Middle Babe and her BF are lying on the leather couches of our living room, talking sleepily, mostly about how tired they are, about the party they will attend later tonight (assuming they actually fall asleep), about the sudden Israel-Hamas war which World Jewry has been watching, heart in mouth.
Cajoled into giving "chills" (back, arm and scalp) to my daughter for 15 minutes, I joined their conversation, explaining the backdrop to Israel's offensive and the inevitable public relations fallout -- anti-Israel demonstrations in the streets of New York, Europe and the Middle East, anti-Zionist slogans heard around the world: Israel the aggressor, Israel the murderer, Israel the Nazi State.
It might sound parochial and paranoid, but coming on the heels of the Madoff scam, this war is bad news for the Jews.
Not because Israel isn't justified in trying to obliterate the murderous bastards who have been launching rockets inside its borders despite the alleged ceasefire, for every nation has a sovereign right and responsibility to protect its civilians against aggression and I'd like to see the saintly (and suicidal) nation that would tolerate such overt threats against its own citizenry.
But because Israel's dramatic and effective military response provides one more reason for world opinion to pitch so dangerously against Israel...and the Jewish People.
With Bernard Madoff singlehandedly reviving the stereotype of the sly Jewish ganof, the last thing we needed was a military operation where cameras can capture wounded and dead Palestinian women and children, victims of sly Israeli rockets and guns.
This is the contemporary blood libel...but with seeming journalistic proof that the charges are real.
And the fact that Hamas has a habit of launching rockets from within civilian centers, universities or even hospitals -- in other words, uses its women and children as human shields, a humanitarian crime of enormous proportions -- seems to register not the least in the world court.
So the condemnations of Israel come fast and furious, while once again, the mantle of victimhood remains solely a Palestinian privilege.
These last moments of the year 2008 are tense and terrifying. As I write, in the limited light of the dining room, next to the living room where the supine girls have now fallen quiet, I wish to transport myself back to that magical moment at the start of November, that night when a miracle took place, when good triumphed over evil, when people of different colors and faiths danced in the streets, when the prospect of a hopeful and peaceful future seemed ours for the asking.