November 26, 2000 (Something written 10 years ago during the height of all the attacks)
A long, long time ago, long before the Hadera terrorist attack, before the Kfar Darom attack on a school bus that left three children of the same family without all or part of their legs, before the Jerusalem car bomb, before the routine firing on Gilo started, before the daily attacks against Jews living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza became commonplace, there was the brutal lynching of two reserve soldiers in Ramallah, the murder of an Israeli soldier by his Palestinian joint-patrol partner, the Israeli soldier that bled to death at Joseph’s Tomb because the Palestinian police prevented him from being evacuated by an ambulance, etc., etc. And, oh yeah, there were three Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hizbullah. Remember that?
When Israel speedily left southern Lebanon several months ago, they were ‘promised’ that in their place an international force, made up predominantly of European troops, would deploy in southern Lebanon until the regular Lebanese army was ready to resume full control of the region. All this, of course, was to prevent Hizbullah from stationing themselves within spitball range of Israel’s northern border. Well, wouldn’t you know, the Europeans just sorta forgot their promises! No international force, no Lebanese army, just good ol’ Hizbullah militiamen. Understandably, this has made the residents of the north feel real comfortable!
The question, of course, that any sensible Israeli should be asking is “were Barak, Beilin, Clinton and the rest of the group aware of this lie?” Unfortunately, as a result of effective media/propaganda, very few Israelis even seemed to notice this little duplicity.
Okay, on to the next lie.
Having faithfully fulfilled all UN resolutions by our unilateral evacuation from southern Lebanon (the Syrians, who to this day have ignored their pledge in the 1989 Taif Agreement to evacuate their 40,000 plus troops from Lebanon, are of course allowed to stay), we were assured by our prime minister that if and when Hizbullah ever committed any aggression against us, we would respond in kind. In addition, having adhered to an international call for our evacuation, any retaliation against Hizbullah aggression would be clearly justified, both in the eyes of the Israeli public and, more importantly, in the eyes of the international community.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, Hizbullah did commit such an act of aggression. They just dashed across the border and grabbed 3 soldiers hostage. In fact, their whole operation, after several months of up-close surveillance (see lie number 1) was very well planned.
Of course our prime minister’s response was the infamous and pathetic 48-hour ultimatum. What happened to the guarantee to retaliate and our hard-earned justification to do so? Apparently, the prime minister’s words were, well, just words.
Of course our response, if we had a different prime minister, or if as a nation we were certain of why we’re in Israel and convinced that we have the right to be here, would have been totally different. In such a scenario, our prime minister would firmly have said to the world, “Since we did everything you required of us, we are 100% right to respond. Our justification will not even be discussed. If the 3 soldiers are not returned to us, alive, in 24 hours, we will bomb the hell out of Damascus, since it’s well known to every intelligence agency in the world that Syria controls Hizbullah (and Lebanon for that matter)”. That should have been our response. It’s not violent, it’s not crazy. It’s real ahavat yisrael. One can only wonder what would have been the prime minister’s response had one of the kidnapped soldiers been his own son or that of a government minister.
As I mull this over, the biblical story of Avraham and Lot comes to mind. Upon being notified that his nephew Lot had been taken captive in Sodom, Avraham, the man of loving kindness, immediately responds. Rather than questioning what on earth his nephew was doing in such a despicable place (okay, it’s a shame that the rabbi was killed, by why did they go on a day trip to Har Eival?), Avraham gathers a force and attacks. Yes, the man who brought monotheism to the world, killed many in order to rescue his nephew. He knew who his enemies were and he knew what had to be done. Sure, peace and harmony is preferable, but if you’re dealing with someone who wants to kill you, talking is not the proper course of action. There’s no such thing in Judaism as turning the other cheek. True, the Jewish way is to try to make peace with nearly everyone. However, if someone comes to kill you, you’re commanded to kill him first. An enemy is an enemy. There’s nothing bad about this. It’s just a reality. Although we all hope that we’ll never have enemies, if we do, we shouldn’t be afraid to relate to them as our enemy.
Of course all of this is just conjecture because sadly many Jews, if not most, that live in this country are not so sure that we have the right to be here. Nonetheless, it’s time that they at least start opening up their eyes to the blatant lies that are all around us. We all owe it to those three tragic kidnapped soldiers and their grieving families.