Some time back in the misty shadows of my Junior High days, I read W.W. Jacobs’ classic horror story “The Monkey’s Paw” – a pretty predictable spine-chiller of 1902 vintage. It opens when the White family’s cozy evening around the hearth is disrupted by a visitor who brings into the idyllic setting a mummified monkey’s paw from India, supernaturally empowered to grant its owner three wishes. The Whites are cautioned not to give in to temptation – but irresistibly they do, with ghastly consequences.
The narrative is preceded by an anonymous quotation: “Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it.”
Thus forewarned, I should have known better a number of years thereafter than to wish the area that at the time surrounded Tel-Aviv’s hectic Central Bus Station excised from the cityscape.
It was too Levantine for my youthful snobbery of yore. I used to joke that the only sliver of Eretz Yisrael which I’d cede – assuming Israel absolutely must make territorial concessions to attain peace – is the teeming Neveh Sha’anan neighborhood (whose name ironically means “placid oasis”).
SHOCKINGLY, MY wish came true. Tel-Aviv’s erstwhile hub has essentially been ripped out and commandeered (though, as was consistently proven true of all our territorial forfeitures, this one too bore no connection whatever to any semblance of peace). The entire quarter, once dominated by the old bus station, has become an expanding ex-territorial lawless sphere where few Israelis dare to tread.
Anyone who indeed inadvertently wanders there would be hard put to recognize it as even remotely Israeli. Squalid and foul, it’s packed with an exotic collection of denizens who infiltrated the country and most of whom originally hail from the southern hemisphere. The once-so-familiar streets are nothing short of an alien scene. This is Tel-Aviv’s seamy dark underside and to venture there is truly dangerous.
It’s the city’s worst crime hotbed, not in the least comparable to anything known elsewhere in the greater metropolitan area. Numerous robberies and violent rapes are routinely reported there but more doubtless go unreported.
Last year 68-year-old Esther Galili was brutally beaten to death by an Eritrean illegal, Ya’acub Bashir al-Fadel, on Rehov Hagra, around the corner from what had been her home for decades. The unprovoked gruesome attack was captured by surveillance cameras. Galili was the last Israeli on her street. All others fled in panic and even foreign occupants fear for their lives.
Like many of Neveh Sha’anan’s current residents, al- Fadel crossed into Israel illegally from Egypt. Nobody knows precisely who he is and what his past was, criminal or otherwise. Nonetheless, al-Fadel was described in much of the media as a “Sudanese refugee,” although bona fide refugees from the Sudan’s Darfur region constitute merely a negligible fraction of Tel-Aviv’s migrant sub-Saharan population.
The obligatory omnipresent “refugee” adjective is apparently geared to arouse sympathy, even if undeserved, and justify leniency. It’s the favorite politically correct ploy wielded by our homegrown self-appointed guardians of the collective conscience. They tend to be faithful followers of fads and – of course – incorrigibly left-wing.
They’re also typically haughty and, for all their sanctimonious airs, severely deficient in social solidarity. Thus when dwellers of Tel-Aviv’s more disadvantaged sections demonstrated against the creeping African takeover of their neighborhoods, they were disdainfully scorned as racists by elitist pseudo-idealists who themselves live in posh “refugee-free” zones.
These prosperous preachers further responded to their fellow Israelis’ grassroots outcry by organizing counter-demonstrations of a mélange of Third World economic migrants all claiming to be political refugees and cynically harping on Jewish Holocaust-born sensitivities.
Attributing such crude manipulation to arrogant aloofness alone is superficial and lets the manipulators off too easily. We must distinguish between far-Left manipulators and those who fall for their manipulations. True, the conceit of moral superiority does boost the feel-good factor for useful idiots who readily succumb to manipulation. But for the more extreme ringleaders there is a much deeper underlying motive.
Hardly gullible do-gooders, these ringleaders have a proven track record. They’re the very ones who serially scare public opinion against hanging on to even a scrap of territory won in the 1967 war of self-defense forced upon us. Pointedly omitting mention of this country’s nine-mile wide waistline and the acute vulnerability of its densest population centers, leftists warn that Israel will lose its Jewish identity should it fail to forthwith divest itself of all its strategic assets.
To hear them, since this country was indeed founded to afford Jews the one place on earth where they aren’t an endangered minority, even suicidal sacrifices are mandated to maintain said Jewish majority.
It was in the name of this Jewish majority that the Left inflicted the Oslo folly upon us in 1993. Yet few Israelis are aware that as part of its Oslo undertakings Israel had admitted 150,000 Palestinian Arabs ostensibly to facilitate “family reunions.”
Needless to say their numbers have since swelled and massively inflated Arab population proportions within Israel proper – all in the name of safeguarding the Jewish majority.
The political Left, moreover, bitterly battles legislation geared to prevent a further Arab influx into the Jewish state in the fraudulent guise of “family reunions.” The very notion that Israeli/Arab-Palestinian couples can “reunite” beyond the Green-Line grievously offends its sensibilities. Our Left hankers for the migration of ever-greater number of Arabs into our Jewish-majority midst – all in the name of that hallowed Jewish majority they purportedly champion.
Simultaneously leftist groups cannot abide the notion that Israel require its so-called peace partners to recognize its legitimacy as a Jewish state rather than as an undefined de facto entity and candidate for future Arabization.
However viewed, the common denominator between disingenuous left-wing slogans and contradictory left-wing actions is the weakening of Israel as a Jewish state.
It’s time to acknowledge that anything which weakens Israel is eagerly espoused by left-wing manipulators – be it yielding territory to ever-implacable enemies, importing hostile Arabs, opposing legislation to reduce the danger of being overrun by would-be annihilators or even undermining efforts to stem the illegal (often Muslim) deluge from Africa.
According to police estimations presented to the Knesset by Police Asst.-Cmdr. Yoram Ohaion, 50,000 foreigners already inhabit Tel-Aviv, 12% of its total population. A million infiltrators are said to be on the way here via Egypt but left-wing propagandists paint assorted Ghanaians and Nigerians as Darfurians fleeing for their lives. They imply that we owe a solution here to every humanitarian plight and political conflict in the world.
They tell us that it behooves us to grant full citizenship rights to all who flock here illegally for whatever reason. They chant the Jewish-majority mantra but do everything to undercut that majority.
They should be careful what they wish for. If Jacobs is too old-hat, perhaps they should take their cue from rapper Eminem’s refrain:
“…be careful what you wish for
’ Cause you just might get it.
And if you get it, then you just might not know
What to do wit’ it, ‘cause it might just
Come back on you ten-fold.”