Her reputation preceeding her, a crowd of well over 200 people filled the Jewish Centre tonight to hear an address by author Naomi Ragen.Â
In an outstanding address Naomi called it straight.Â That too many Jews in Israel and beyond are ignorant of their historic heritage and connection to Israel, that the media unfairly tarnish the reputation of our amazing nation, and that we have the right and obligation to defend our freedom.Â She talked about the impact of terrorism, the structural deficiencies of the Israeli political system, and the human rights thatÂ Israeli civilians areÂ entitled to, but too seldom assert.
What was particularly inspiring about her address was that instead of just lamenting about the victimisation and vilification of Israel, she presented her vision of a solution.Â With the media spotlightÂ on Israel it provides an opportunity for Israel to develop clarity around its message andÂ promulgate this throug the channels of theÂ media.Â Â In her opinionÂ Israel needs toÂ stop attempting to make peace until there is someone to makeÂ peace with.Â It may take years to change the culture of hatred and bloodshed, but itÂ starts with education.Â Â No nation pursues the absurditiesÂ of risking lives to catch terrorists, then setting them free as unremorsefulÂ and non-rehabilitated murderers so that lives can again be put atÂ risk.Â Justice is needed to discourage terrorists.Â A combination of strong measures to eliminate terrorism and incentives toÂ demonstrate the potential of coexistance is what is now needed.Â
It is a long time since I have seen the State Zionist produce an evening that is so staunchly Zionist.Â Too often we have been presented with speakersÂ such as academics and journalists that tell us we have to pursueÂ peace as an ideal no matter what the cost or consequences.Â Finally weÂ see our Zionist movement present us with a reality check.Â Â We have a speaker that does not lack the self confidence to assert the Jewish peoples right to its own land.Â We have a speaker that does not apologise or communicate a message of guiltÂ built on the basis of the crimes of our enemies.Â
This aside, when the time came for questions, a young idealistic son of an Israeli gave Naomi a perfect demonstration of the very message she was trying to communicate.Â Â This ignoramus exposed himself as a naive advocate ofÂ the Palestinian narrative, withÂ no knowledge ofÂ Israeli history.Â Unable to address the basic matters of the establishment of Israel he opted to walk out of the room.Â Like so many self hating Jews who cannot face reality, and choose to walk away from the real problems facing the Jewish people, he opted out.Â Rather than join with his own kind and share the destiny of his own people, this person chooses to believeÂ that Israel is at fault and should give upÂ the self determination that its Hebrew people haveÂ yearned for over millenia.Â
What is sad is that this person is probably a product of the Perth Jewish community.Â I only hope that Naomi Ragen does not leave Perth with the impression that this view is representative of our Diaspora mentality.Â No doubt she encounters morons all over the world whoÂ advocate to forsakeÂ Israel’s security and existence for the utopian (and unilateral) illusion of peace.Â Â I doubt the Israeli concerned feels any shame, but I am totally ashamed of him.Â Â
Naomi started her talk by noting that its hard enough to convinceÂ the non-JewishÂ world that Israel is the unified homeland of the Jewish people when the JewishÂ people themselvesÂ boast such a strong fifth column of internal destroyers.Â One of themÂ was sitting right in front of her,Â proudly encouraged byÂ his parents.Â Â Â Â
If Naomi shifted some of tonights audience from their comfort zone then I can only say Kol Hakavod.Â Her talk was a great Kiddush Hashem.Â Naomi is a modern Jewish heroine, an amazing author, a candid and forthright spokesperson for what is right and just, a motivator, a leader, and a very example of the modern miracle that is the Israeli people.Â She continues to influence many, and if all Israeli advocates around the world (such as the Jewgle Perth team)Â onlyÂ achieve a fraction of what Naomi has contributed to the hasbara of Israel, the world would be a much better place.Â
Thank you to the State Zionist Council and to Naomi Ragen for a wonderful evening.