bible is the history of the Jewish people
among the peoples of the world. The centuries of persecution for their
faithfulness to their religion and to their past, their contributions
to world civilization, their decimation in our day, and the return of
the remnants of Israel to their homeland are biblical themes
that await only the penmen to write them and a conclave to include them
in the Scriptures.
When Israel went out from Egypt, from the furnace of
affliction, the Amalekites met him on his way to Canaan and blocked his
path. The Amalekites fell upon the wanderers in the wilderness, the weary
survivors of Egyptian racial persecution.
The 25th Chapter of Deuteronomy reads:
Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way,
when ye were come forth out of Egypt. How he met thee by the way, and
smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when
thou wast faint and weary, and he feared not God.
* * *
In the cast of characters in the modern drama the Nazis
with their death chambers played the role of Pharaoh and the Egyptians,
but the role of the Amalekites belongs to the British. In the darkest
hour of the long-suffering Israel the British kept the doors of Palestine
closed, in spite of the fact that the White Paper of 1939 was pronounced
an illegal document by the Permanent Mandate Commission of the League
of Nation in its session of June 8-29, 1939.
The British branded those who tried to come to Palestine
as illegal immigrants, though it was they and not the immigrants
who acted illegally. The Royal Navy intercepted the Jews returning to
the Promised Land on the desert of the sea and carried them into the barbed-wire
enclosures of Cyprus.
Despite the indisputable decision of the Security Council
of the United Nations that during the truce period on Palestine the age
of the immigrants should not bar them from entering the State of Israel,
and that only military personnel should not enter the land, a decision
that was separately voted on and therefore cannot be misinterpreted, the
British have condemned all males between 17 and 45 years of age, who were
illegally seized and imprisoned on Cyprusmore than 10,000 personsto
* * *
The British jailer loves his work and feels lost if he
has no prisoners behind his walls. At the same time he has presented a
fat bill for keeping the kidnaped immigrants in the prison of Cyprus.
The British are inscribing themselves in the annals of
humankind as breakers of international law. Being modern Amalekites, they
have chosen the same placethe approaches to the Holy Landand
the same peoplethe eternal nation of Israelas the object of
their historic crime.