Fifty years ago, Elie Wiesel, then a little known Israeli news correspondent in the U.S. wrote a book that shook the soul of a generation: “The Jews of Silence.” Wiesel described two kinds of of silence: Jews in Galut who were silent about the fate of their brethren in the USSR… the Jews who were silenced in the USSR.

At Akiba, the high school I attended in Philadelphia, our student council asked Wiesel to speak for the school commencement ceremony for the class of 1967, the year before I graduate. And Wiesel did speak on the night of June 6, 1967, the second night of the Six day war, following a three week siege of which frightened the Jewish world.

Wiesel tossed out his prepared text, and addressed “an Israel that stood alone” in May 1967. “Where was France, Israel’s only ally?”, Wiesel asked. Wiesel said that the moments of trepidation in May 1967 brought him back to World War II when Jews stood alone and to the fate of his family in the crematoria-when no one cared, and when few spoke out when it counted. Indeed, Wiesel’s message that night was that we are indeed alone, which meant that we cannot be silent in the face of overwhelming odds.

Fast foreward 47 years: A nascent entity has emerged on Israel’s frontiers, carved out of the PLO-the Palestine Liberation Organization-created by the Arab League in 1964 to galvanize local Arabs to liberate Palestine, all of Palestine, under the war whoop of the “right of return”-by force of arms. Twenty years ago, with the launch of the peace process and the Palestinian Authority, you could not discern that the message of the PA was one of peace. But the people of Israel hoped for the best, because this was a peace process.

Why is this Pesach different than any other Passover for the past 20 years? Now, all bets are off. The PA does not mask its genocidal purpose, to wipe out the state of of Israel and to replace it with an Arab Palestine.

All you have to do is to watch PA TV, listen to PA radio, read PA newspapers, peruse PA school books and follow all public statements of the PA. Most people in Israel prefer not to see the PA. Most people do not even know that the Arab League pioneered the PLO to join the continuing the 1948 war to exterminate the entity that is Israel.

The people of Israel hope for the best, listening to news anchors who speak every day about a peace process and about an entity which is described as a peace partner.

It would seem that some people, even when they are sober, can not tell the difference between Mordecai and Haman. Perhaps that is the reason why Purim and Pesach are obligatory. On both festival days, Jews cope with the reality that in every generation, there are those who really want to exterminate the Jews… To paraphrase Wiesel, God does not want the people of Israel to become “Jews of Silence.”


  1. so what is your solution? You have a weak leader and a weak governmental system. Direct elections would ensure you don’t wind up with losers like Olmert and weaklings like Bibi.

    If you don’t ask you don’t get. Isn’t it time Israel grew up and became a real democracy instead of the paternalistic system of party bosses? Good luck, Am Yisrael Chai

  2. Jabotinsky’s "Iron Wall" was first published in 1923. At that time the message
    was revolutionary. Now 91 years later the situation is the same, the players
    are enacting their same roles but the balance of power has shifted. Now is
    the moment for Israel to implement Jabo"s words and his philosophy and take
    the necessary steps to exerting sovereignty over all of Eretz Israel.


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.