To Be a Jew is to Suffer
Abraham Hershkowitz looked over his morning mail and grumbled. Along with the usual inter-Jewish issues there was a copy of some hate mail that had started appearing in the Midwest and was now making its way eastward. As a life member of B’nai B’rnth he was aware of such things. That and the fact that the stamp showed a “Kansas City” logo.
Before him lay a crude drawing with exaggerated caricatures of Jews as money grubbing, power-mad half humans. He recognized some of them as copies of ones he had seen at Nanterre University outside Paris when he was a doctoral student there years before. Some of the text he recognized as drawn from a book that is proudly sold in every airport in Saudi Arabia, Henry Ford’s The Twelve Protocols of Zion.
Nazi Germany might be a distant memory to most on the earth today, but to Abraham Hershkowitz it was still very real. He had a number that had been stamped on his five-year old arm to remind him of what can happen when humans go mad. So he pushed the button on his intercom to summon his secretary, Phyllis Waxman.
Phyllis came into his office and took a seat in front of him. She picked up her pencil and pad to start taking notes. He put his feet up on the table and began to speak.
“Make sure this pamphlet gets to all local chapters. Include the pictures. Include a note from me saying, ‘Please examine carefully the enclosed anti-Semitic material. Any similar mailings you have received should be forwarded for our files.’”
“Of course, this is hate mail and, as such, difficult to fight. Difficult...but not impossible. I propose the following program to prevent the further spread of such mail.”
“One. Education is still our greatest hope. We are putting together an exhibit that will be available for schools, synagogues, libraries, and anywhere else you can think of that do us some good. We will send that to you upon request.”
“Two. Keep praying. Yahweh has defeated this in the past. Therefore, we can count on his 5,000 year track record for success in the future.”
“Will that be all?!” Said Phyllis.
“Yes. Thank you.” As Abraham said this, he heard a large explosion and was aware that he was being thrown violently against the wall. He also noticed that Phyllis’s body was against him and had absorbed the full impact of the explosion and prevented its worst effects from striking him.
Immediately he thought of the Hunaffi Muslims who had taken over B’nai B’rnth back in 1979, and it occurred to him that they might be returning to his office now that most of them would be free, beneficiaries of the American legal system that enables so many criminals chance after chance to rape, murder and rob.
B’nai B’rnth headquarters was located at the corner of 17th and Rhode Island. Like so many Jewish organizations, it was within a few feet of a Catholic institution, St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the home of the Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Washington, the Right Reverend Patrick Kavanagh. Both were on the old Hunaffi hit list. Now they were on the hit list of the July 4th Strike force as well.
The B’nai B’rnth headquarters was a steel and glass structure that stood 12 stories tall. When a shoulder-launched missile crashed into the building, it killed 47 people instantly and wounded another 125 by collapsing seven stories in on the office workers and visitors inside. Unlike the World Trade Center when the Jihadi’s struck it with two jets on September, 11, 2001, the building stood.
-*Abraham noticed that Ms. Waxman was scattered in dozens of pieces all over his office. He knew he had to think and thinking fast was what he did best. He tested the phone. Dead. He tested the intercom system. Dead also. He stood up, quickly ran throughout the rubble and located one survivor.
“Listen my friend. After the Hunaffi assault we loaded a bunker with food, water, weapons and communication gear. I confess I opposed it at the time and may my former boss in Heaven hear my words of apology for that.
I will go prepare that bunker. Whoever survived tell them to meet me on the 7th floor. Tell them the maintenance closet door will lead them to a closet. I will allow them in to that closet when I identify them as safe by camera. Their best chance of surviving is to get to this bunker before they are cut down by the Jihadi’s. Now, go! Run!”
Abraham ran to the closet on the 7th floor and entered the closet. He ran a magnetic scanner through an optical reader and placed his eye sockets on what looked like a faucet so his eye shape could be read by the computer.
The solid wall opened and allowed him to enter a chamber. He entered and the wall closed behind him. Another wall opened and before him stood a fully equipped safe room bunker made in Israel, a place where they knew how to manufacture a safe room bunker.
The center of the room held a large table equipped with satellite telephones. He opened up 12 of them and began to dial in codes to allow him the 24,000 mile journey bounding off satellites to other phones in cities throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.
As a people scattered to the four winds for 6,000 years, the B’nai B’rnth system had been built to enable them to alert Jews worldwide in the event that another Holocaust to eradicate the Jewish people began. That idea may seem paranoid only to those who have not been through a Holocaust. Given the extent of the blast, he believed this was a good time to use this system for all it was worth.
Abraham turned to see Dr. Michael Ashkin, a medieval art scholar and head of the Jewish Children’s Curriculum Board, standing in the closet. He quickly opened the false wall as the closet door closed.
“Dr. Hershkowitz.” said Dr. Ashkin.
“May I ask your forgiveness for all those disagreements we’ve had over the years. And especially for fighting you so stubbornly on this room when I thought the money would be better used for children’s education.”
“It was nothing, Dr. Ashkin. I would have argued for the same thing were I in your position. Now please take over admitting only staff. You know them as well as I do. I must alert our centers worldwide of the gravity of the situation here.”
“Of course.” Said Dr. Ashkin, who began to monitor the camera and allow in the stragglers who were beginning to show up at the maintenance closet.
Abraham dialed up call after call that had been preprogrammed into these satphones whenever he saw three of the four display lights on the handset light up, indicating full power for a connection. He pushed “Dial,” entered the country code, destination number, and hit the “Send,” button. The first number he dialed was the Knesset in Tel Aviv.
“Hiam, this is Abe Berkowitz. We have been hit by a missile. I am not aware of who else has been hit because I cannot leave our bunker right now but I count on you to alert our centers worldwide to heighten security.”
Hiam Kaplan was quick to answer. “Doctor, you are not alone. Your entire country is under assault. We began receiving reports just an hour ago and the situation is grave. Your most sacred institutions are under coordinated and sustained assault, with help from inside the United States apparently the key to their current victories.
We warned your intelligence services several months ago that something was afoot, but they were not willing to listen to our suggestions at the time. I am sad to say that we were right about our assessment of the threat. You may remember you received a phone call from one of my people warning of the same possibility, no?”
“Yes. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a meeting and you have warned me of other assaults over the years that have not materialized.”
“Yes, that is true, but the threats themselves were always real. We were just successful at neutralizing these threats before they materialized. I am sorry we were unable to prevent this one.
Whoever it is that is undertaking this assault is tremendously well organized with enormous resources. We are on a war footing ourselves because we know this will end up on our doorstep like the Iraqi War, yet the U.S. may not be in a position to assist in the counterassault this time.”
“May Yahweh protect us as he as before. I will get a report to you as soon as I can.”
“Listen to me, Abe. You must keep someone on the line with me at all times throughout this ordeal. We already know that your White House, Pentagon, and many military bases are fighting a rear guard action because they have been caught by surprise.
Therefore, you are one of the only links you capital has to the outside at present. Whatever you can get to us now is of inestimable value to your nation’s leaders. Please provide us with constant updates and we will ensure they are delivered to your military and intelligence services.”
“As you wish.” Dr. Hershkowitiz turned to his Assistant Director, Dr. Eric Finzi. “Doctor, you will please stay on this phone from now until this crisis is over and transmit whatever information I give you to Tel Aviv.”
“Yes, of course.”
He looked at the keyboard of video monitors before him and noticed that some of his staff was already busy launching an all-out counterattack. One video screen in particular showed that Dr. Mark Abromowitz, a veteran of the ’67 and ’73 Arab-Israeli Wars, was busy taking out whole clusters of Jihadi’s from the hallways of the 3rd and 4th floors.
“Next year in Jerusalem!” said Dr. Hershkowitz as he passed on his first of many intelligence reports to Dr. Finzi. “Next year in Jerusalem!” Dr. Finzi responded, repeating a phrase that had sustained the Jews through the worst of times for thousands of years.
Dr. Hershkowitz continued to communicate the situation in DC to the outside world, including a small group in Paw Paw and Levels, West Virginia. It was proven to be an essential component of the counterassault on the White House.