A time for war

In these difficult times, we need clarity of thought and we must reconsider the values we have gone by over the past decades. Seven thoughts about the situation.

 By  Dror Eydar     10-20-2023 10:01

People mourn by the coffins of five members of the Kutz family, Aviv, 54, Livnat, 49, Rotem, 19, Yonatan, 17, and Yiftach, 15, who were murdered by Hamas | Photo: AFP / Oren Ziv

1. Genocide

The earth is still running with rivers of blood from our brothers and sisters who were raped and slaughtered and burned alive. Their blood cries out from the ground calling for the elimination of the evil that caused their deaths and to avenge them. When reality is so difficult to accept, we turn to ancient sources to help us mediate that reality. We are in an event of biblical proportions, an event that goes way beyond a terrorist attack against Jews. What happened on October 7 in the Jewish communities along the Gaza border was genocide, a shocking proof of what these savages would do to us all, given half a chance.

2. Public diplomacy

Immediately after the explosion at the Ah-Ahli hospital in Gaza, our enemies were quick to blame Israel. It soon became clear that what happened was that an Islamic Jihad rocket aimed at our children, failed in mid-flight and fell on their hospital. During Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2022, a quarter of all rockets and missiles fired from Gaza fell in the Strip itself. Now as well, Hamas and the other terrorist organizations are killing the residents of Gaza. The world initially believed the liars, but Israel acted quickly and discovered the truth and presented overwhelming evidence that it was not behind the hospital strike. Despite this, the fake news remains out there. For example, an analysis of social networks in Italy the morning after the hospital explosion revealed that Hamas’ lie had spread on more than 16 million accounts, while the truth presented by Israel had reached only 112,000 accounts. There is work to be done on the PR front, which is of great importance as it complements the fighting on the ground. Let us hope.

.3. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas<

I read an article by Thomas Friedman in which he tried to give us advice on how to deal with the tragedy. The solution, in his opinion, still lies in the Palestinian Authority, which in his view is “moderate” compared to Hamas. However, contrary to what Friedman thinks, the difference between them is not substantial but quantitative. Had Fatah terrorists been able to do what Hamas terrorists did, they would have massacred the Jews of Kfar Saba or Afula. Currently, the PA pays stipends to Palestinians who have murdered Jews, with the amount of money they receive based on the number of Jews they have murdered. This is the PA’s official policy. To borrow a phrase from what New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in his impressive pro-Israel speech: “We are not okay” when such a disgrace persists. The PA or Hamas will also pay the families of the Palestinians butchered children in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, just as they still pay the terrorists who slaughtered the Fogel family in March 2011.

4. A Palestinian state

Some Jews are merciful to their enemies but less toward their own people. Friedman is invested in the idea of a Palestinian state and finds it difficult to find the fortitude to admit that he was wrong. Over and again, he repeats the idea of “territorial compromise” as a solution to the bloody conflict. I wrote at length last week that territorial compromise is a rational Western term and how

On the other hand, our neighbors speak of “land” (“adama” in Hebrew), from which the name “Adam” is derived. In the Middle East, the cradle of world civilization, our neighbors are governed by ancient concepts reign among our neighbors. For them, a person without land has no existence, so it is worth pouring “blood” on it forever. (The Hebrew word Adam contains the word dam, which means blood, and the word for land contains both Adam and dam).

Video: Security forces respond to rocket attack / Credit: Erez Linn

This is a society that still maintains primeval institutions such as “blood redemption,” “stoning,” “honor killings,” the rape of prisoners of war; it is a society in which there is neither freedom of opinion nor freedom of science. Logos versus mythos, Friedman. Lexus versus an olive tree. From the balcony of my home in Rehovot near the Weizmann Institute, I can see the hills of Binyamin Mountains with a naked eye. Ramallah is there. Do you think we will allow a terrorist state to be established on the mountain ridge facing the heart of the country? Was the failed attempt we made in Gaza not enough – what else will it take for you to admit that you were wrong?

5. Betrayal by the intellectuals

Prof. Russell Rickford spoke at a pro-Hamas rally at Cornell University. He shouted enthusiastically that the Hamas attack was “exhilarating, energizing,” in that it posed a “challenge to the monopoly on violence, by this shifting of the balance of power [between Israel and Hamas].” If we wondered how there were apologists of Hitler among Britain’s intellectual and academic elite in the 1930s, here, before our very eyes, is a professor at an important US university supporting baby killers, rapists, and decapitators. We also saw and will not forget the weak response of the heads of Harvard University and their ilk. For them, this is a conflict between two morally equal entities…

In 1927, Julien Benda coined the term “betrayal by the intellectuals.” With time, the term has added more meanings. There are situations in which politicization is so strong that people lose their sense of self-criticism and are unable to see anything that is not through this lens. For this degenerate elite, Israel (and the West) are the bad guys and if that is the case then from their perspective Hamas can bring redemption. I feel sorry for their students.

6. Biden and the question of representation

US President Joe Biden has demonstrated his deep commitment to the Jewish people and the State of Israel, not just by talking the talk but also by walking the walk. He sent two aircraft carriers to the region and arrived on a solidarity tour. Thank you, Mr. President. We will always remember that you stood by us during this dark period.

Nevertheless, Biden too is still in the grip on the concept that “Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people,” as if the Palestinians are an entity kidnapped by terrorists from another planet. But that is not the case. Gazans elected Hamas. Almost every poll conducted in the Palestinian Authority shows that Hamas would win elections. That’s why elections aren’t held in the PA. The savages who slaughtered and raped and looted and beheaded were a mix of trained terrorists and “ordinary” Gazans who came, even on crutches, to participate in the butchery and looting. In the streets of Gaza, too, the mob cheered the “heroism” of the martyrs and praised the rape of our daughters and the murderers of our children. And where did tens of thousands of Hamas terrorists come from? From the Gazan public.

The debate is reminiscent of that over Nazi Germany when people tried to draw a distinction between the civilian population and the Nazis. During the war, there was no difference; the Allies treated Nazi Germany as one entity. The statement that “Hamas does not represent the Palestinians” is another case of Western wishful thinking. After all, we are rational people and it cannot be possible that an entire public supports the slaughter of Jews, right?

7. The Bible

The catastrophe fell upon us on the same day that we complete the annual cycle of reading from the Torah and began anew from Genesis. Being anew means to abandon our old conceptions and adopting new ways of thinking. In the Torah portion that we will read this Shabbat about Noah’s Ark, we hear ancient echoes. “The earth became corrupt before God; the earth was filled with lawlessness (in the Bible Hamas). God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to all flesh, for the earth is filled with lawlessness (Hamas) because of them: I am about to destroy them with the earth.” After the flood, humanity receives an injunction of life: “…for your own life-blood, I will require a reckoning… Whoever sheds human blood, by human hands shall that one’s blood be shed; for in the image of God was humankind made.”

Rabbi David Kimhi (the RaDak) who lived in Narbonne, France in the late 12th and early 13th centuries explained that the statement “for in the image of God was humankind made” relates to the murderer. He deserves death because he “destroyed a creature made in God’s own image.” With our very eyes, we saw the barbarism perpetrated by the Gazans who destroyed their own image of God and thus do not deserve to live. We have a moral duty to eliminate evil and expunge it from the world. As the poet Natan Alterman wrote: “Time of war. The image of these things was its (the war’s) image too.”

October 21, 2023 | 5 Comments »

Leave a Reply

5 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. @Adam
    Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, the perception that the heredi are actually voluntarily increasing their efforts in defense of the homeland will improve the ugly relationship which the heredi reluctance to serve has helped expand among the secular community.

  2. @peloni. I agree with you 100% that the haredi requests to enlist since October 7 are exceptional and well above the usual number of haredi volunteers per week. This is probably the result of the overall surge in Jewish volunteering and that has occurred since the October 7 massacre, But it is very encouraging that the spirit of volunteering and patriotism has drawn in at least part of the haredi population. It validates my beliief that there is a gradual trend among young haredim to integrate themselves into the mainstream of Israeli Jewish life and to identify positively with the state and their non-haredi fellow citizens. I believe this more positive attitude towards national service is taking place even despite the disapproval of these young men’s elders and even parents, who cling to their delusion that Israel is the equivalent of tsarist Russia.

  3. @Adam
    The figure you named, 3000 per year, is a per annum number, whereas the 2000 haredi which are referenced in the article have signed up over the course of two weeks. Now, it might be assumed that these were potentially just a draw forward of those members of the heredi community who would have done so over the next year, but I don’t think there is anything to support this assumption. We will see if the trend continues or if it slacks off to maintain the 3000/yr figure, but I would be willing to bet that we will see the 3000 heredi recruitment increase for the current year. But time will tell.

  4. https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/378911

    According tothis report, the IDF has received “over 2,000 requests from people in the “haredi secror” to join the army since the Hamas invasion of October 7. While this is encouraging, it is not really a new trend. Every year for the past several (3-5?) years, somehere around 3,000 haredi men of military age have volunteered for IDF service, despite their legal exemption pushed.through the knesset by the haredi parties., However, only about one third of these prospective haredi recruits have passed their physicals and been inducted into the IDF. Regrettably, many haredi schools are responsible for this because they have not provided their students with physical education or sports opportunities. Also, haredi schools reuire students to daven in ways that cause near-sightedness, which may make them ineligible for military service. In addition,, some haredi schools do not provide their students with sufficiently nourishing food . especially vegetables, to insure their students health. But while this probably results in some haredi volunteers flunking their physicals, it hasn’t dicouraged them from trying to enlist. And somewhere around one thousand a year do pass their physicals and do get inducted into the IDF. IDF press spokesmen say that they have performed as well as other IDF soldiers in both combat and combat support positions.