There comes a moment when a person has to make a stand. Fight or flight. That simple. Do you fight to remain where you are, or do you surrender to the situation and leave? Have you ever faced a choice like that? On a personal level? National? Religious? Employment?
For me, I can tell you that I’ve faced that several times in jobs where I thought I was being treated unfairly – mostly, I chose flight and found another job. Religiously, when I felt that others were being unfair, I usually chose to fight. On a personal level, I guess I’ve chosen both. And, on a national level, since moving to Israel, I’ve always chosen to fight.
Now, Belgium 2018…and just days before 2019 enters, is a place from which I think Jews must choose flight. Just a few years ago, as I walked through the streets of Amsterdam, I felt the barely concealed hatred. “F**** Jews,” someone said as my husband and I walked through the streets. Then, I didn’t turn and engage. No reason. Not my home, not my battlefield.
Today, I watched a video of Belgian soccer fans chanting about burning Jews.
My father was part of a commando
My mother was SS
And together they burned Jews
Because the Jews burn the best
Instinctively, I thought about how we could fight these ignoramuses. Hugely disappointed and saddened, I listened to them chanting as I read the words. Again and again, like scraping a scab, the pain is there. Yet again, the anger and the urge to fight comes to the front of my mind…and then, as I watch it yet again, my heart surrenders. Finally and forever, it’s time for flight. So, leave, please, I want to beg the Jews of Belgium. Other places too, but let’s start with this country.
Now, make a statement. Decide – fight or flight? And if you say you have fought as we all have, then the next and only option that remains when you live in a land not your own, is flight.