What Would you do?

“What would you do if your government decided by a democratic parliamentary vote that Maale Adumim would be part of a Palestinian state? Would you resist?”

“I hope that’s a hypothetical question. I usually try to avoid dealing with hypothetical questions. The real ones are hard enough.” (polite laughter)

“What are you a politician? Why are you afraid to answer? What would you do if soldiers came to evict you?”

“Look, let’s not limit this question to me. After all, the dilemma is not one faced exclusively by settlers. What would an Israeli Arab do if the government decided by a democratic parliamentary vote to evict him from his house? I hope he’d do his best to resist and I hope we’d both be there to support him.

What would any of you do if your government decided to evict Jews or Arabs from their homes in Germany just because of who they are. To expel a person from his home because of his religion or ethnic origins is immoral and a democratic vote doesn’t make the decision any less monstrous. It just means that those deciding are immoral too.”

“So you would resist?”


“By force? Physically?”

“Of course. That’s what resistance means.”

“How far would you go? Would you use weapons? Do you have a gun?”

“There’s an old Jewish story about a very righteous man who had found favor in the eyes of  G-d. Elijah the prophet was sent to him to grant him a wish and he asked to meet the person who would sit next to him in heaven. Elijah agreed and gave him the name of a man called Simon in a village he’d never heard of. Our hero decided to go to meet Simon; he assumed that he’d be a just and learned man like himself.

On arriving at the village the visitor asked where Simon lived. The villagers seemed to be laughing and could not understand why someone of his standing would want to meet ‘Fat Simon’.

The man arrived at Simon’s house, which was dirty and neglected as was its owner. Simon was a obese, unfriendly ignoramus who seemed to just spend most of his day eating. ‘How could this be?’ thought the righteous man. ‘Shall I be sharing eternity with this man? There must be more to him than meets the eye.’

He interrogated Fat Simon, ‘Do you study Torah? Do you give charity? Do you help people?’

‘No’ answered Fat Simon. The man would not give up. ‘Have you never done a good deed? Tell me Simon, why are you so fat?’

Finally to this question Simon had an answer. “When I was a little boy I went with my father one day to market. On the way back we were set upon by anti-Semites. After they had stolen everything, they tied my father to a tree in order to burn him to death.

You see, my father was a small, thin man and I remember watching him burn. He shouted, “Shmema Yisrael” but hadn’t even completed the first line of the prayer and he was just a cinder. In a few seconds nothing was left of my father.

I ran away and on that day I decided I would eat. I would eat and I’d eat and I’d become fatter and fatter. I’d become the fattest Jew in the world. And one day when they catch me, when they tie me to a tree, I won’t burn out in a minute. I’ll burn and I’ll burn and the fire will light up the whole world. On that day all of humanity will know that a Jew is sanctifying his Maker’s name!”

And that is why we will all resist too. Not because we can overcome the IDF, of course we can’t. I’d be petrified to live in a country in which a few old, overweight guys like me can defeat our army. Nor would I ever lift up my hand against one of my sons, and they are all my sons. But would I resist? I would.  And on that day the whole world would know that a Jew is being expelled from his home in Eretz Yisrael.”


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14 Responses to What Would you do?

  1. Co-author (of many) says:

    Goose bump inducing. Let’s pray it never comes to that.

  2. Silke says:


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on that perfect dilemma – I hope you’ll do it again and again.

    One objection though:

    I’d prefer it, if this would include us gals. You have no idea how electrifying the fact that women were serving in your army was to me and my friends (boys and girls alike) when we first heard of it, way way back then. It felt like a breath of fresh air.

    Nor would I ever lift up my hand against one of my sons, and they are all my sons.

  3. Judah says:

    Point taken Silke.

    However, in fairness, the IDF has a policy of male soldiers handling male civilians and female soldiers handling females. It avoids charges of sexual improprieties and is in-keeping with Jewish law.

    My eldest daughter served in the IDF and my second soon will. I have nothing but respect for work that women soldiers do.

  4. Silke says:

    I have nothing but respect for work that women soldiers do.

    I’d have guessed so knowing you the way I do, but much to my amazement I have had to realize that the insistence on mentioning us makes a difference, no matter how silly it may sound at times in my heavily gendered native language. Having had to learn that it has turned me into a nitpicker for it, even though I don’t follow feminist dogma into how evil men are … too many of you just aren’t
    And again when first the news reached us that Israeli women had to serve just like men do we greatly admired Israel for it.

    btw maybe this talk is of interest to you – it was to me

  5. Judah says:

    “I don’t follow feminist dogma into how evil men are … too many of you just aren’t” –
    Interesting use of the word “too”. I guess you’re the type who prefers bad boys (lol).

  6. Silke says:

    The “too” was quite innocently meant to highlight the fact that IMHO there are more of you who are not only not evil but outright decent.

    And no I don’t prefer bad boys – I prefer adults in all sexes

  7. Judah says:

    “..all sexes”?? Are you saying what I think you’re saying?

  8. Silke says:

    I don’t know what you think I am saying –
    but having recently read some stories about the abominable behaviour of the medical class when having to deal with humans of physically uncertain sex I wish to include them and so shy away from saying both sexes. It is clumsy I know but I abhor of them scientists defining what’s “normal”.

  9. Abu Zibby says:

    Talking to Silke is like eating Tofu – you know something is there but you never get the idea.

  10. Silke says:

    Abu Zibby
    discriminating the Japanese by maligning their food is behaviour that doesn’t behoof a gentleman.

  11. Abu Zibby says:

    the word ‘Tofu’ derived from Chinese. There is are many well know sayings about fighting ‘Tofu’.

    Was du indes wissen solltest: Du bist eine entsetzliche Nudnikit und jedre Blog wäre ohne Dich als Kommenatatorin besser dran. Die Penetranz mir der Du Dich eisnchleimen willst ist mir abscheulich.

  12. Silke says:

    not “einschleimen willst” – einschleimst describes it correctly –
    I don’t want to do it, I do it

    When it comes to being nice to people I admire I am not a procrastinator I am a doer

    for y’all
    “einschleimen” is hard to translate – a literal translation would be “slime in”
    envisage the trail one of these snails leave http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_whsyK_2nHKg/SlRlQpSf53I/AAAAAAAAALs/1pSflplO1tA/s400/Nacktschnecke.jpg
    – in English I’d probably use “suck up”, if I wanted to describe a similar action.

  13. Co-author (of many) says:

    Silke what was that wonderful word you once taught me….? It was used to describe undesirable people….what was it…?

  14. Silke says:

    I don’t remember, I remember vaguely you once liked something, but can’t remember what it was, anyway my normal reaction to within limits despicable people is “Eumel” in English one would write it Oymel. It is Hessian and I can’t really describe what an Eumel is, except that I recognize one when I meet one. I suspect though that these Hessian expressions have a lot to thank to Yiddish, Frankfurt having been a center.

    BTW talking about Frankfurt, have you read that wonderful piece by Lee Smith in Tablet about that Israeli Nobel Laureate specialising in game theory, the man speaks from my heart and explains all I’ve been convinced of for quite some time so much better than I ever could. Here he is: enjoy!

    another nice Hessian word is a Fulder, the u is pronounced as a short oo. A Fulder is somebody too dumb to realize he has no manners.

    I just love “sucking up” to you – have a good time and take care – love!!!

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