The events of this past week in Israel have been heart-breaking, painful, infuriating and many other adjectives too numerous to list. What we have witnessed has been unprecedented in our lifetime and gives new meaning to what countless Jewish communities have experienced throughout history when pogroms and other viscous forms of Jew-hatred stormed their lives. Next Tisha B’Av will have a new chapter among its long litany of terrible events that have befallen our people.
Of course there is always good in any bad and the heretofore internal division and animosity among Israeli society has come to a screeching halt now that our true enemy has arrived. I guess judicial reform and public prayer with or without a mechitzah/divider between the men and the women in Dizengoff Square on Yom Kippur is not such a big deal after all.
The world, by-and-large, exhibited their support and solidarity for Israel in a very visual manner by lighting up prominent buildings with the Israeli flag. The White House in Washington, the Houses of Parliament in London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Brandenburg Gate in Germany, Berlaymont – the European Commission branch of the European Union in Brussels, the Parliament Building in Bulgaria and many other cities all over the world as far as the Opera House in Sydney Australia displayed the Blue and White.
Personally I was a bit surprised at the supportive reaction and, of course, worry about how long it will last especially now that Israel responds so forcefully to remove Hamas from Gaza. I surmised that the outpouring of sympathy was because of the severity and utter viciousness of the atrocities which were on display for all to see. But the more I thought about it, the more I think something bigger is going on, especially in the hearts and minds of European leaders and citizens.
Let’s face it, there has been an exploding population of Middle Eastern immigration to countries like France, England, Belgium, Sweden, The Netherlands and Germany. That coupled with the simple fact that many of these immigrants, and the young men in particular, have not exactly integrated, accepted and assimilated into European culture and lifestyle the way other newcomers have. Now add to the mix that many are unemployed. Put all that together and I can only imagine what European leaders and citizens must be wondering. “What would stop a similar atrocity from happening in our cities and towns? How much of a divide and buffer is really there between the horrid acts of violent depravity that we have seen on our screens, and our own women and children and elderly?”
And so it could very well be that the present support for Israel is because deep down in the hearts and minds of those who walk the halls of London and Paris and Berlin and Brussels fear and know that if Israel and the IDF doesn’t destroy this evil once and for all and eradicate Hamas, if God forbid Hamas and their evil supporters – the mullahs of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and the many other Islamic factions that hate the West, that hate Democracy, that hate the Goodness and Truth that Judeo-Christian values espouse – if Israel doesn’t win, then what’s to stop this train of death and destruction from heading their way?
Jews are always “the canary in the coal mine”. Or as the esteemed former Chief Rabbi of the UK, Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks zt”l used to say, “The hate that begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews.” When Ambassador Nikki Haley proclaims, as she did this past week on Meet the Press, the following, she isn’t uttering empty political slogans. She is aware of the intimate connection between Israel and the West.
What I want the American people to know is what happened when they were dragging those people in the streets, what happened when they were murdering innocent Israelis – Hamas and the backers who support them, the Iranian regime, (they) were chanting, “Death to Israel. Death to America.” That’s what we have to remember. We are united with Israel… because both Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and the Iranian backers, they hate us. And we have to remember that what happened to Israel could happen here in America.
This really is a holy war. Not in the perverse sense that Islamist have hi-jacked that notion through the word Jihad, but in the truest sense. Of fighting for God, Truth, Justice, Morality and Good. The battle between the life-denying death culture of Hamas and fanatical Islam versus the life-affirming culture of Judaism. This is Good versus Evil. This is our generations WWII moment when Hitler and Germany and her allies tried to take over the world and make it succumb to its wicked and immoral “might is right” world-view.
Israel is on the front-lines of this war. And the Israel Defense Forces are on the front lines of Israel. It therefore behooves us to do whatever we can to support and assist Israel, and especially the IDF, in any way we are able. The least we can do is pray for them daily with this prayer.
May Israel succeed in destroying our enemies and may we only share Besorot Tovot, good and uplifting news in the future.
He Who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – may He bless the fighters of the Israel Defense Force, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our God from the border of the Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea unto the approach of the Negev desert, on the land, in the air, and on the sea.
May Hashem cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our fighting men from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.
May He subdue our enemies under their sway and may He grant them salvation and crown them with victory. And may there be fulfilled for them the verse: For it is Hashem, your God, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you.
Now let us respond: Amen.