AFSI mourns the tragic loss of Eugene Narrett, who died three weeks short of his 65th birthday, struck by a hit-and-run driver in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Eugene was a man of extraordinary range. He received a PhD in English literature from Columbia University and in the course of his career taught art, art history, history, literature and philosophy. In his early twenties, Eugene began educating himself on ancient and modern Israel and over the years would provide commentary on numerous radio programs, including Israel National Radio. His articles appeared frequently in Outpost. Below are excerpts from one of them, “Reign of the Grasshoppers,” published in the July-Aug. 1998 issue, selected because we now face the possibility of an even worse betrayal than Netanyahu’s surrender of Hebron at Wye, to which Eugene was then responding. And now as then, the responsibility will lie with Netanyahu.
“In the second year after the Exodus from Egypt, the Lord instructed Moses to send forth men, one from each tribe, to scout out the Land and see if it was fertile or lean, barren or forested, and to ascertain the strength of its inhabitants….These scouts–the elite of their tribes–saw that the Land was good, ‘indeed, it flows with milk and honey.’ But then ten of them, no doubt reflecting what today would pass for a ‘realistic assessment,’ insisted that the people there were ‘too strong for us. All the people we saw there were huge, sons of the giants. We were like grasshoppers in our eyes,’ the ten terrified ones concluded, ‘and so we were in their eyes.’ (Numbers 13).
“Two of the twelve, Joshua and Caleb, intensely rebutted the fainthearted. ‘We shall surely ascend and conquer the Land, for we surely can do it!’ cried Caleb. The defeatists stoned him….
“The grasshoppers rule Israel today, and it is rough going for the spiritual descendants of Joshua and Caleb (whose name means ‘all heart.’)….
“The faithless spies whipped the people into a frenzy of surrender and fear. They preferred returning to Egypt as today many Israelis prefer the shopping malls of the coastal plain and perhaps after that, fleeing to Long Island when Arafat, Assad and Yassin arrive to claim what they insist they want…
“Continuing surrender of Land makes Israel defenseless and threatens to turn history’s most miraculous and important renewal into a nightmare. Yaakov Katz, Rabbi Melamed, David Wilder and Gary Cooperberg of Hebron, its Rabbi, Eliezer Waldman, Yoel Tzur of Beit El who lost his wife and son to Arab murderers in December 1996, all who protest this surrender are themselves the cornerstone of an Israel that can live. They are the leaders of whatever future Israel has. If enough people stand with them, perhaps it will happen that toward evening time, there will be light.”