August 22, 2014
People ask why we keep circulating the same Gaza emails, stories and links amongst ourselves when we should be sending them out to the goyim. If only they knew the truth about these dastardly enemies of ours and the moral and ethical antithesis our people represents on every possible level.
Whether it’s the bizarre lengths our air force goes to avoid civilian casualties, to the continuing supply of vital needs to Gaza residents in the middle of a war, on top of the electricity our Ashkelon power workers keep feeding Gazans even as their homes and kids schools are targeted by Hamas rocketeers.
“We need to get our message out!” they say.
“The foreign ministry’s PR budget is only a fraction of Bezeq’s ... we need more money and media talent to get our side across.”
I say, forget it!
I’ve been saying the same thing since at least before the last Gaza war and probably much before. It’s a total waste of money.
The truth is that the people who still need convincing that Israel are the good guys in this fight are not interested in anything we have to say. These guys don’t want to hear one good thing about the Jews ... nothing at all.
And by this I include not just war stories, but everything else as well. They don’t want to hear that we created the mobile phones they use for apps to boycott our goods. They don’t want to hear about the humanitarian teams we send to every disaster area any more than the Israeli medical breakthroughs that keep their mums and dads alive longer. And even if Ben Gurion University’s Dr Lobel gets FDA approval for his Ebola vaccine, it won’t make the slightest difference to those we would target for Hasbara.
You see, it’s that old truism: that there’s none so deaf as those who will not hear and none so blind as those who will not see.
As I quoted in a previous posting: bigotry operates like the pupil of an eye ... the more light you shine on it the tighter it closes shut.
These people who we would target with more Hasbara ... do they not see Hamas for what they are? Do they not see that these are of the same brotherhood as ISIS in Iraq, Boko Haram in Nigeria and Hezbullah in Lebanon? Do they not know the difference between good and evil?
Well, if they don’t, it’s not our job to convince them. They will find out soon enough all by themselves. Imagine having to advertise clean water in the middle of a cholera outbreak?
Why should we waste our money trying to convince bigots to save themselves?
No-one understands the depth of this conflict better than our own people.
And with that knowledge the best place to invest our money and resources is in the protection of our people.
One more Iron Dome battery installation is worth five years of Hasbara on deaf ears.
August 08, 2014
I don’t watch Channel 4 so I have no idea what you’ve actually been saying lately about Gaza, Israel, or the Jews … my people.
Judging by the number of angry emails I’ve seen about you – far in excess of anything about the BBC, Guardian and the other usual suspects – and from past experience of your reporting on Israel, I don’t feel the need to upset myself with actually viewing the latest clips to convince me that you must be an anti-Semite.
It's just my personal view, and you may think that’s unfair. But that is to fail to understand my people. You see, they know this kind of thing when they see it.
Lord Janner’s father used to say: “You can’t always see anti-Semitism, but you can always smell it.”
And just as you, as a journalist with perhaps 40 years in the profession, can smell a good story – we as a people with 2,000 years’ experience of ‘the longest hatred’ can usually smell an anti-Semite.
A wise man said: “Bigotry works like the pupil of an eye. The more light you shine on it, the tighter it closes up.” Oh how well this applies to you and the other media people who’ve given Hamas encouragement by your excoriation of the Jewish state.
I’ve asked media people where they have been for the last three years of Syria’s civil war and its toll of 170,000 deaths. And why we didn’t hear from them in such inflammatory terms over the genocide in Rwanda and Darfur. Or the Palestinians’ ethnic-cleaning of Christians in Bethlehem. But I think it would be a waste of time asking you such questions.
I don’t think even those 30,000 imperiled Yazidis, today facing imminent slaughter in the hills of Iraq, would elicit the same kind of outrage as you’ve shown over the 1,000 or so non-combatants who died in Gaza.
Notwithstanding the lie that Gaza is the most densely populated place on earth (even Tel Aviv beats that!) it’s quite remarkable that, in three weeks of heavy conflict with deliberate use of human shields by Hamas, the collateral deaths have actually been so few. Maybe that had to do with our brave soldiers paying house calls instead of carpet-bombing.
Man - there is so much light that I could shine on your eyes. That we painfully uprooted 8,000 of our people to give Arabs a chance of peace in Gaza and they turned it into an underground terror base. That Israel has been under almost constant rocket fire for all the 9 years since that unilateral withdrawal. That we held back going into Gaza this time for two weeks. That we gave up the element of surprise by giving warnings of attacks by thousands of leaflets, phone calls and text messages. That we continued to provide Gaza with electricity from power stations whilst still under their own rocket fire. That we continued daily shipments of essential goods and medicines through the Kerem Shalom crossing – again under fire. That we opened a field hospital which Hamas blocked injured Gazans from using. That we offered all the ceasefire opportunities which Hamas broke. Or that even this morning Hamas couldn’t wait till the 8 a.m. deadline before launching new rocket barrages indiscriminately towards Israeli cities. And that we waited hours before finally firing back.
But I think such facts are totally wasted on you. It just makes your eyes shut tighter.
You who are so quick to pack a helmet and press vest every time the Jews are forced to defend themselves. And you who openly fretted that the downing of the Malaysian airliner might upstage your Gaza grandstanding.
The pupil analogy is actually far more important than you think, and I’ll tell you why.
This time the bigotry towards our people and its tiny home state is actually blinding everyone to the stark reality around them. The reality that this is a deadly struggle between good and evil. Between the region’s only democracy where you journalists feel safest, and the rest of a Middle East which is infected with a murderous radicalism that seeks to overthrow western civilisation and is perilously close to the nuclear means to do so.
Perhaps better than most, you know that nothing fires-up people more than stuff about the Jews. We count for less than one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population and our only Jewish state looks just as miniscule among the nations of the world. And yet we are rarely out of the headlines.
Is it what we do or just who we are?
But here’s an idea for you … for when Gaza goes quiet again.
Why not start a Channel 4 campaign to end starvation in Africa?
Lots of people have tried and failed … just not enough political will and public interest.
But you ….?
You could make it all about the Jews.
Now, what a success that could be!
August 07, 2014
Born out of creation itself, this nearly tiniest body of our universe has been tumbling through space and time on a seemingly endless voyage.
For millions of miles over the centuries it has been bounced around like a pinball, first attracted and then repelled by the gravitational forces of larger bodies. These merciless forces have misshapen it into a tortured form compared to the smooth symmetry and perfect spherical rotation of its giant repellers.
Most of its kind were long ago drawn in and accreted to those larger bodies, as if by some cosmic assimilation. But this one was always repelled and sent on its way again and again, thrust into the cold black void not knowing when or where the next wrenching encounter would be.
It has more craters and pockmarks than bodies many hundreds of times its own size, attesting to the constant and never-ending battering it has had to endure on its eternal wanderings.
And yet, despite the tiny size and odd appearance, it sparks more interest and curiosity than practically anything else in the universe. Millions of dollars have been invested in a means to chase it for ten years across millions of miles just for an opportunity to study it closehand.
It is a survivor from the time of creation. Against all odds it is still intact after all that time. And everyone is convinced it contains vital information, a message from the time of creation.
If this little piece of the universe had ever been assimilated by any of the larger bodies, its priceless message would have been lost eons ago. Only its constant rejection by the rest of our universe has preserved its unique role in the cold darkness of space.
August 04, 2014
I return home from shul and Eicha to a very quiet house … no TV, no phone callers, just silence.
It’s just me alone with my PC checking on the past day's events in the only place in the world I really care about.
I’ve watched many wars play out in Israel, but never felt as involved and joined-at-the-hip as this time. Maybe it’s the sheer impossibility of fighting an enemy which shoots from hospitals, hides behind children and counts its own civilian casualties as war gains. Maybe it’s because of the anti-Semitism it has unleashed here once again in Europe.
I am reading an article about the Hamas charter and its absolute and explicit commitment to the murder of all Jews, and how this was spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood’s collaboration with Hitler in the Second World War.
It’s the Code Red app on my smartphone.
The readout says two towns in the south of Israel are again under rocket fire.
I see it’s 1 a.m. Israel time and I think of kids being dragged out of their beds into shelters for the umpteenth time.
It gongs again. More rockets. No peace even on our saddest national day.
A third gong goes, and I realise that it’s not the asymmetry of the war or the local anti-Semitism that has us all so much more closely involved in this conflict. It’s the app!
That Code Red that’s been gonging away for over three weeks now, at all times of the day and night. Each one jolts us out of the complacency of our diaspora life and daily pursuits, and reminds us that our brothers and sisters are under fire and that their children are being traumatised night after night.
And why? Simply because they are Jews.
The Hamas charter seems so clearly to be just a continuation of Hitler’s work, along with the fascism in the streets of Paris and London.
And I wonder about something else.
Imagine if there had been such an app in the Holocaust?
Imagine all those American Jews hearing a gong every time a single Jewish life was extinguished half a world away in Europe.
Six million gongs.
At one a minute, it would have taken eleven and a half years.
על אלה אני בוכיה - עיני עיני ירדה מים כי רחק ממני מנחם משיב נפשי
For these I weep - mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me.
August 01, 2014
The John Travolta movie ‘Swordfish’ opens with a bank heist in which suicide vests strapped onto hostages are detonated. The resulting explosion is played out in slow motion with ball bearings ripping through glass and flying bodies. It runs for nearly a full minute.
This is Gaza today. A city in a suicide vest which has been exploding on our screens in slow motion over these last three weeks. Just as in the movie, when this grisly scene finally plays out in Gaza there will be an eerie silence with little left but wreckage and body parts.
Suicide bombings have become an almost daily occurrence in various parts of the world and we have become desensitised to them, so long as they don’t come too close to home or an airline route that we use. Whether it’s Mohammed Atta of 9/11, the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston or our home-grown Germaine Lindsay who bombed London on 7/7, the pattern is the same. They all started out as good students with a promising future. And then something ugly happened which destroyed them and all those around them.
What we’re witnessing in Gaza is a metamorphosis of Islamist terrorism. A new phenomenon: the world’s first urban suicide bomb.
In many ways the profile is similar.
Gaza started out with so much promise.
9 years ago Israel evacuated every Jewish man woman and child from the Gaza strip. 8,000 people were torn away from their homes and even the dead were pulled from their graves for reburial in Israel. All this pain was inflicted by Israel’s most hawkish Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, just to give peace a chance.
Israel left behind farms and greenhouses on land that had never been cultivated in hundreds of years. Billions in foreign aid poured in from America and Europe, and the UN set up schools and welfare centres. Just like Atta, Tsarnaev and Lindsay - Gaza had everything going for it.
And then something ugly happened to Gaza, which is destroying it and everything around it.
Just as the suicide bomber is fitted with his (or her) explosive vest, so Gaza was fitted with its vest by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Just as the bomber watches the ball bearings being loaded and straps being tied, so the Gazans watched the rockets being shipped in and the tunnels being dug. In 2012 the Institute of Palestine Studies reported that over 160 children died digging those tunnels according to Hamas’ own sources.
With over 10,000 rockets stored in mosques, schools, UN facilities and within 6 years’ worth of tunnelling underneath their homes and streets, no resident of Gaza could fail to have realised that their city was being suited up as a giant suicide bomb to be deployed against the Jewish state.
Just as in the movie - and just as indiscriminately as the ball bearings - hundreds of Hamas rockets have continued to burst out of the Gaza suicide vest as if in slow motion over this 3-week campaign. Under this hail of fire, Israeli soldiers have been fighting against time to peel off what remains of this deadly straitjacket. And under unprecedentedly strict orders of engagement they have paid with their own lives to save as many vital organs in Gaza as possible.
We don’t know how this campaign will end. Hopefully it will see the total destruction of Hamas and the liberation of their Gaza hostages to a life of enlightenment in place of incitement. But I fear this metamorphosis of Islamist terror is only the second of three stages.
Stage 1 is the ‘Human’ Suicide Bomber – an oxymoron if there ever was one.
Stage 2 is the Urban Suicide Bomb - prototyped in Gaza.
Stage 3 is the State Suicide Bomb – and this will be Iran.
Paymaster and gunrunner to all the major terror organisations of the world, the Islamic Republic is now within an ace of producing nuclear weapons. After years of getting their sanctions act together, the western powers finally brought the mullocracy to the brink of surrender when the president of their Big Satan inexplicably handed them a lifeline. Now they are rehabilitated and more outspoken than ever on their rights to enrichment of weapons-grade uranium.
The ayatollahs’ calculus is simple. That Israel is a ‘one-bomb-nation’ compared with sustainable losses in the Islamic world if there is retaliation.
Think of a Gaza. Add one hundred million. Mix in the uranium.
July 30, 2014
“War is chaos and full of mistakes. But mistakes are not war crimes”
[Col. Richard Kemp, Geneva 2009. UN debate on Goldstone findings]
If we were Britain which bombed the German city of Dresden killing 25,000 people in two days, we could have silenced the Hamas rockets in the same two days without loss on our side.
If we were NATO which bombed Serbia and its capital Belgrade, killing 2,000 civilians and destroying 300 schools libraries and 20 hospitals, we could have been finished in Gaza within a week without committing ground troops.
If we were Russia which bombed Chechnya and its capital Grozny, with civilian deaths never officially revealed, we could have stopped the rockets within a few days without loss of a single soldier.
If we were the USA which nuked two Japanese cities vaporizing nearly 250,000 people, we could have ended the Hamas rocket fire within an hour, without burying a single one of our boys.
But we are not any of the above.
We are the people of the book.
It is not in our nature or our DNA to indiscriminately bomb any city, even when our own families are under fire.
The only moral option against an enemy hiding behind and under civilians was to send in our boys to closely check targets and risk their lives to enter booby-trapped buildings and tunnel entrances.
By dropping warning leaflets as well as phoning and texting thousands of warnings, our army gave up its most valuable tactical weapon: the element of surprise.
For this morality in war – truly unmatched by ANY army in the history of military conflict – we are now burying our 56th soldier.
May the Almighty grant comfort to their grieving and yet immensely proud families.
עם ישראל חי – לנצח
July 27, 2014
Whilst the TV networks portray Gaza destruction photos in a continuous loop, I would like to add one of my own.
This is what remained of the Neve Dekalim Synagogue, demolished along with a dozen other shuls, at the time of our Gaza pullout in 2005.
We did this awful thing and uprooted 8,000 Jews from beautiful homes and farms in order to give peace a chance.
We left the Arabs our greenhouses, our farmed land, municipal buildings and a lot more.
They stripped the concrete and steel from our synagogues to build rockets and terror tunnels.
They voted for Hamas which is the sole cause of their misery and destruction today.
In these days before Tisha B'Av we should weep for the synagogues and yeshivas that were destroyed for nothing.
Let us never do this again.
7 a.m. Day 5. The commander awakens, bathed in sweat, his throat raw from a long night of chain-smoking.
He sees the empty corner where the portable air-conditioner stood and gutturally curses the strident nurse who keeps taking it back to the children’s ward. Rolling out his prayer mat he feels the thud of a missile in the street, three floors above his head. Sounds like one of their own. He frets about these misfires hitting today’s Israeli shipment through the Erez Crossing. His third wife’s Teva medication is due in today.
Now desperate for some sunlight and fresh air he cracks open the door and barks a command to summon his driver and fetch the kids. His minders clear the way upstairs and through the yellowed corridors of Gaza’s main hospital. His dark glasses dim the pitiful scene of gurneys parked end-to-end and the blur of their heaving cargo, but he cannot block out the sounds of pain and wretchedness which follow him out into the entrance lobby.
Beyond the glass entrance doors what used to be a street is now a bombsite, the buildings opposite in a grotesque repose of charred concrete and exposed steels, with shop signs hanging only by their electric wires. The kids are already out in the street, admiring the commander’s shining SUV. It started out as a brand new UN vehicle, but was quickly stolen and re-sprayed in a Hamas rocket foundry.
At the sound of a clap and a “Yallah!” the kids rush to the entrance and form a scrum around the emerging commander. As they escort him to the car, he looks up at the unseen drone he knows is watching his every step. He smiles at the thought that he is this morning’s star attraction for the enemy’s best and brightest all glued to their screens in a Tel Aviv bunker.
The scrum of kids reaches the open rear door, the commander steps in and three of the boys jump into the tailgate. The rest step back before the SUV races off in a cloud of fresh debris.
An ambulance of the Red Crescent pulls up sharply into the empty space. Two veiled women step out of the back, and call to the remaining kids to gather round. The hospital doors swish open and two men in green gowns wheel a covered trolley out to the ambulance. There is a jangling of metal beneath the tarp, sounding like oxygen cylinders but they are not. Two more trolleys follow and, once loaded into the ambulance, the women order three of the youngsters to pile in before slapping the doors shut. The ambulance makes off toward the forward launching site, siren blaring.
Meanwhile the commander has arrived outside his home. More kids are waiting at what’s left of a kerbside. He looks up at his building to the figures peering over the roof parapet. There are well over 50 of them up there, mainly women and children, in their second week of sleeping nights on mattresses to keep his family safe.
As he is escorted towards the embrace of his wives, the commander looks up again at the unseen drone in the sky. He is smiling again.
His rockets may soon be spent and his men killed or captured. But his most powerful weapon will never run out.
July 17, 2014
Pro-Israel groups are staging a solidarity rally in London this Sunday afternoon. It’ll be another opportunity to trade chants with the useful idiots of the Jihad who protest Jewish self-defence against incessant rocketing as a ‘war crime’.
Here I am referring not to the baying Muslims in the crowd but to their Anglo-Saxon supporters. You guys who chanted “we are all Hamas now!” during the last round of Gaza hostilities.
You people who never got off your backsides whilst over 150,000 people have been killed in Syria and you who’ve sat silently through the 10-year genocide in Darfur.
I have a message for you.
Take a good look around you on Sunday. I don’t mean at the Chassidic buffoons of Neturei Karta – but to your comrades in keffiyehs and hijabs. The ones with spittle running off their chins chanting: “Hamas, Hamas … Jews to the gas!”
Do you even know who they really are?
Let me introduce you.
These are the people who brought you 9-11, whose ideology is the same as those who bombed London, Madrid and Mumbai. In calling for death to the Jews, they distort the same religious teachings as those responsible for the massacre of kids in the Beslan school and the audience of a Moscow theatre. All told there have been over 23,300 deadly terror attacks by Islamists since September 11 2001*.
These militant friends of yours are followers of the same religious perversion as the barbarians who decapitated soldier Lee Rigby in broad daylight on a London street in a grotesque show before horrified witnesses.
This is the brotherhood which tries to blow people up at 30,000 feet with explosives hidden in shoes, underwear, water bottles and inkjet cartridges. Whose footsoldiers even now are developing new methods of murder in the skies. They are the reason why all passengers have to take off shoes and belts to go through all that scanning and frisking before getting on a plane. Without these new friends of yours, air travel might still be the enjoyable experience it used to be before another of their brothers,Yasser Arafat, brought terrorist hijackings into our peaceful world in 1969.
For those of you in academia: know that the folks you join hands with on Sunday are in the same tent as those who bullied English headteachers out of their jobs in order to radicalise the next generation in Britain’s own state schools. The ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal is thought by investigators to be just the tip of a very ugly iceberg.
And to those of you who work in the media: spare a thought for the 100 and more journalists imprisoned in Islamic countries. Mr Erdogan’s brotherhood government of Turkey (a NATO country!) holds top spot for the 3rd year running, with more jailed reporters than even Iran.
And do you even remember the name Daniel Pearl? He was the Washington Post reporter who was decapitated on camera by the same brotherhood you stand with. I don’t recall any of you media hacks protesting against that outrage on one of your own people. Maybe that’s because he also happened to be one of our people.
Make no mistake chaps – these agitators are all of a piece. They are not the decent Muslims I happily work with or like the vast majority of Israeli Arabs who enjoy more freedom in the Jewish state than exists anywhere else in the region.
No, your rabid friends are perverters of a faith who feed nightly on gory incitement videos. They marvel at the progress of the new Islamic standard-bearers in ISIS as they butcher their way to the grand caliphate and vow the subjugation of kuffars like you by the sword.
And by the time all the demos and boycotts are over and they have no further use for you, they’ll have taken over more than just your schools. They will move on to all the other things you hold dear, from alcohol and miniskirts to gay rights. And you will truly wish you had been on the right side all along. The side that cherishes life with the same passion as they glorify death. The side that respects freedom of all religions and champions personal liberty, democracy, a free press and women’s rights.
But here’s the really important message I have for you guys.
History has shown that what starts with the Jews ends with all the rest of you. Read up on Hitler and WW2. As the initial targets of terrorism, the Jewish state has adapted very well. Whether it’s the passenger profiling you’re still too shy to introduce, or the protection of malls, restaurants and public transport. And then there is the Iron Dome, a brilliant Israeli invention not a moment too early for its calling.
So, whilst you are paralysed by your own pathetic political correctness, we’ve been calling out evil by its true name and we have taken this war right to the enemy’s door. As their leaders cower in the basements of hospitals and UN schools, we flatten their houses and destroy their weaponry. We were the first to engage this Islamist evil and, with all your heads buried in the sand, we may well be the last.
But if you think by taking sides against us we Jews will again walk quietly into the night, you are gravely mistaken. We are a nuclear power and as children of the Holocaust, we have more reason and right to have that ultimate deterrent than just about any other nation on the planet.
As the sign on the lithium battery says: “Dispose of Carefully”.
[* Source: www.thereligionofpeace.com ]
[* Source: www.thereligionofpeace.com ]
July 03, 2014
Demolishing the homes of terrorists is 1970’s technology and these days is nothing but a gift to the families of those who murdered our three boys.
There can be no doubt that the same funds which pay salaries to terrorists already in Israeli jails will have already moved these families into one or more of the 40 five-star hotels listed by Trip Advisor for the ‘Palestinian Territories’.
Or perhaps one of the many fine hotels in Gaza City like the 5-star ultra-luxurious Al-Mashtal hotel, pictured here.
Most likely they will stay in these hotels for 6 to 9 months while new villas are built for them, with all the trappings that befit the hero-status of those who executed three defenseless Jewish schoolboys.
Those funds for convicted terrorists were recently exposed by investigative author Edwin Black as coming from public and tax exempt funds in the US and EU.
In his bestselling exposé ‘Financing the Flames’ Black shows how US/EU funds are used to pay prisoners’ monthly salaries according to the scale of their butchery.
Ahlam Tamimi, the girl who assisted the Sbarro restaurant bombing in 2001 will have received a far greater salary for 15 dead and 130 wounded than Ziad Awad can hope to get for killing just one Baruch Mizrachi on the eve of last Pesach.
We now know that Awad had previously been released in the exchange for Gilad Shalit.
So incidentally was Tamimi. We must wonder whether and when we shall be hearing from her again.
Things have moved on since house demolitions were useful as a deterrent. Ariel Sharon realized this when upping the ante against Hamas in 2004, when the IDF took out their Sheikh Yassin and terror chief Rantisi, the so-called "Lion of Palestine” - within 3 weeks of each other.
Under Sharon it is doubtful that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal would still be breathing 24 hours after the discovery of the three bodies.
So Bibi, let’s get serious.
July 02, 2014
Where there is faith there are no questions … without faith there are no answers.
The only thing more striking than the savagery of this event is the spontaneous outpouring of prayer and tehillim that took hold across the entire Jewish world for 18 days. There has hardly been a precedent on this scale in living memory.
On the first day even secular Israelis came to the Western Wall looking to join or at least associate with the swaying masses of praying Haredim from whom they were so recently alienated in the debate on army service.
We are told that the Almighty needs our prayers to reassure Him that we have not forgotten that there is a father in heaven. How sad that such terrible things need to happen to mobilise us to prayer. But a father’s primary purpose is to teach his children and guide them in the right path.
This Father sent us the Yom Kippur War to warn us not to be complacent and that we could easily be taken by surprise. He sent us the Carmel fire to teach us that in a missile war we couldn’t afford to be without firefighting aircraft. And this event has also been a lesson. That that we must never release killers, least of all for the ‘privilege’ of sitting down with our enemies and negotiating away parts of our blessed land and our security.
They came to pray at the Wall because it is the last remnant of the Temple and it is where every Jew feels closer to G-d than anywhere else in the world.
And to those asking “Why did this happen?” – that Wall also provides the answer.
We could have been left many remnants of the Temple. An arch, or maybe a pillar or a piece of a stone altar.
Instead we were left with a wall.
A simple but strong structure of partition.
We know that behind that wall lies the nemesis of our people and all that we stand for. Not far removed from the murderers of 9-11 or the barbaric beheaders of ISIS, they deny our Temple, our Shoah and our very right to exist. By their own admission they glorify death just as we cherish life.
Just as people forget that there is a father in heaven, many of us also forget - or refuse to accept - that there is true evil in this world. And so, things like this happen to wake us up and bring us back to the Wall in search of answers. To remind us never to lower our guard. Never to trust or build bridges with these forces of pure evil, under whatever guise they present themselves or for whatever short-term gains or plaudits are promised from the wider world.
The realists in Israel have recognised this and extended the Wall with a security fence across many hundreds of miles. Our detractors refer to it as a ‘separation barrier’ and, in this context at least, maybe they are right.
It’s no accident that we were left with just a wall.
After 2,000 years it’s now very old and cracked in many places.
What better way to insulate us from such a parallel universe of hate and brutality than with the thousands of notes squashed into those cracks, each one carrying the pleas and prayers of decent people who share and cherish our simple humanitarian values.
עַל־אֵ֣לֶּה ׀ אֲנִ֣י בֹוכִיָּ֗ה עֵינִ֤י ׀ עֵינִי֙ יֹ֣רְדָה מַּ֔יִם כִּֽי־רָחַ֥ק מִמֶּ֛נִּי מְנַחֵ֖ם מֵשִׁ֣יב נַפְשִׁ֑י הָי֤וּ בָנַי֙ שֹֽׁומֵמִ֔ים כִּ֥י גָבַ֖ר אֹויֵֽב׃
“For these I weep; my eyes flow with tears; for a comforter is far from me, one to revive my spirit; my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed.”
June 22, 2014
The more you follow events in Israel, the more you realize things just do not happen the way they do anywhere else in the world.
Whether it’s our miraculous victories in war, or the normality of life surrounded by millions of sworn enemies outside our borders and living with a million of their kith and kin inside. It’s hard to be an atheist in Israel.
And so with the recent kidnapping – something out of the ordinary happens.
The reaction, sadly delayed by a police foul-up, was a massive manhunt in the immediate area of the kidnapping in Etzion and Chevron.
Within 48 hours the dragnet had spread further afield. In this process, the IDF picked up some of the high-ups in Hamas and its jihadist offshoots for questioning. Essentially this was an intelligence-gathering operation by whatever means to interrogate locals and urgently pick up the trail of the kidnappers.
And then something else happened.
We heard that more than 50 of the prisoners released in exchange for Gilad Shalit were rearrested. And that other villains freed in the more recent round of misguided prisoner releases are also being rounded-up to be returned to their jails in Israel.
This is a remarkable turnaround and one which I refuse to believe was a strategy worked-out well in advance by the powers-that-be, as is so often claimed in Israel.
All the anguish over the prisoner releases was about killers getting away with murder. About them laughing all the way to their next recidivist attack. Not one MK or media pundit ever said they were on a short leash, or that they could/would be so easily recaptured to serve their full terms.
And yet, this is what’s happening.
And of all the ideas bandied about in the process of the prisoner releases in the Knesset and newspapers and pontificated by the talking heads on Israel TV, no-one to my knowledge ever raised this prospect of turning the tables so decisively on Hamas and the PLO. Not even the taxi drivers came up with the idea of saying: “Now the kidnapping stops, or we round-up the lot of you and you’ll serve your full tariff back in our jails”.
It’s pure genius.