Rocket Attacks & Long-Term Goals

With the decision makers in Jerusalem agreeing to a ceasefire just one week after finally giving the green light for a military response to the unbearable situation of having daily rocket attacks against a large portion of the country, it would be interesting to know if the same decision makers had a clearly defined long-term goal when Operation Pillar of Defense was launched. By this I do not mean a military goal, which I’m assuming they had, but rather a long-term diplomatic or political objective. My gut feeling, unfortunately, is that other than trying to achieve some sense of calm in order to have a bit of peace and quiet, there was no serious plan to radically alter the playing field or to effect a long-term change of direction.

Although I’m not against having a little peace and quiet and Israel is certainly justified to do whatever it must in Gaza or any place else in order to prevent enemy attacks and hopefully attain some of that peace and quiet, unfortunately the same worn-out approach of reacting to Arab aggression in order to achieve nothing more than some temporary tranquility in the region will not prevent the next flare-up with Hamas, Hezbollah or whoever in another six months, one year or two years. It’s simply inevitable as long as Israel continues to play a game of make believe by pretending that the whole dispute with the Arabs is based upon land and therefore by solving the land issue, reconciliation with the Arabs is ultimately possible.

Although such an assumption provides hope, and perhaps because of this it has been swallowed hook, line and sinker by nearly the entire world, the truth is that the dispute with the Arabs has nothing to do with land. Had it really been a land issue it would have been solved years ago. Anyone who is familiar with the situation knows this, as well as the bitter fact that the larger Arab world will never reconcile itself to having a Jewish state in the heart of the Middle East. True, such a statement may not sound nice and it’s certainly not politically correct, but that’s just the way it is. Israel needs to accept this fact, internalize it and stop pretending that things are otherwise.

Moreover, by finally admitting the truth Israel will be released from its own shackles in order to start heading in the opposite direction. Politically speaking this means first declaring that the Oslo process and the foolish discussion of the two-state solution are history and then planning for the eventual implementation of Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria. Although it certainly would have been easier had Israel chosen this path years ago, long before it raised the expectations of the world by recklessly supporting the division of its own land, it’s never too late to change direction. It might be difficult, but certainly not impossible.

Although anyone who advocates such a change of direction will probably be accused of being an “extremist”, that’s no reason to turn back, especially if the attack comes from all the gurus who predicted a new Middle East with the launch of the Oslo process or by those who promised enduring security for the south with the implementation of the Gaza Disengagement. They were wrong in every way possible, even if they never admitted it or apologized for their mistakes. Thus, anyone who feels the burning need to raise his voice and speak the truth, regardless of how it may resonate in the ears of certain people, should not be deterred for fear of attack by those who have continually led us astray without repenting.

The point here is not to blame but rather to help initiate a badly needed change of direction. Moreover, the real voice of the Jewish people in Israel must be heard. The average, regular Jew knows that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people and that all the historical lies and distortions that are bantered about, as well as all the slanderous incriminations that are hurled against Israel, cannot change this fact.

Furthermore, the Jewish people were not brought back to the land of Israel after an incredibly long and bitter stay in the exile in order to merely strive for the attainment of a nice, quiet American type of lifestyle on the western tip of Asia. We’re here for a purpose, whether we like it or not. Moreover, the longer we avoid really understanding and internalizing this truth and instead merely spend our time trying to emulate America in order to achieve that ever-elusive peace and quiet, the longer the bloody and senseless wars with the Arabs will continue.

Although obviously the previous claim cannot be proven empirically as it falls with the realm of “faith”, the opposite approach of just skidding along and attempting to survive in a very difficult neighborhood, equipped with no greater goal than the attainment of some sense of western normalcy, has clearly proven ineffective in realizing even this somewhat limited goal. Likewise, as much as we repeatedly try to convince the Arabs to join us in this endeavor, they’re simply not interested. As Einstein once said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Thus, if Israel is seriously committed to its own long-term survival as a sovereign nation in this part of the world, it must try a different approach. The question is, how much suffering must there be, for both Jews and Arabs alike, before we finally change direction?

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15 Responses to Rocket Attacks & Long-Term Goals

  1. Don Eshleman says:

    This is one of the most sensible articles I have read regarding the direction Israel must take as a nation. If people and polititions alike would respond to these truths and act in faith, believing their G-d given call and responsibility they could truly be a light to the world.

  2. Robert Haymond says:

    As reader Eshleman notes, a sensible article and also a thoughtful one. Since the end of Pillar of Defense, many other authors, journalists, commentators, Talkbackers and people with whom I’ve spoken, as well, all have the same opinion. This enforces my decision to break with Yisrael Beiteinu and acquire membership in the religious Zionist party, Jewish Home.

  3. milton says:

    So in 12 years perhaps my kids will be fighting the same kids they attend school with in Kfar Kara,or,are you saying,that in actual reality,these Christian and Muslim families that live in our neighborhood,that send their children to school with my children,that come to my son’s birthday party,they actually don’t have a right to be where they live.OK.Brilliant.So truck yourself here and come sit in front of all the kids in my son’s class,the teachers,the parents,myself,and spout this dystopic,myopic view of the universe.OK.Do it.Today!Or better yet,do some art that doesn’t fall under the subtext of religion and politics,but rises above it.Then you can understand what it is to be jewish in the moment,not in your head,which is only the past.

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Milton,

      So someone you don’t agree with you attack? Perhaps you can explain to me what it means to be “Jewish in the moment” (as opposed to my head, which according to you is “only in the past”).

      Yoel

  4. milton says:

    Jewish in the moment is to recognize that whatever you do is not to please someone above,a god you believe has laid down laws and that you are required to live up to these laws,within the state of Israel at the moment.All that you do here that you believe is some heriatge passed from mileenia ago and you use to guide you in your philosophy of how this young country to develop is completely beside the point of the winds that blow here,and have blown here for thousands of years.This idea that you follow the path to the right of this land to belong to Jews is like pulling a blog from the Washington Post and making it the guideline for the establishment of a Jewish homeland.Being a jew in the moment is stripping away all of your jewishness and acting as the way you are,without the ism,without the thought,with only the action.The reality that ever since its inception jews here looked only to the west,never looked beside them or to the east,unless in a condescending sense.I cannot believe on a day to day basis I have any more right to be here than the people that were here when this country was establisshed in 1948.I detest the manner in which westerners and many Israelis have no qualms about watching their kids grow up with inherent hatred of their neighbors,and the parents,educated to know better,shrug their heads,say’what you gonna do?’this is laziness,this is not being jewish in the moment,this is being jewish in fear,in dogma,in jealousy,in black and white,and serves to undermine the genius which makes our culture unique.Reality check,you are not gonna kick these people who live in Umal Fahm out,the people in Barqaai,Bartaa,wherever,out,unless you resort to the same terrorist actions Israels forefathers used when first killing British and Arabs.You want to live that inherent dream you call Judaism and homeland,than call the process of obtaining that dream what it is,terrorism,and don’t be afraid to look west at Europe and the USA and say,yes,this is what we are about,and piss off if you don’t like it.It is not a mistake that people like Alice Walker condemn Israel.she has a right,and Bibi Netanyahu’s actions everyday reaffirm her right to condemn.But you don’t see Bibi apologizing,he knows darn well his actions are beliggerent,hostile,and in the form of terrorism.He is detremined to continue because he sees himself as a messiah of sorts,and sturctures his government with a majority religiuos political zealots that continually pat him on the back.So about art,about art in Israel,music in Israel,with every fiber there is disagreemnet with this aggression,in every brush stroke on canvas the resistance to this dogma is palpable,and when the art is finished,and the beauty shines through,I understand the difference between being a jew in the moment,stripped naked and only to carry forth whatever the soul will allow,in the moment.:)

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Milton,

      Thank you for the long reply. After reading it a few times (I’m still not sure I fully understand everything you said) we obviously disagree on a number of things. I believe in God and I’m guided by history, although I’m not frozen by history. For me my approach is not besides the point “of the winds that blow here” but rather it’s incredibly relevant. I’m also not sure what you mean by acting the way you are, without the thought, with only the action. (Taoism?). Without thoughts, what exactly are we? Do we just flow according to our emotions? Personally I like ideas and I like thinking although I’m not opposed to spontaniety. Regarding all the comments about killing and terrorism, I’m also not a fan of violence. But do you really believe Israel is that terrible? Are you totally unaware of the Arab violence and hatred through the years or do you choose to ignore it (or do you understand it and simply blame Israel for it)? Or do you believe the proper appraoch for Israel is “to turn the other cheek” (and be slaughtered in the process)? On this we simply don’t see eye to eye and I don’t buy your attempt at equating Israel’s actions with those of our neighbors (although I am a bit curious as to how one comes to hold such views). Regarding your final comments about art and music, I’m not sure where they came from but they sound pretty deep.

      Yoel

      • milton says:

        Yoel,I have been in this country for a mere 5 years (and a few months).I come to this country as a jew.I am not observant,by any traditional definition of this word,and I did not come here with the intention of upgrading my observancy.As many immigrants,I have gained my experience in life in Israel influenced more by negative events than by positive,this is quite natural.I have nursed my wife through almost 3 years of breast cancer and the recovery process,while trying to maintain a balanced home for two sons ages 6 and 5.As the next comment alludes to some sort of” leftwing secular delirium”,eh…whatever.In the seventh month of my wifes chemotherapy,our landlords in Raanana evicted me and my family after 4 years of renting and paying on time.They felt that with my wife’s malady that they just couldn’t afford the insecurity of a one year lease.When you are an immigrant,an oleh,if you will,life can border on the surreal.When your wife gets cancer,your life is surreal.Through this process of immigration,assimilation relocation away from the mercaz to an area called ‘vadi yara’,I have done art.I did art before,when I came here I continued,and through my wifes maladies and recoveries I have continued.I do sell my art internationally via social media,and in January will be participating in a group opening in Karmiel sponsored by N’Fesh b N’Fesh.In June,by invite,I will be travelling to Annapolis Maryland for an exhibition of my work.Why all of this explanation?Because,what the next commentor refers to as some sort of”wishful brain dysfunctions”is actually my eternal dissatisfaation with the state of the universe as it is in the moment.I reserve this right to think this way,I have been blessed,if you will,with a touch to create beauty,and I have always held myself to this responsibility to just do it.My reflections on the current ills in Israel sound naive to many,and the next reader points that out.I will embrace my naivete,I am a hard f*cking man(excuse the French)and find it distasteful and quite ignorant wwhen I read explanations of my character as from this other commenter.My naivete is what allows me to rejoice in the fact that my kids can attend an international gan,in an Arab village,with teachers from the Muslim faith and Jewish faith.I love this naivete that sees,from an expatriat eyes,why looking down on the very people who live here and have been here since before Israel’s inception is inherently misguided,no matter how much history you point to.In an email to parents following the recent Gaza skirmish(?)the teachers expressed how much these days had become almost unendurable,if not for the children,who became the bedrock for each day the fighting continued.With clients I have worked for in Raanana,they talk of their kids,their teens growing up with a dislike of Arabs,a hatred of Arabs.You know,insulation creates this society of mistrust and hatred,and it is encouraged at every turn by the current governmnet and its policies.Olim from the west come here to live in insulated communtities,clinging to their obsession with the halacha and feeling quite smug about the idea that they have come to a country where they really don’t have to give a hoot about what arabs think or do,because they feel this innate sense of superiority and contempt for another race of people,and for sure they could not be so blatant about this intolerance were they back in the USA.I do not appreciate a love it or leave it philosophy,and although I will never consider myself an Israeli,I am jewish and I see that the way to survival and flourishing for everyone in this country is to remove oneself from the eternal dogma of extremist religion,be it Muslim Christian or Jewish,this manical desire for bloodlust and a constant looking to the west for an affirmation of this bloodlust.It is gross.It does a disservice to the genius that is inherent within every jew.It smacks of laziness and a refusal for introspection.To be aware of the past is essential,but to derive a policy for survival ina place that is literally light years away from Hitler and ignorant europeans and their idiotic take on jews is absurd.This is the contradiction facing people who come her from the west,and as much as every olim would like things to be just like the movie Exodous,that is Hollywood.One final thing,so you do not think I am totally naive…the 300,000 Israeli Arabs in this area,they are friendly.but this doesn’t mean they are friends.I agree with you on the issue that the argument that these conflicts are all about land is missing the point.Educated people realize hopefully that it is about more than land.Israel must take the high road in this,but everyday we see Bibi at his chessboard,raising headlines with his new settlement decrees.Ultimately,as with the most recent skirmish(?)in Gaza,I think the people suffer most,on both sides of the fence.Isn’t this what governments are best at?

        • Yoel Meltzer says:

          Milton shalom,

          I just saw this reply of yours which for some reason was thrown into the “spam comments” (it’s a defense by the system to weed out the endless spam emails). First of all, thank you for sharing this email with me. I truly hope that your wife will have a full recovery from her illness. Dealing with such an issue is hard enough when you’re living in your country of birth where everything is familiar (language and culture) so I’m sure that dealing with this in a new country, especially one which is not always so easy, must be truly challenging. It sounds like your art helps you deal with the situation (which in turn helps your wife and kids) so continue with it as much as possible.

          I know that living here is not always so easy, especially for western olim, and frequently the negative side is what pops out at us, but there actually is a lot of good here if you can manage to see beyond the surface. Although there is some hatred and contempt for another people, it’s not black and white and it’s not everyone. Many people, myself included, have strong ideological beliefs yet they’re not based upon hatred. From the outside many people see the society here as black and white – relgious and secular, Jew and Arab, Haredi and dati leumi, etc, etc – but anyone who gets beyond these overly simplistic categories realizes that the reality here is much more grey.

          Regarding the current government I don’t think that they’re encouraging a certain behavior. For a good chunk of the last 20 years the Oslo mindset has been promoted by various governments (regardless of who was elected) even though many people suffered from the results of this mindset and were basically sick and tired of the policies related to this mindset. So the current government in some ways is a natural swing, in some small measures, away from the Oslo mindset.

          Regarding taking the high road, Israel has done this for years and almost always paid a price. I remember during the period of endless bus bombings and assorted terrorist attacks about 12 years ago, almost every time Israel agreed to do another “good will gesture” (usually at the urging of the American President or Secretary of State) the immediate reaction was another terrorist attack. Or when Israel removed every last Jew from Gaza the immediate reaction was to turn Gaza into a launching pad for varoius rockets. This is not new and it’s been going on for years (even long before the creation of the state in 1948). Of course your suggestion sounds good but unfortunately it’s not suited for the reality of the region. As I like to remind many good-minded liberal Jews from America (I mean this seriously), Israel’s neighbors are not Canada and Mexico. The reality in this part of the world is very different and the Arabs/Muslims have a different mindset than the typical western liberal mindset (which is fine and I certainly don’t mean anything negative by that).

          Although we may disagree on many points, which is fine, much more importantly I hope your wife has a refuah shleimah.

          Shabbat shalom.

          Yoel

          And as much as you think it’s a result of the current government

  5. Robert Haymond says:

    Thank you, Milton, for explicating, and in detail, the mindset of the fantasies of leftwing secular delirium, multicultural fictions and ahistorical wishful brain dysfunctions. In short, Milton, thank you for increasing the readers’ respective educational backgrounds.

    • milton says:

      Brilliant!It is possible to read such statements on social media.During the presidentialelection,many different perspectives were presented with regard to who might be the better candidate for the office,with that said,some statements made and posted were nothing more than derisive and moronic,and seen that way by all people involved.Yours follows in that vain.Be well

      • Robert Haymond says:

        “all people involved”, Milton? So on top of all the previous, you also speak (without a smidgen of humility) of representing “all people”. Do you represent yourself in that vein in your beloved multicultural context? They must know, of course, that you are ashamed of your Jewish heritage, incidentally, and, instead of respecting you, must view you with disdain.

        • milton says:

          nah,they appreciate me and respect me a great deal,realizing that I am a genius and a jew,and that the two are linked together,that I don’t rely on dogma and religious law to tell others that I am jewish,but in my art,which I sell all over the world,to jews and nonjews,that I am not so lazy that I am merely ready to accept this zealous zionistic version of a zionist state just because I live here and this would give me a ready made excuse to mask silly racist attitudes that no selfrespecting American jew would dare to foist a felow American,that I just don’t buy the company line,as it were.who the f*ck are you to decide apersons measure of his secularism or nonsecularism.you think you can do this ina comment section of ynet,oi veys mer!get a grip homeboy,go stand in a corner,come out when you are to stop living in a vacuum made up of cliches,hatred of others because you represent a majority,and judgements of other jews that live in this country that everyday see what damage attitudes like yours do to this country and your children,who,as we speak,are looking to you for an affirmation of their growing hatred of anyone who doesn’t adhere to your religiopolitical dogma.piss off!

  6. Robert Haymond says:

    Your “art”, Milton, which you sell “all over the world” and this makes you a talented artist, a skilled one, or an excellent huckster? I think, given your need to justify yourself in this way that you are probably an artistic clod with a facility to sell. Oh, Milton, and “piss off”! Another terribly intelligent remark on your part, especially the cliched terminology. And, Milton, you never really responded to the contents of my post, nor Yoel’s for that matter, just exhibited a series of increasingly voluble temper tantrums. Is that characteristic of you? And you do appear to make many assumptions; is your “art” as second rate as your written communications? Let’s hope that you do possess a measure of introspectionism and the ability to honestly reflect on your responses, at least for the sake of your “art”.

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