Inwardly I have been laughing at what is happening all around the Middle East. I have been afraid to admit it, but for weeks as I watch the protests raging in Arab nations, I’ve been holding back a smile. I just can’t help it. Something about this situation is making me happy. I even want to laugh. But I couldn’t admit it. I felt restrained, like I shouldn’t be enjoying someone else’s troubles.
You see I didn’t want to give the impression that I enjoy watching my enemies kill one another. That wouldn’t be right. I don’t want to be like the Muslims I see dancing in the streets when Jews are slaughtered or honoring suicide terrorists (see for example http://palwatch.org/). That is not funny. The cold-blooded murder of innocent men, women and children is no reason to rejoice.
Retribution does not make me laugh either. I thought I was glad to see Muslims killing each other because of what they have done to the people of Israel. Those of you who know me know that I have labored tirelessly for the past 3 decades building relationships with Arabs across the Middle East. I love the Arab people. I do not enjoy watching people in these nations killing each other. Vengeance is not funny.
I couldn’t understand why all this turmoil in the Middle East was making me laugh, until I read the story of Purim.
No matter how many times I read the story of how Haman had to parade Mordecai through the city square on the king’s horse I laugh out loud. Every time I picture Haman bent over walking in front of the horse proclaiming, “Thus shall is be done to the man whom the king delights to honor,” I can’t help smiling.
That is why I am laughing. It is the comic relief watching the fool foiled by his own foolishness. It is Haman hung on his own hemp. It is the amusement of watching the malevolent make a laughing stock of themselves.
All these many years I have listened to Arab countries ridiculing, demeaning and despising Israel. I have listened to their calls and lived through their plots to destroy my people. While I try to brush aside their deceitful propaganda as ignorance, evil or insanity, these threats do not go unheard. I am aware of deep fears and intimidation these threats produce within me. The continuous contention, belligerence, hostility and bad blood leaves us with insecurities. We are not at peace in our own land. Even our strongest faith can leave us vulnerable.
But now I am laughing. I am laughing because I am comforted in the knowledge that things are the way they should be. That justice rolls down, eventually. That right is right, even when the whole world says otherwise. And it is reassuring to know that wrong gets it in the end.
I am laughing because my fears are getting released. Now when I hear them blaming Israel for this or for that, criticizing and spreading vicious lies, it doesn't bother me so much anymore. I just think about how much trouble they are having in their own countries. And I have a little chuckle.