Sunday, April 26, 2009

Two Days to Reflect

Yom Zikaron in Israel is not just a day for Jews in Israel, but a day for all of our people. Many of us in Israel served and lost friends and family throughout the years, and once a year we think back and try to remember the good times and smiles that were shared as we realize the loss of the present.

I had the privilege and honor to be the Military Security Coordinator/Director of Shilo till 2006, years that included the last Intifada. Each Yom HaZikaron as I drive the roads between Memorial Ceremonies, I recall the attacks and the victims. Many of those killed I only got to know after the fact. Pretty much always the same story, people just like you and I, Fathers, Mothers, Children, everyday people who simply were on their way to somewhere. The fact that we all shared a similar life was motivation in, Gd willing, doing the best I could as a Security professional to Gd willing keep people safe. I admit that every year, I wonder if I could have done better, more,maybe someone else would have gotten home. This has always been the curse for those who work security, “what if I had….”.

Despite the memories of loss and recollections of the many attacks that I experienced, and the “what ifs”, I remember the many “we did”. I remember how many of the times, we did get in time to stop attacks, how we were able to return fire in time, to bring our neighbors home. How we stood up to those evil beings who found pleasure in targeting those who can’t fight back, and we let them know just who we were. We grew stronger with every incident, and our motivation only grew.

It was then the intent, as it is today to throw us out of our land. They used terror and fear as their main tool, and they were met with Courage and Dedication, two concepts that are foreign to their world. When our own government failed to crush the threat, they too were shown the same Courage and Dedication from us, as we continued to grow and flourish.

A number of Jews from outside of Israel who realized that this wasn’t just our fight here in Israel, joined in making efforts to strengthen us and to be part of us. They were with us as we returned fire against the terrorists, they sat in the ambulances providing vital equipment, they brought kids to playgrounds and comforted us in the sad times also, all this from thousands of mile away. We were (and are) One.

The outlook was supposed to be different, one that had us deserting our heartland, however by remaining strong and dedicated to each other, the results brought a different reality to our land and people, the growth of our people in our land.

Lately we are seeing an increase in attacks, and we have had to bury more of our people, we in security are once again thinking, what if we… how can we… and so on. We learned from the past that we could take action that will have an effect, we cannot do this alone, and it must be done together. The same effort, dedication and courage that occurred during the heat of battles and attacks must occur again, it must occur before and not after. We must, Gd willing, prevent and not need to respond. We must celebrate and not mourn.

Yom HaZikaron is a time of reflection and memories, it is also a time of learning and looking ahead. Yom HaZikaron leads into Yom Ha’Atzmaut, these two days show the world that we are not the victims they would like us to be, there are Jews who will stand up and fight. Let’s take the lessons learned and give honor to those that have fallen and do the best we can, together, to make sure everybody comes home and celebrates. No more, what if I…it is a time to do.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Speaking with Forked Tongue

Pessach has always symbolized renewal in many aspects. We celebrate our freedom as a nation, we celebrate Israel and many other wonderful gifts. It starts the season of spring, a time of renewed life and hope. It is a time of new beginnings in many ways, and we pray only for goodness.

Now that the new Government of Israel is settling in, we are seeing how the world is gearing up to deal with them. The US has also redesigned its diplomacy towards the new Netanyahu led government. There are already unconfirmed reports stating that the Whitehouse, under the Guidance of Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod are working on a plan to blackmail Israel into giving up the Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria. Under the guise of assistance against the Iranian nuclear threat, the US will assist only if Israel relinquishes its hold on these regions, again this has yet to be confirmed. Another interesting statement making it’s way to the press is that Mr. Emanuel says that in four years there will be an arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians, including the eviction of the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, no matter who is Prime Minister of Israel, of course showing total disregard for the democratic state of Israel.

This is very consistent with the strategy and attitude Mr. Emanuel has used in the past. He is a brilliant adversary, who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. By exploiting the fact that he is an observant Jew, and that his father was a fighter in the “Irgun”, he has managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the majority of Jews throughout the world. I don’t have a problem with this, as I expected no less. Mr. Emanuel has quite the reputation among his peers for having no limits when it comes to succeeding. Simply put, he is a political genius.

I have learned much in my recent travels. I have met other “Irgun” expat victims of the early government of Israel under Ben Gurion/Rabin and Peres. The story is always the same, the discrimination they experienced, the humiliation they had to put up with, which of course lead to these heroes of the Jewish people to abandon their homeland in disgust and deep rooted despising of the Jewish country and the leaders I just mentioned. How can we expect the children of these heroes to act any different regarding Israel? The country that took so much out of their parents, that hurt them so much, of course revenge is on their mind, whether consciously or not. What child would behave differently? Unfortunately. Mr. Emanuel doesn’t realize that the people he will be hurting most are those that revere his father and others that share the same past. In a sense he is actually disrespecting his fathers former dreams and taking hand in the murder of more Jews, something that his father and friends gave their lives to prevent.

We read how Mr. Emanuel orchestrated the handshake between Rabin and Arafat, an act that helped push the Oslo travesty further along and caused even more death and destruction to both Jew and Arab in Israel. Mr. Emanuel, What is your goal? Obviously, Israel’s security is not on the agenda, what about US Security and Integrity? Now that the US is bowing down to everyone, and reaching out to those that only wish to change the West, the question remains, what are your plans?

By pressuring Israel to give up the Jewish Heartland he is becoming a tool of not only Israel’s enemies, but those who despise the US also. He is capitulating to terrorism and to those that support it. How much longer until Hamas leaders begin to frequent the Whitehouse? I am sure this is not his plan, but this is what is happening.

Too many conflicting messages are coming out of the US government. It seems that “Change” indeed has come, and Israel is where it will be felt worse. The pre election chatter of how the Obama administration will stand by Israel’s side doesn’t seem to be that accurate, yes they will be by Israel’s side, but they will stand idly by, and will assist Israel’s enemies accomplish their dreams of cutting the Jewish country in pieces. It appears that someone has been speaking with a “forked tongue” regarding the Jewish Country. Regarding Iran, on one hand they claim they will help Israel put a stop to Iran’s devious plans for the price of sacrificing our heritage, and yet the other hand wishes to tie Israel’s hands in defending itself.

I admit to fear when we in Israel put our security just in our Governments hands, or trust in others to come to our aid, neither side, left or right has learned how to deal with the problem, and lately is constantly looking to be the good puppy of the Whitehouse, instead of being a good and strong leader. I expect Binyamin Netanyahu and his team also to capitulate in record speed, as his agenda seemingly differs from that which he preaches, I pray I am wrong. I go so far as to beseech our new Prime Minister to be strong, as he knows to be, and to follow that which he knows inside to be right, and not do whatever he can to join the “club”.

The distorted amount of attention given to the Middle East is already ridiculous, the US executive branch must focus on what is really happening in the Middle East. If the current US administration is interested in “Change”, it must first look to itself. “Change” comes from within. There is a popular saying regarding how the politicians in Israel act, it says simply, “ We don’t see from here, what we see from there”, or we simple citizens don’t understand what really is going on, we only pay the price.

The world has far to go, and I do not accept that Israel is to blame for the situation in the Middle East. The only harm that Israel causes is its continued existence in the Jewish homeland, this, Israel is guilty of. Everyone has an opinion and usually chooses a side, Mid-East advisors must learn to be above it all and see the real picture. If they come to the conclusion, that Israel is simply a pain in the ---, then so be it, but that does not mean that the US must join in the fight against Israel. Israel will learn to take care of itself. If the Jews living outside of Israel choose to abandon Israel, we will learn to deal with this also, their loss.

A strong and unified Jewish people and Israel has proven to be the most efficient weapon against Islamic terrorism, which is the number one threat in the world today, it is a pity that Israel is being treated as the criminal while societies that embrace the murder of children of being supported. This says much about how the current administration is being run and the values it deems important.

I would like to extend an Invitation to Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod to come out to Judea and Samaria and see it through different eyes. Not the eyes of politicians, not the eyes of people who have engaged in terror and murder, but through different eyes. The eyes of the people who live here, the same eyes, like yours, who share the past here. Spend a Shabbat with us and see a love and dedication that your fathers spoke of. I am sure you will understand better. Your views will change, it won’t be in line with the voices of Saudi kings and other Arab leaders who are guided by hate, but you will at least get a more truthful picture, and that, if you have the courage, you may bring to the world.

This last day of Pessach celebrates the crossing of the Red Sea, we read the “Song of the Sea”, where the Children of Israel praise Gd for taking them out of bondage and destroying their enemy. It celebrates the beginning of Israel as a people, and leads into the receiving of the Torah, which continues to shape the world till today. May we be granted the same miracle and joy that our ancestors experienced and see our enemies crushed and continue to strive for a better world.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Culture of Cowardice

Once again, Israel buries another child victim of an Arab terrorist, or militant as world media calls it. If we look at the results of most of these attacks we see that most of the victims were unarmed and a surprising amount of them are children. Schools and children are of course their favorite target, along with school buses leisure areas and so on. These perpetrators are terrorists, and their culture is one of cowardice, it is simply who and what they are. Throughout Israel’s years of existence, and before, the Arabs have for the most part attacked those that could not defend themselves, it is who they are.

What does that say about those that support them? Any Israeli, even the most extreme left-winger knows that Israel never intentionally targets civilians. Yes, innocents die in war, people die in war, and war is the human failure. However, how we wage it is how we are judged. No one has advanced the technology of terrorism greater than the P.L.O. or Palestinian Liberation Organization and their offshoots. They taught us great lessons in this modern era, how maiming and torture are still efficient weapons against humanity, how the use of children as shields are efficient tools in the media, or how to attack those who are defenseless and vulnerable. No one has grasped this strategy more than they have.

Years ago, an Arab co-worker of mine from Hebron said to me that “we would never defeat the Arabs because we are not cruel enough”. He went on to explain that if a member of an Arab family is hurt or killed, they revenge the attack by slaughtering the entire family of the murderer. He further went on to say, that the Arabs know that the Jews would never do this, and this gives them motivation, and they see this as a weakness. I agreed with him, and said that we as a people are not capable of such cruelty on a one to one level. I was surprised at his analysis stating, that if we were able to respond as they, there would be peace in the Middle East.

Arab strategy has never changed, since Israel’s early years, our civilian population have been targeted by Arab artillery, on all fronts. Arab snipers made Jerusalem resident’s lives hellish, and those living on the border learned the meaning of “Fedayun”, a predecessor to the P.L.O.. Growing up like this has forced us to become one of the premier military forces today, yet never did we turn into the murderers that they have become, as we remain the Israel DEFENSE Force.

I am reminded of my years as Security Chief of the Shilo region during the Intifada, how the favorite target were school buses and women, or families traveling on the road. Sickening how those that murder the defenseless are regarded as heroes in their society, and yet how they become the leaders. Is it no wonder why their system of education can’t change? If their leaders and heroes are murderers of women and children, how can we expect any more of their general public? Who else do they have to look up to?

I must be rhetorical at this point and ask, how is it the peace loving people of the world hold their hands out to such a people, and endear them to the point of blind faith?

I feel sorry for them, those of them that pray for change and rejoining the human race often have to hide for fear of execution. Those that seek true peace are forbidden to speak up and those that do, disappear quickly or escape to a better life. This leaves the imposters, the present “Palestinian Arab” leadership that continues to dupe the na├»ve and ignorant of the world, convincing them of their striving for a peaceful coexistence with the Jews of Israel by means of a future “peaceful” Palestinian State.

Well so it is, and so it will be, once again showing us that we only have only ourselves and above to depend on, as the just of the world have declared self exile on themselves.

Terrors greatest product is that of fear. It is the means to their success, they wish to breed fear among us. They are achieving the opposite in Israel. The more terror they reap, the more our children strive for excellence in the IDF, the more courage is found among us, the more they prove to us just who they really are, cowards and the despicable.

I know that Islamic terrorism will continue to fool the world, and the weak among us will join their ranks. Islamic terror may continue to fool the media into calling them “Militants”, but we know who you are. Be it known that there are those who will not bend to this cowardice and will be strong and fight back. Our victims stand witness to your cowardice and evil, Heaven stands the Judge, and we will pass sentence on you in time.