The seal of G-d is truth (Sanhedrin 64a)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Minyan For The Dead

Ten Jewish soldiers were killed yesterday. They didn't have to die. They died because our leaders are so desperate to show the world that we aren't bloodsuckers. How did that experiment go? Are ten dead Jews enough? Now the Jewish death toll has climbed to 53.

CNN will still report that we are ghouls. The BBC will portray us as baby killers. The European blood libel in 2014.

While families across Israel spend their remaining summer days and nights in bomb shelters (if they have them), Netanyahu sends humanitarian aid to Gaza. Ceasefires? How about mini ceasefires while Hamas fires rockets at us? Bibi's new policy would certainly make Ghandi proud. (Gandhi thought it moral to sit passively while someone stomps on your skull.) We were told that the IDF would only return fire. I wondered how many Jews would have to die to provoke a response.

We are witnessing the premature end of Operation Protective Edge, even in the event that Israel resumes the offensive. Netanyahu's cabinet rejected the ceasefire, but Bibi (on his own) instituted what amounts to a ceasefire. For all practical purposes the war is over. And yet each time Netanyahu decides to end the war, Hamas forces his hand for awhile. Until Kerry's next trip or Obama's next angry phone call. I don't know about you, but were I Prime Minister, I'd slam the receiver so hard he'd be bleeding from the ears.

Obama will not mourn these ten murdered Jews. He will enjoy his after-Ramadan feast, and cozy up with his Islamic brothers. Ten dead Jews means nothing to Obama. But he will sit shiva for Hamas.

Normal countries study sophisticated philosophies of warfare. “The Art of War” by Sun Szu. The theories and tactics of classical battles throughout history. Netanyahu uses the war strategy of Chelm.

  • Only Chelm would repeatedly warn the enemy in advance. Tell them precisely when and where they intend to attack.
  • Only in the land of the lost, would they feed, cloth, and treat the enemy's wounded.
  • Only screwballs would pay for their electricity and keep their water running
  • Only those with a lesion in the brain would grant the enemy time to regroup and refortify.

Despite clever pilpulistic attempts to spin the tale, Hamas is still very strong. Morale is high on their side. They don't need to destroy the IDF or Israel, Heaven Forbid, in order to garner a victory. Anything short of their destruction is a victory for them. They have put the entire country under siege. Our economy is suffering, and tourism has been bled dry. And they have murdered Jews. They only need to make us bleed. In the meantime, untold numbers of rockets remain in their possession, along with a network of tunnels that probably haven't even been identified. The Hamas leadership is alive and well inside their fortified hideouts. Laughing at us, as we bury the dead.

World approval. As if the Jewish people ever experienced such a miracle. Naked Jew-hatred parades the international stage. Obama has sanitized Hamas. The U.N. shrieks when Jews defend themselves. The world wants us to die. Nothing more needs to be said. More speeches from Netanyahu using the cliche of the olive branch in one hand and the sword of David in the other. What a joke. Wonderful. We know Bibi can speak well. But the image is flawed. If only we had a King David to wield the sword. Judaism doesn't offer the olive branch to those who march under the banner of Amalek.

And what sort of peace is it that Netanyahu proposes to those who show us the sword? The typical liberal Jewish notion of peace. We give up territory, they collect it. We send them money, water, and technology. They print more copies of The Protocols. They send us death, either directly or indirectly. This isn't the Torah's definition of peace. (A topic I will address in the future.) This is the demented peace of Shalom Achshav.

Ten more dead Jews. Sacrificed on Bibi's altar of appeasement and capitulation.The U.N. isn't impressed. Not enough of a body count.

Much like his repeated failures to deal a terminal blow to Oslo, Netanyahu lacks courage to rectify Sharon's sin and set the country straight. A ceasefire not only gives Hamas a victory, it will destroy the morale of the IDF and the country at large. Remember, Israel has not secured a true victory since The Yom Kippur War. (Despite Golda Meir's insane refusal to preemptively strike.) And even that saw the prestige of the IDF take a battering.

In Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Forefathers), we are told, “who is wise, he who can foresee the future.” If Hamas is not destroyed, many more Jews will die the next time around. At first Hamas could only hit the southern periphery. Then came Beersheba and her environs. Now the entire country can be hit. The next war will be unimagible.

I read a heartbreaking account yesterday, (they are all heart-breaking) of the funeral of Chief Warrant Rami Chalon, age 39 (May G-d avenge his blood) who fell in battle. A description of his 16 year old boy Yosiel kneeling on his Abba's grave, bawling like a baby. “Aba, I am still crying.” One whose Jewish heart doesn't bleed at this image should check his lineage.

And now we have a new minyan of the dead. Ten Jewish soldiers died because Bibi wanted to show the world that we tried another ceasefire. Bibi is unfit to lead. He better step aside. There's a war going on, dammit. And I'm sick and tired of seeing my Jewish brothers lowered into the ground.

Aba, I am still crying.” Ribono Shel Olam.

Never forget these words. Let Gaza burn until yovel (jubilee).

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Don't Be A Dhimmi! No Surrender!

I had a bad feeling on Friday afternoon, after reading an IDF twitter post on Facebook. Usually, these posts include the kind of sanitized, politically correct, “please love me” messages that explain how Israel endangers its own soldiers to preserve “civilian” life. On other occasions these posts actually include military information that we want to read about, such as the number of terrorists killed, or large arms caches that have been captured. This particular post featured a graphic which indicated that (so far) Israel has discovered 30 tunnels, destroyed 30-40% of the rockets, and killed over 240 terrorists. By itself, this was good information. What set my alarm off was what was written beneath the graphic. The following message:

Earlier this month, we began a mission to weaken Hamas terrorists in Gaza. We are succeeding.
Warning bells went off. A foreshadowing that Netanyahu may finally be cracking under relentless pressure from Obama and Kerry. A post like this has sort of a wrapping up quality to it. Like an Operation Protective Edge debriefing for the world. “Earlier this month....”
As soon as Shabbat was over, I immediately checked the news and was glad to read that the entire Israeli Cabinet rejected the most recent attempt to force a ceasefire on us. Baruch Hashem that there is still some sanity among us. Of course I was immediately dismayed to read that Netanyahu is considering a 12 hour humanitarian ceasefire, at the behest of the U.N.
Perhaps 12 hours is enough time for the U.N. to help Hamas replenish their stock?
First of all, I want to express my gratitude to the soldiers of the IDF for their tremendous self-sacrifice against these barbarians. None of what I write is a criticism of their noble heroic work. The true non-politically motivated military leadership would like nothing better than to finally take off the gloves and go old school on Hamas.
Certain politicians are another thing altogether. To be sure there are the Feiglin's and Bennett's, (just to name a few) who are calling for even harsher measures against Hamas. They should be applauded. But Netanyahu's cronies are another thing altogether.
  • They are denying our troops the kind of cover they need, out of fear of harming the citizens who voted for Hamas. How many of our murdered soldiers would still be alive had they been given full protection?
  • The government has no ultimate objective. Netanyahu has no intention of liberating Gaza and returning the Jewish people to their communities. This would be the logical step to finally gain control of the region. But under the current leadership, the goal is simply to weaken Hamas, without specifying what constitutes weakening. They have done this before. And each successive time Hamas returns stronger. They are a much more formidable force than they were during Operation Cast Lead.
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. Remember that Netanyahu was reticent about sending in the ground troops in the first place. Hamas forced his hand. Which means that had things gone as he'd hoped, the entire network of underground tunnels in Gaza would still remain intact.
Ceasefire. What does the word mean for Israel? One sided lulls in fighting for Hamas to re-arm and reassemble. A time for Hamas to recruit more terrorists and commit more acts of terror throughout Israel. Perhaps more kidnappings. The fact that Hamas is pushing for a temporary ceasefire shows that they are beginning to hemorrhage. Now is the time to drive forward like a boxer ready to deliver the KO. A ceasefire means that instead of dealing Hamas the well deserved death blow, this will become just another mini-war in a series of wars.
Hamas is using a war tactic that originated in early Islam. In Islam, there is no such thing as peace with accursed dhimmis, as the Muslims refer to us infidels. Historically, when times were good, the dhimmi had the right of a mistreated dog or donkey. When times were rough (and they often were), Islamic barbarity equaled anything we Jews experienced under christendom. The notion of making peace with the dhimmi is anathema to Islam.
The hudna, or “ceasefire,” is an Islamic strategy that has nothing to do with peace. It originated with the infamous Treaty of Hudaybiyya in 628, when Muhammad signed a ten year “truce” with the Quraysh tribe who controlled Mecca. (Despite those who falsely assert that it was the Quraysh who abrogated the treaty, a diligent analysis of the facts shows that it was Muhammed who actually broke the treaty. I refer the reader to Robert Spencer's The Truth about Muhammad (pg. 136-39*)) From its inception, Islam was nursed on blood and war. Hudna was the calculating tactic Muhammad utilized when he felt it was efficacious. It was self-serving and duplicitous. As soon as he felt strong enough, the hudna was over. Bloody Islam 101. History is replete with such examples of Islam's warped notion of peace. Peace for me, pieces of bodies for thee.
Yasir Arafat (may his name and memory be blotted out) actually cited this historical precedent ad nauseum after signing the Oslo Accords, in order to show that his tactic was completely in line with Islam. We have all seen videos of Arafat, post-Oslo mind you, praising the moral defectives he called shaheeds (martyrs) and calling for continued jihad against Israel. This is the reason he was never assassinated. Even his detractors understood his tactic. Tactically, Hamas may have disagreed, but they understood that their ultimate goals were the same.
Our soldiers don't need to read this perpetual garbage about theoretical ceasefires which benefit no one but Hamas and those who hate Israel. It's a dangerous distraction. Obama and Kerry's insistence on a ceasefire that only strengthens Hamas and endangers Israel shows with whom they are alligned. It is not hard to imagine this, when you consider the measures Obama is currently taking to destroy the U.S.
Our young Jewish soldiers, in the prime of their lives, were murdered by Hamas. Don't allow their deaths to have been in vain. The nation of Israel supports this war overwhelmingly. We see unprecedented unity and goodwill across the political and ideological divide. Of course we do. The entire country is under attack, and the people appreciate the efforts of the army. Netanyahu has public support to do whatever is necessary to bring security to Israel. His failure to do so, in opposition to the national will, will come at a serious cost to his political support. This is the most critical point that Netanyahu should recognize. The masses will be furious. He will lose all credibility.
By the IDF's own estimates, 60-70% of rockets remain. This is unacceptable by any measure. There could be miles of hidden tunnels that haven't even been identified. And while we certainly celebrate 240 dead terrorists, it isn't nearly enough. One Hamas beast with a pulse is one too many. They cannot prematurely terminate this mission and sell it as a victory to the nation.
Netanyahu dare not behave like a degraded dhimmi, or a dummy in this critical hour. No ceasefires of any kind! You don't cease firing at Hamas until they're all dead. The nation is sick and tired of dying and living with terror. Destroy Hamas and send them back to the Stone Age.
And then crush Fatah.
Shavuah Tov.
*Spencer, Robert. (2006) The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing. pp. 136-139.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Transfer. Still The Only Solution.

The hatred is so thick, you can feel it in another country. The world screams for our blood. European politicians lean on Israel hoping to snap us in two. Crude pundits and politicians spew the kind of filth once found in Juluis Streicher's pornographic rag. Jewish neighborhoods burn throughout Europe because Israel has the audacity to defend itself.

On American soil, Obama shows us why he has earned the title of most anti-semitic President in U.S. history. He can't even hide it on his arrogant mug, nor does he wish to. John Kerry proves himself a worthy heir to Hillary. I imagine a job application for the U.S. Secretary of State includes the following question: What unique brand of anti-semitism does your skill set bring to the table?

As always, one can only find solace in the Torah, and more importantly, in its application. Hence the appropriateness of this week's Torah reading. How tragically ironic that while our soldiers (may The Almighty preserve them) are fighting the Arab Amalekites in the ancient region of Azza, we will be reading the weekly Torah portion which remains the sole blueprint for dealing with our enemies. The Torah speaks concretely and without ambiguity.

Parshat Masai. “Vehorashtem”- “You shall drive out all the land's inhabitants before you, and you shall destroy all their prostration stones, all their molten images you shall destroy, and all of their high places you shall demolish.” (Numbers 33: 52-53)

"If you do not dispossess the inhabitants of the land, those whom you allow to remain shall be barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land in which you live. Then, I will do to you what I had planned to do them." (Numbers 33:55-56)

You will note that the verse makes no mention of not harming “innocent civilians.” I had to point that out.

The Ohr HaChaim (classic Pentateuch commentary of Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar) addresses this issue. “You must drive out”. Although the verse said of the seven nations “you shall not allow any people to remain alive” (Deut. 20:16) Here, the Torah is talking about other nations found there beside the seven. It therefore was careful to say, “all the lands' inhabitants,” meaning, even those not of the seven. (Numbers 33:52)

In summation, the notion of ridding the land of hostile/dangerous elements is not limited to the historical seven nations that the Jewish people faced upon entering the land. It is a template that applies to enemies in all generations.

Many Jews, including too many religious ones, are uncomfortable with the Torah's words and would like to relegate them to the shelves of ancient history. Those who don't see the Torah as the literal word of The Almighty readily dismiss it as an ancient war- ethic that has no applicability in a modern age. Some will deem it barbaric by modern standards. There are many with kipot who will utilize more elaborate ways to evade the halachic requirement. Some are clever enough to argue that this, like Israel's other wars is a milchement mitzvah (biblical war-the correct general consensus of religious Zionists) but yet somehow maintain that the other elements of the mitzvah don't apply.

Those who are honest enough to state the halachic truth without compromise are few and they are demonized. In our times, only one prominent person dared to address this provocative issue. Naturally, I speak of the great Rabbi Kahane (may G-d avenge his blood) whose brilliant prose graced the pages of the Jewish Press for many years, ensuring that Jews would get an education they were unlikely to receive elsewhere. His magnum opus, entitled “They Must Go!” is a must read for anyone interested in Israel's survival. It was a terrifying read back in the 1980's before Oslo. Today it is a nightmare read that would be classified as horror were it not the truth. And for his honesty, the left and the right (the reasonable, respectable right) rose up and outlawed Rabbi Kahane's KACH party which was slated to win approximately 10-15 seats in the next Knesset. What did Rabbi Kahane do to raise their ire?
  • Rabbi Kahane addressed the pressing issue of Arab demography which the politicians were unable/unwilling to answer. The high Arab birthrate threatens the survival of the Jewish State not merely by being a majority overall, but by being a majority in regions of the country. Prime Example: the Galilee has been an Arab majority for years. A hotbed of hate, and in our times, a dangerous region at times for many Jewish travelers.
  • Rabbi Kahane understood that the Arabs hate Israel and view us as thieves. He understood that Israeli-Arabs with “citizenship” are far more dangerous that those in the liberated regions because they can vote, and thus undo the Jewish state from within.
  • As a student of history, Rabbi Kahane understood that Israel faces a hostile fifth column who will mirror what the fifth column Germans did to their respective countries during World War II. And he predicted that the left understood it as well, and thus would come to the same solution, albeit turned on its head in a grotesque parody of sanity. Instead of transferring hostile Arabs, they chose suicidal territorial concession to the PLO, and the expulsion of Jews from their homes.
Rabbi Kahane spoke of transfer, because it was what the Torah spoke of. It was also necessary. Unlike Rehavam Zeevi (Hy'd) of Moledet, whose notion of “voluntary transfer” lacked teeth, Rabbi Kahane had a concrete plan. He wasn't asking them. He was telling them what he would do as Prime Minister. In the early years, the other parties and the press viewed him as a lunatic fringe with no power base. As his popularity surged in the 1980's and he received a Knesset seat, they became terrified. And the future was his. Polls showed it to be so. So he had to be silenced, and in a tragic marriage, Labor and Likud did away with him, politically. Rabbi Kahane maintained that the choice was ultimately Kahane or Arafat. As his voice was muted, the seeds were planted for Oslo. The politicians chose Arafat.

And that is why rockets are raining down across the entire length and breadth of the country. Because our leaders adopted the one policy that has historically doomed countries. Appeasement. They jammed the lie that Fatah was different than Hamas down the public throat, and we now have to deal with both of them on different fronts. Military experts arrogantly insisted that there was no danger of missiles reaching Israel. And even when the reality of rockets rose, they embarked on sterile, mini operations that were mere band-aids on a rotting limb. And that is why our soldiers are now on the ground in Gaza , seeking to identify and destroy a complex nightmare network of terror tunnels. Because our leaders twiddled their thumbs and left the impending nightmare for a future generation to deal with. And while Jewish soldiers return home in caskets, the ever present threat of a ceasefire looms. An assurance of future wars which will make this current bloodbath look like a skirmish.

Get Your Head Right!

I don't want to hear any more of the following grotesque statements, which are cliche in our times. The stuff of Facebook and twitter. They are undignified, because they deny us the full reach of our arm, which is a moral right.

  • Israel has the right to protect itself. One either understands this, or one hates Jews and denies us this most human of rights. We get it. The U.N. Is a conglomerate of European and Middle Eastern anti-semites. This is hardly a revelation. “Moderate” Turkey, Jordan, Morocco, and Egypt are myths.
  • No other country in the world.... or Israel goes out of its way and endangers....(lo aleinu) Nothing to be proud of here. There is nothing moral about warning a hostile populace that elected a terrorist entity as its representative. Nothing moral in the slightest about endangering a Jewish soldier to prevent future terrorists from reaping what the society has sown.
  • Any statement from the late Golda Meir about how peace will come when the Arabs love their children.... What a revelation! They are savages. They've adopted the path of Amalek. They murder their own in order to murder Jews. Golda's statement weakens our resolve. It portrays a false human image dealing in fantastical sentiment which has no basis in reality. And with such a false construct in our minds, we cannot possibly generate the resolve to deal with the Arabs.

This is loser talk. Inherently unjewish and dangerous.


We can talk about not giving up an inch of land and building more communities. We can talk about destroying terror groups and maintaining a strong army. All of them good ideas, necessary, and true. And yet, it is not enough if we are unwilling to deal with the Arabs within who riot and burn down buildings. Or celebrate from the roofs when rockets are fired upon Eretz Yisroel. Who kidnap Jewish women and murder them. Who ambush Jews on the rural roads and gun them down. Who drive their bulldozers into crowds of Jews. Who vote and undermine the country from within.

To those who know “moderate” Israeli Arabs and view them as friends, I challenge them to check their friend's Facebook statuses. Note carefully whose videos they post, whose poison views they share. Have the kinds of conversations with them that you always avoided, naturally assuming that they were reasonable, moderate, people. Ask the difficult questions and hear their responses. Make them answer your questions without evasion. Most of them will be honest.

Until the Jewish people loudly resurrect Rabbi Kahane's message, we will be forced to consume the poison fruit of Oslo. Likud leaders will continue the path of Labor. Looking for moderates where there are none. Lacking the courage to destroy Abbas and his beasts rather than arming and funding them. Lacking the resolve to end the treason of Oslo. Transferring the Arabs can be done humanely, if they wish it to be so. But they cannot remain. We are at a critical historical juncture.

The left will cry racism. Challenge their assertions of racism and turn it on them. We wish to throw out the enemy; they would do so (and have) to Jews. Transfer has nothing to do with race, or blood, or Arabs for that matter. Numerous examples in history abound where countries expelled dangerous elements. The Poles and the Czechs expelled 12 million ethnic German after World War II. They didn't care what the world thought of them. It can be done.

Furthermore, it is the requirement of the Halacha. The Torah's notion of transfer is one of survival, knowing that hostile populations cannot remain without threatening the physical/spiritual integrity of the Jewish society. Transfer is applied to hostile gentiles who refuse to accept the Torah's halachic requirements as ger toshav-that is, a resident stranger. Naturally, the laws of the resident stranger is a complex halachic discussion and there are different rabbinical opinions on the matter. Nevertheless, the category exists and remains the sole criteria for the righteous gentile to remain. The Arabs are not resident strangers, nor do they wish to be. They have different tactics at times, but the goal of Israel's destruction remain the same. Hence the Chillul Hashem of Arab MK Zoabi in a “Jewish” Knesset. A woman who hates the State of Israel and openly supports Arab terror against Jews.

Perhaps we should adopt the language of the left and it will be more palpable for them to swallow. Note their universal usage of the euphemism “Gaza evacuation,” as if the Jews of the region were rescued from a flood or other natural disaster, rather than forcibly removed from their homes, so that Hamas could have living space. They all use the term. Liars create fiction if they are to live with themselves. The leftists are the real racists. (When I use the term leftists, I refer not to parties. Anyone who uses the tools of the left and embarks on its path is a leftist regardless of his political affiliation.) They throw Jews out of their homes. They beat them with truncheons and arm the PLO. They want all of the liberated areas handed over to the fiends who had them and went to war to destroy us. They also believe in transfer. They just want to apply it to Jews. Challenge every leftist with this. They cannot answer you. They will invariably smile sarcastically and shush you up. They cannot be honest.

Biblical Warning

Note the terrifying last words of the biblical verse I referenced before. "If you do not dispossess the inhabitants of the land, those whom you allow to remain shall be barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land in which you live. Then, I will do to you what I had planned to do them." (33:55-56)

The punishment of refusing to follow G-d's will is the seemingly incomprehensible inability to deal with an enemy who on paper should easily be defeated. Mass confusion and despair. Endless harrasment from the enemy. Death and devastation. The inability to control the country. The sense of having no solutions arises because of our refusal to accept Torah. Fortunately, solace can be found within the Torah. According to Jewish tradition, negative prophecies can be averted through repentance. Positive prophecies will come to those who earn it. And thus Am Yisroel can find authentic peace by following the Torah. This too can be a comfort. But it requires that we raise our voices.

Rabbi Kahane often bemoaned the many “closet Kahanists” who agreed with him but wouldn't admit it publicly. Today, many are fond of saying that “Kahane was right.” The slogan can be found plastered across Israel. But slogans mean nothing without an intelligent loud voice to disseminate the message. Nor does Rabbi Kahane's tragic absence detract from the truth of his message. The truth remains, and the responsibility remains ours.

They Must Go! The great Rabbi's immortal words scream at us from the grave. The masses must similarly scream and clamor for it. Otherwise, the death march of Oslo will continue.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Listen To Them Howl!

Listen to them howl, the Jew-haters of the world. Listen carefully as they condemn us for living.
Thousands of bloodthirsty Muslims and Europeans congregating in the streets, screaming for Jewish blood, and these are the people Israel wants approval from. The hell with the European Union! The hell with Obama and his band of anti-Semites! They would see us drown in our blood.
While our troops are on the ground, (may G-d protect them!) I will try to refrain from attacking the government.
But I have demands of my own.
  • I demand that our soldiers be given every bit of protection and cover during the operation.
  • I demand that Netanyahu stop valuing the lives of beasts more than our brothers and sisters. And G-d willing,
  • I demand that when the battle is over, we retake Gaza and throw them out because if they remain, they will murder us; this much is clear.
These are my demands because the Torah requires it.
 The full force of the IDF must be unleashed. I mean this in every sense of the word. If ever there was a savage enemy that warranted no mercy, Gaza certainly is one place he can be found. The barbarism of the Arab world cannot be fathomed and it is on full display in Gaza. Those who use their own children as human shields have clearly thrown away their souls. They lack something that is most basic in the brutal world of the animal kingdom. Watch how a mother bear protects her cubs and then compare this to the inhuman behavior of Hamas.
Gaza, where the murder of three Jews warrants a holiday with treats for the kids and music in the streets; where parents send their sons and daughters to detonate themselves in a crowd of Jews, and then celebrate with ghoulish smiles and adoration for the last act of their accursed shaheed. Gaza, where a “civilian” populace allows tunnels to be drilled in their own homes and schools, because they know that the Jew will be hesitant to fire on his home, but he is willing to risk it, if the possibility exists that Jews will be murdered there.
Most of the Israel is now experiencing a modicum of what the Jews of the westernmost Negev have endured for years, the consequence of Sharon’s perfidious expulsion of the Jews of Gaza and hisappeasement of Hamas. That is to say, they are experiencing the terror of the unknown, the “W questions: When will that awful wailing siren begin its terrible cry? Where will the kids be? Will we have time to get to the shelter? Will Netanyahu allow our noble soldiers to “finish the job” in Gaza? The sense of hopelessness when a government refuses to do what the social contract mandates, cripples the body politic.
The double standard of what Jews have to put up with is nauseating to any Jew with self-respect. If terrorists fired a rocket in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, and hit a rural lake that only the most ambitious campers have ever seen, this group of terrorists would be destroyed, without a doubt. Perhaps not today under Obama, but virtually any previous U.S. President from the right to the left of the spectrum would have acted likewise. Why? Because the people would demand it. Why must Jews accept the unacceptable and live the unlivable?
(As an aside, I ask the reader to consider the long-term affects of people in these regions. Places like Sderot, and other rural communities. Several years ago a study reported that approximately 45% of people were suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Foolishness. I would double the number and tack on a few points. No one can endure such long term madness without succumbing. The most battle-tested soldiers would become psychic casualties. That’s why combat soldiers are given leave after extensive time in the field. Today, military minds understand what they didn’t thirty five years ago. So I worry about the long term effects, particularly of children who are terrified, anxious, and whose parents cannot tell them that everything will be okay. Such people cannot grow up without lashing out in frustration for things out of their control.)
But I digress. Israel’s leaders constantly speak of the need for hasbara (public relations). Doctor, heal thyself first, I say. If Israel wants to articulate our moral divine right to the country and our right to preserve our lives at whatever cost, they have to first believe it themselves. They have to stop begging the world for approval. Righteous gentiles know wha’ts going on. The handful or so of genuine U.S. politicians on our side don’t need to be told what’s happening. Their speeches are stronger than those of our own leaders, who are given praise for stating the sanitized obvious truth, ‘that we have the right to defend ourselves.’
Dignified Hasbara…V’Zehu. Not asking the world for the right to defend ourselves. Such a right is obvious to anyone with a spine. Not begging or spouting wimpy phrases. You don’t have to keep saying it. Those who would deny us this right are anti-Semites and we shouldn’t even be talking to them. We need to forcefully, and without compromising anything, state our position. Once. Not as a means of obtaining their permission to act. Then backing it up in the military field with the full arm of Jewish might. The righteous indignation of our position, our willingness to enforce it, and the guaranteed divine providence of The Almighty to those who fulfill His Will are enough.
 Perhaps never before in history were we so fortunate to merit a powerful army that was capable of destroying the enemy, and been so unwilling to use it. It exposes a genuine weakness in the Jewish condition. It highlights that although the Jewish body has largely been rehabilitated after two thousand years of death and despair, the soul of the shtetl still resides within too many Jews. In his classic collection of articles, “Battletruth,” the great Irgun leader/historian Shmuel Katz recalls a speech he gave at Kibbutz Hashomer Hatzair in 1967 to a group of non-Jewish British volunteers. While detailing the brutality of the British Mandatory regime that the Jewish Underground endured, he noted that the British republic would have reacted similarly under such conditions. To which one of the students started to reply, but then turned shamefaced and became silent. Evidently, he had caught himself, but the damage was done. “But you Jews are accustomed” (hence the title of the essay)…. this fool began before stopping short. That is to say, you Jews are accustomed to beatings, lynchings, pogroms, etc.

Heed the words of this young Brit of yesterday who imbibed such toxic views from his upbringing. It’s very tragic that polite anti-Semites would justify their Jewish double standard by creating a false moral standard for the Jew. But even more tragic are the untold numbers of Jews who believe it themselves, and adopt it as a Jewish value. Judaism says otherwise. It is a mitzvah to live, and not to die. And although there are things for which the Jew is obligated to give his life for, (idolatry, murder, forbidden sexual practices, and the all-encompassing Milchemet Mitzvah), the underlying principle is that even such measures are intrisically tied to the preservation of the most Jewish principles and values. They are tantamount to ensuring that the Jewish soul lives.
 And so I say, dignified hasbara… v’zehu.
Let them howl. We will live.
 May Hakadosh Baruch Hu protect Am Yisroel.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wars Were Wars, and Men Were Men

As many of us suspected, Israel is fighting the latest war with Hamas under the reprehensable doctrines or “tohar haneshek”, "pure rifles", and “havlaga” , self-restraint. Tragic, since these Ghandian principles are antithetical to true Jewish values, denying the most basic morality of self-preservation. Unfortunately, havlaga has long become Likud's platform on such matters, even if the ideology itself was spawned by the left. Save for a few economic principles, the Likud of today differs little from its Labor counterpart. Both parties are inundated with those who see appeasement and self-restraint as virtues to be cultivated and displayed to an uncaring world. I think differently. I'm a Jew, not a quaker. It's in the Torah. “If one comes to slay you, slay them first.”

Netanyahu cares what the anti-Semitic world thinks, even as he continues to send our soldiers to battle a ruthless, inhuman enemy. The script has become cliche. We can see the same spineless leadership. The same precise surgical strikes on empty warehouses and buildings. The same cow-tailing to the European Union and the U.S. Groveling and debasement before Obama. The same display of Jewish weakness. All in the face of unrelenting Arab terror and warfare on an entire nation. This is not the way to fight a war. Not according to the sanity of a moral western nation, and certainly not according to the Halacha. Hamas only understands death. Instead of making them feel the wrath of collective punishment as required by Jewish law, Israel sends food and medical supplies. Something is indeed wrong with us. Our country needs a national couch.

What does the Torah state about Jewish war? Naturally one turns to the Tanach, and the classical commentaries.

Deuteronomy 20:1- "When thou goest forth to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, thou shalt not be afraid of them; for the L-rd thy G-d is with thee, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt."

What is meant by your enemies? Said the Holy One, Blessed be He: Go against them as enemies, just as they do not have mercy upon you, have no mercy on them.”-(Midrash Tanhuma, Shoftim 15.)

What is the reality we face? Consider the reality of an entire country on fire. Every region has been hit by rockets. The only normal response to such an existential threat is destroying the enemy. As I type these words, Obama is working behind the scenes with the nefarious Egyptians to stop Israel from defending herself. Remember Operation Cast Lead? It seems like yesterday. What a dramatic failure. "Operation Cast Lead" started off well, all things considered. Hardly an example of biblical warfare, but nevertheless, an impressive display of Jewish might. (No thanks to the politicians in power, who only went to war after years of allowing Hamas to rain rockets on S'derot and the adjoining towns of the extreme Western Negev.) The credit for fighting went solely to the men and women of the IDF, not the politicians who played games with their lives. Unfortunately, the impressive fireworks in the beginning were all smoke and mirrors. True, there was destruction, but not nearly enough. As they fought, Israel did an astonishing thing that no normal people would ever consider. Every single day, they endangered Jewish lives by sending humanitarian aid to Gaza. Madness from Chelm.

Despite such political madness, the IDF and IAF fought heroically. They made their way into Gaza. And then out of nowhere came the ceasefire. That infamous bit of diplomacy. The world hadn't seen such lunacy since Neville Chamberlain handed his dignity to Hitler. Hamas abrogated the "ceasefire" from the start. Hours after agreeing to it, they bombarded the Negev with a barrage of rockets. Just to test the ceasefire, of course, to make sure it was legit. Then came the mortar and sniper attacks on the IDF, and attempts to smuggle weapons into Gaza.

Jewish warfare is premised on the idea that evil must be destroyed if the innocent are to survive. Of course Halachic definitions and standards of war (which are the most moral in the world!) are unrealistic in a state where appeasement is a guiding principle, and the desire to show the world that we are more moral in battle. And that's why the rockets are falling again with greater frequency. Hamas smells Jewish fear which in turn triggers their craving for Jewish blood. Netanyahu is afraid of upsetting a world that resents the notion of Jews defending themselves.

Israel needs to re-enter Gaza and destroy Hamas. They should open up the Tanach and read how Jewish wars are supposed to be fought. Rule # 1, faith in The Almighty. Rule # 2, No politicians. No international diplomacy. No one-sided "temporary lulls in fighting" for humanitarian aid trucks carrying aid to the enemy. No restraint to prevent civilian casualties. No endangering of Jewish soldiers so that the U.N. can be spared the image of dead terrorists. There are no civilians in a society that elects Hamas, and gives out candy and sweet meats when Jews are blown to bits. Clean up the mess, and welcome the Jews of Azza home.

No doubt many Jews have instinctively asked the age old question of the nebbish Jew, What will the world think? Who cares? The world will think what it thinks, what it has always thought. They will think that we killed Jesus and poisoned their wells. They will think that we drink gentile blood and rape christian girls. We Jews have The Almighty. And thank G-d, we have a strong military that has the capability to defeat this most savage of enemies, if our leaders had the will. If we follow His Will the world will see a different Jew. Let us follow the laws of Jewish war and kill the enemy before he kills us. This isn't racism or extremism. This is sanity and the law of survival.

Once upon a time, wars were wars and men were men. And good moral men understood that in order to defeat evil, you had to destroy it. That doesn't make you just like the bad guys. That keeps you alive. Hiroshima. Nagasaki. Dresden. The lessons of history and prime examples of strong men who understood national survival. Yet somehow Israel is different, and must endure the double standard of having to put up with death and despair. Nursed on the national doctrine of tohar haneshek, Israel follows the liberal belief that sees alll violence as a negative, even the supremely moral violence of self-preservation. Until this malignant philosophy is extricated from the Jewish conscience, we will continue to bleed and die at the hands of Arab terrorists.

May Hakadosh Baruch Hu protect Am Yisroel. And may true leadership arise that has the fortitude and wisdom to protect the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

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