Thursday, July 30, 2009

This doesn't have to happen...


בָּכוֹ תִבְכֶּה בַּלַּיְלָה, וְדִמְעָתָהּ עַל לֶחֱיָהּ--אֵין-לָהּ מְנַחֵם, מִכָּל-אֹהֲבֶיהָ: כָּל-רֵעֶיהָ בָּגְדוּ בָהּ, הָיוּ לָהּ לְאֹיְבִים

She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; she hath none to comfort her among all her lovers; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.

--Lamentations 1:2


And here we are again, on the anniversary of our destruction.



Tisha B'Av is a very difficult day in our nation's history. Much war, destruction, bloodshed and violence has been wrought upon the Jewish people over the centuries...but the worst has befallen us on this day, the 9th of Av. Temples have been destroyed, Inquisitions have been declared, ghettos liquidated and whole populations judged for expulsion and death, all on the same terrible day on the Jewish calender...the 9th of Av.

Every year Jews all over the world commemorate these events by fasting, not eating or drinking anything from yesterday's sunset until an hour after sunset tonight. Jews are to refrain from doing anything enjoyable such as listening to music or having sexual intercourse and it is customary (as when in mourning) not to shave or tell jokes or even sit on chairs. When one listens to the recitation of the Book of Lamentations in synagogue on Tisha B'Av one sit on the floor and contemplates the grave nature of the day.

We remember the terrors that have befallen us for our various sins. We beg God to protect us from future terrors.

Looking around at the world today, it is easy to feel we are on the brink of disaster once more. Just as the Book of Lamentations describes - everyday our enemies grow stronger and our friends prepare to betray us.

A recent report from the Associated Press said that Iran was only six months away from having the capacity to detonate an atomic weapon. While everyone agrees that the Iranians lack a delivery method (an accurate missile system for example), having the capacity to detonate a nuclear bomb is bad enough. Does anyone think that it's beyond the Iranians and their recently "re-elected" president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to look the other way while a Hizballah terrorist scurries off with a bomb?

This reality and all of its doomsday possibilities may only be six months away. Six months, by the way, is a very short time. Just over six months ago Israel had its closest ally ever in the White House and now here we sit, on the floor, and wonder just how we have gotten to this point.

For at the same time that Iran (who has the potential to be Israel's greatest enemy since the Romans) is furiously working towards acquiring the means to destroy our homeland...

The United States (who has been Israel's greatest friend since GOD) is being led by a man who's biggest priorities are to lecture you on how to buy health insurance, to lecture Cambridge policemen about why they're racists and of course to lecture Israel on why it is the source of all problems in the Middle East. But don't worry, at least one of these lectures will happen while drinking beer, so it's "cool".

It's to the point that even the ISRAELI LEFTISTS at Haaretz are noticing.

From the article:

"the more time passes, the more it appears that the demand to freeze settlement construction was meant to demonstrate a distancing from Israel."

A DISTANCING. Our great friend wants to DISTANCE himself from us.

"Now, the US administration must convince the Israeli public that it has a friend in the White House, and that the administration's positions correspond with Israel's national interests. After talking to the Arabs, Muslims and Iranians, in speeches and on television, it is only right that Obama also address the Israeli public..."

Doesn't seem like very much to ask. Just TALK to us Barrack.

"...there is something naive, not to say infuriating, about his policy of dialogue and about the whistle stops he has chosen in his travels regarding our issue. He spoke in Turkey, he spoke in Egypt, he appeared before students in Saudi Arabia, Paris, England, Ghana and Australia. Even there the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was mentioned... The only place he hasn't been is Israel. He has spoken about us, but not to us."

Infuriating.

"Obama assumed he did a great thing when he spoke in Cairo about the Jewish people's suffering in the Holocaust," the "implied distortion: that we deserve a state because of the Holocaust" is "infuriating."

While the Holocaust should have proven to the world (and to Jews) that a sovereign Jewish state is the only way to prevent Tisha B'Av-style disasters (it didn't), clearly it is NOT the end-all/be-all, raison d'être for Israel's existence.

by basing Israel's claim to statehood on the Holocaust rather than the Jews' historic connection to this land, he has fed the Arab fantasy that Jews are colonialist interlopers with no right to be here, and that the Palestinians are being sacrificed to atone for European misdeeds - thereby fostering Arab intransigence and unwillingness to end the conflict.

With the exception of the last one, every one of those quotes came from far-left Israelis who were all wildly supportive of Obama during the election. The gist of the Jerusalem Post article was to say that if even his biggest supporters are questioning his actions, are "infuriated" by this one-sided framing of the issue and are wondering why he has yet to visit his only real ally in the Middle East...clearly the leader of the first country to recognize the Jewish state is being perceived to be...less than enthusiastic with support than his predecessors, by the very people who were ecstatic in their support for him as a candidate!

The disgraceful condemnations of the Israeli operation in Gaza that came out of Europe, Turkey and other alleged Israel allies adds to the growing perception that our list of friends shrinks by the day.

So it is easy to feel as the writer of the Book of Lamentations felt that our enemies grow stronger while our friends turn their backs on us.

However, unlike the destruction of the Temples - our fate is far from being a foregone conclusion. Unlike in the ancient times of the Babylonians and Romans...we still today hold military superiority over our enemies. We do not have to watch as our capital, Jerusalem is violated by Palestinian rockets (as Sderot and Ashkelon have been) as we still have the ability to prevent these attacks from occurring. We do not have to watch as Tel Aviv is laid barren by Iranian nuclear devastation as we still have the ability to prevent these attacks from occurring. We do not have to watch as one by one our friends disappear into the shadows as we weaken to the point that they can deliver us on a silver platter to those who seek our destruction.

We can still stop this.

Like the "angry Left" in Israel, we must demand that Obama:

"...come to Israel and declare here courageously, before the entire world, that our connection to this land began long before the Israeli-Arab conflict and the Holocaust, and that 4,000 years ago, Jews already stood on the ground where he now stands."


We MUST demand that he either take action on Iran or get out of our way while we do it ourselves.

We CANNOT fall into the trap of Lamentations and sadness and feeling sorry for our miserable lot in life.

We CANNOT have a defeatist attitude and assume that just because we have seen suffering all through our history that we must continue to suffer and be beaten down by the other nations.

There is still time. It doesn't need to be this way.

Reliving this history today, on the ninth of Av, should only spurn us towards taking the appropriate steps to ensure that we limit ourselves to one day of mourning per year. One day is enough to feel sorry for ourselves, to reflect on our actions and to regret them. Today is enough for tears. Today is enough for sorrow. Today is enough for suffering.

Today we mourn.

Tomorrow we act.




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5 comments:

Cat said...

I was humbled reading this. There is just so much I don't know. After I post this I am writing to the Obama Administratio to beg them to go to Israel before the end of this year. Everyone needs to read this post. Everyone. What else can I do?

Anonymous said...

Excellent post... As you know I'm not a fan of Netanyahu and many of his policies, but Obama's condescending posture and his adminstration distancing itself from Israel is getting more disturbing every day. I hope the endgame will be worth it, but I'm not overly optimistic. There's a good article by Elliot Abrams from today's Wall Street Journal that I recommend you read.
Have a good one.
-Zev

RonMossad said...

Catrina - there's not much you can do beyond what you already suggested short of speaking to your representative. I'm always skeptical of that kind of stuff working but at this point all we can do is make some noise and spread awareness.

Everyone you convince is another voice for our side. Everyone you convince is another person that when a "but the Jews stole their land" moment pops up in a conversation, will have the information to respond.

RonMossad said...

Well Zev, I'm not sure I "know" how you feel about Netanyahu because I'm not sure who you are...unless Zev is short for Zevick (or Zevick is long for Zev, I was never really sure how that worked) in which case, yes indeed I know.

And I read that article by Abrams, I liked it too.

Anonymous said...

Yeah it's Zevick, which is a nickname for Zev. Just like Bibi is a nickname for Benjamin...