By Simon Fischler
Dear Mister President:
Congratulations on discovering the State or Israel or what we correctly call "The Jewish State." (And try telling that to your buddy, Mahmoud Abbas.)
Even though you could not find the time to visit Israel during your first team, I'll go along with the bromide, "Better late than never."
That is, "Better late than never" with an asterisk. Something like this:
* (Provided you're learning something about Israel on this visit.)
That said, some Israelis -- me included -- optimistically believe that when it comes to my country you are figuring out which countries are your friends (Israel, leading the list) and which are on the other side. (Start off with Egypt on that list.)
Some of us even hope that you even can acknowledge -- with some difficulty, of course -- the Hebrew/Jewish/Israeli nation's connection to Israel that dates back thousands of years -- and was established before Arabs arrived here.
Here's a bit more useful background information which may have eluded you. Start with the Merrian Webster Dictionary's definitions of Jew:
1. A member of the tribe of Judah; b. Israelite.
2. A member of a nation existing in the Land of Israel from the Sixth Century B.C. to the First Century, A.D.
3. A person belonging to a continuation through descent or conversion of the ancient Jewish people.
4. One whose religion is Judaism.
The first three definitions refer to a tribe, a people, a nation. Why? Because being a Jew meant being part of a tribe or nation long before it meant being part of a religion. And you may rightfully ask why the definition of the word -- or name -- Jew has become so important in today's world?
I'll tell you why: For thousands of years other nations -- mostly conquerers expanding their empires -- have bullied, persecuted, exiled and mass murdered Jews in the Land of Israel.
Jews always have existed within and among other cultures as well as in their own lands with a national code of conduct which takes precedence over everything.
The Greeks enslaved and killed us because we turned our backs on Greek culture. This, in turn, led to one of the first wars for Jewish freedom which, today, is called Zionism.
Then there were the Romans who not only destroyed our country and capital city of Jerusalem but renamed them both and transplanted a majority of the Jews from Israel to Rome. The Romans attempted to erase us from geographical history but failed.
This was the first Jewish holocaust and was brought down on our nation by the Romans (Europeans) because we dared to fight once again for Jewish freedom (Zionism) in the province of Judah, or Israel.
Next came descendants of your pals, the Arabs. They invaded us, colonized our land and disgustingly built their Dome of the Rock and Al Aksa Mosque on our Temple Mount.
I know that you know all about the pogroms instituted by Eastern Europeans -- yes, Russia included, Mister Putin -- in which endless scores of Jews were killed.
You've also heard of the Nazis' "Final Solution" that neither solved anything nor was final.
Mister President, it's important for you to know that in all of the above cases we were persecuted and killed because we were the Jewish nation -- a people apart with our own code of conduct, no matter where we lived -- not the Jewish religion.
Beware of today's revisionists, from the colonialist Arabs to the far right Nazis. Each tries to deny, whitewash and denigrate these irrefutable historic truths about Jews. These anti-semitic revisionists -- beware of some in your own contingent -- are attempting to remove this integral part of our identity from us.
We know we have a fight on our hands -- nothing new to Jews.
We know that these so-called "cool" cultures such as the fanatic Islamists, leftists and rightists all have taken pages from the Nazi manual. But we are fighting back. The Israeli Defense Forces strikes major blows when necessary. The bullying and persecution of yesteryear doesn't work for the Jew-haters as it did in the past centuries.
Furthermore, Mister President. Get this and get it straight:
* Jerusalem has always been a majority Jewish city and is mentioned 699 times in the Tanach; but not once in the Koran.
* Jerusalem has always been the most sacred and holy city for the Jewish Nation.
* When the Romans sacked Jerusalem in the Year 70, there were close to -- or more than -- one million Jews killed. And there's archaeological proof to support this fact.
President Obama, you claim to support the security of Israel but you seem to do so in the most tepid ways and certainly not by actions.
Now is the time for you to declare the Israeli truisms and condemn those who fight against the only democracy in the Middle East.
It's time for you to make clear to the world that anyone who calls Israel and apartheid state is an anti-Semite -- and an enemy of peace.
Yes, we're glad you're here in Israel. But we want more than a ceremonial visit filled with cheery homilies.
We want genuine support and we'll know soon enough whether you mean it when you said you "have Israel's back."