Saturday, September 16, 2006


There are victims of the Holocaust who to this very day will deny that there were some good people in this world who stood with them in those six years when they had to endure the savagery and barbarism of the Nazis.

I used to hear my father say that often and have never been able to entirely convince him otherwise although he has softened his stance in his later years.

There are two reasons for this.

The first was a scene from an American documentary entitled "The Last Klezmer" in which a Jewish musician who remained in Poland after the war was shown returning to his native town after spending most of his adult life in Warsaw. The scene in question was one of the local gentile women weeping at a memorial to the Jews who had lived among them and who had perished at the hands of the Germans.

The second was an article I read with him that was written by Oriana Fallaci, a brilliant journalist who joined Italy's anti-fascist resistance as a teenager during World War Two, was a fearless war correspondent, covered wars in Vietnam, the Middle East, and Latin America, was shot and beaten in 1968 during student demonstrations in Mexico, interviewed world leaders and terrorists and, later in life took a strong and brave stand against Islamic terrorism.

Oriana Fallaci died yesterday, aged 77.

She wrote the article entitled I STAND WITH ISRAEL: I STAND WITH THE JEWS in late 2002 and it originally appeared in the Italian daily newspaper, Corriere della Sera.

I read the article at my father's house. During the reading, it felt as if every word was rising up and speaking for itself with a special kind of passion. When joined together the words told us that there really were men and women of goodwill on the face of this earth who were not prepared to abandon our people; not then and not now.

Oriana Fallaci stood with us. She is no longer on this earth but will be remembered by my people forever.

May she rest in peace.

"I find it shameful that in Italy there should be a procession of individuals dressed as suicide bombers who spew vile abuse at Israel, hold up photographs of Israeli leaders on whose foreheads they have drawn the swastika, incite people to hate the Jews. And who, in order to see Jews once again in the extermination camps, in the gas chambers, in the ovens of Dachau and Mauthausen and Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen et cetera, would sell their own mother to a harem." - Oriana Fallaci.


Anonymous said...

A wonderful tribute.

May she rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

I will never forget the first time I read, "I Stand With Israel: I Stand With The Jews." It was a life altering experience.

Oriana Fallaci will be remembered as a hero in my home. May her brutal honesty, and ferocious bravery continue to awaken the sleeping masses.

Rest assured my friend, your people will NEVER stand alone.

Gulliver_On_Tour said...

From the Diary of an Anti-Chomskyite

The Rage and the Pride

Orianna Fallaci, one of the few European leftists who grasped the inherent contradiction between supposedly leftist values and Islamic radicalism, and dared to articulate it to her fellows, has passed away. She was furious, violent, rhetorically unhinged, often insulting, and more often right than wrong. The obituaries of the moment downplay her anti-fundamentalist writings in favor of her leftist journalism, as is to be expected, and as she no doubt expected. I choose to remember her for a far more generous and moving moment. During Operation Defensive Shield, she called Ariel Sharon and offered her sympathies for the victims of the suicide attack which had set off the operation. Sharon replied that people had been calling him all day asking about Arafat's welfare, urging him to use restraint, etc, and not a single one had asked about the victims of the attack except for Fallaci. Those who will attack Fallaci as a hateful woman need only this anecdote as response. She was far less hateful in that moment, and far more beautiful and concerned, than the myriad self-described beautiful and concerned souls who are no doubt denouncing her today. Zicharon l'vracha.

ronfinkel said...

A moving and appropriate tribute to an insightful journalist. It is a source of continuing amazement to many of us on the left that the "values" debate has been abandoned in favour of hollow catchphrases that absolutely do NOT stand up to intelligent scrutiny. Fallaci would ask what values are represented by the Islamists that would see them find comrades in arms with the Left around the world. Is it their open embrace of tolerance, of freedom of expression, of independent judiciary, equality of women and of democratic principles. It has to be something otherwise it is incomprehensible that the Left lends its uncritical support to the Ayatollahs of Iran, the Mullahs of Hizbollah and the Imams of Hamas. Fallaci looked the Left in the eye and from the perspective of a committed Leftist called their bluff for what it was: a perversion of the values on which the progressive movement was built and in many instances, no better that blatant aniti-semitism.