Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Saving Israel

“Mass movements do not usually rise until the prevailing order has been discredited.” – (Eric Hoffer, “The True Believer”)

“The sky is falling.” –Chicken Little

In today’s era of social media activism, “likes” and “shares” are standards of truth. Judging from Facebook and the plethora of “hasbara warriors” on social media, it would be easy to identify the BDS movement as Israel’s greatest threat. Personally, I never kvetch about the BDS movement, the U.N.’s Jew-hatred, or the anti-Israel bias of the BBC. They are all transparent anti-Semites, and I expect their reactions the way I expect the rising sun. Don’t misunderstand me. I hate them with every fiber of my being. Yet I expect nothing less from them.

I do expect that a prime minister of Israel protect his people from the genocidal Arabs in our midst. I expect this from any prime minister, even one whose positions on most issues are contrary to mine. Protecting one’s people should transcend politics and religious ideology.  I believe that Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies of self-restraint and appeasement pose a far greater security threat to Israel than the most aggressive anti-Israel boycott movement. A leader’s failure to protect his citizens is the ultimate failure in leadership.

Israel’s political institutions present a greater threat to national safety than do the Arabs, since they negate the possibility of dealing with our enemies. Given strong leadership, Israel could easily defeat the Arabs. The problem stems from the system of government and its institutions, and the kinds of individuals who pursue political power. Being neither Jewish nor authentically democratic, Israel mirrors a totalitarianism system hiding behind a democratic façade. A genuine democracy provides people with a bill of rights. In Israel, the most law-abiding citizen has no such rights. The “right to bear arms” is surely a Jewish one, since it is a mitzvah to live-yet this proves difficult in the “Jewish State.” The most liberal state in America has stronger laws protecting the use of deadly force in self-defense than the ones we contend with in Israel. In Israel, one has to prove that a jagged rock hurled at one’s head presented a lethal threat.

I made Aliyah several years ago, DESPITE the reality of governance of Israel, not because of it. I came to Israel for reasons relating to my understanding of Halacha and hashkafa as it applies to residing in Israel and my perspective on Jewish governance in our age. I knew that living in a country so devoid of Torah influence, so detached from common sense would drive me to frustration. I knew it academically and I knew that living in Israel would only exacerbate and confirm it.

As I see it, the religious obligation is to try to change the system. The precise formula for doing so remains unclear to me and many other like-minded Jews, since the opportunity is historically unprecedented. Yet the obligation remains, theoretically at least, despite the seemingly impossible odds. What we see today masquerading as Torah Judaism, both in the charedi world and the various sections of the “religious Zionist” world, are false representations of Halachic Judaism, largely self-serving and perpetuating monolithic close-minded systems. Despite the growing demographic of religious Jews, disunity negates the possibility that religious Jews will drastically affect the country’s direction in the near future. Nor would an honest religious Jew desire to see a theocratic state run by many of these groups. Such a state would be “frum” in form only.

We live in a country where apparently, Jewish lives do not matter. The government tolerates the worst atrocities of Arabs against Jews. Every week we have an updated list of Jews murdered by all types of Arabs: Arab drivers, Arab “citizens,” Arab teenagers, and Arab “police officers.” The government response is as consistent and predictable as the growing Jewish body count. With every tragedy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responds with eloquent speeches promising a strong response to the inevitable violence. Yet, the status quo persists. The die-hard Likudniks celebrate their leader, and rejoice at another an opportunity to mock the Likud’s hypocrisy on matters of national defense.

With every week, the truth becomes more glaring. The government will not protect us. It does not matter which party is in control. Not in war, and not in “peace.” It will not protect its soldiers, and our leaders will actually endanger them to satisfy the demands of the world who hate any manifestation of Jewish strength.

The only way to change the insanity is to expose it, by eschewing the role of “hasbara warrior,” and exposing the inept government of Israel and their cadre of career politicians. Self-respecting Jews should consider the following: rather than engaging in politically correct, respectable, hasbara by extolling all things great (real and imagined) in Israel, expose the ineptitude of Israel’s leaders and Israeli society in general, which sustains a dysfunctional status quo and prevents us from doing the most normal thing of all: LIVING!

Benjamin Netanyahu purports to carry on a legacy of strong nationalism. In truth, his policies today are far closer to Mapai’s tactical and ideological self-restraint, than anything exhibited by Avraham Stern, Trumpledor, Jabotinsky, David Raziel, and a thousand other Jewish heroes. The greatness of these men, none of them carbon copies of the other, relates to the fact that all were concerned with protecting Jews from Arab and British barbarism. There were no calculations of tolerable levels of murdered Jews. They bled when Jews bled. This is the greatest stain on Netanyahu’s leadership. Arab violence is a veritable virus, and by all accounts, it is getting worse. When a Jew makes a wrong turn in Jerusalem, he makes a deadly mistake.

Perhaps the most apparent example of our dysfunctional society relates to the culture of lawlessness that pervades Israel. Israel is country without a proper police force, or for that matter, even a cultural sense of what normal police officers should look like. The police are culled from societal defectives. Worse still, most Israelis do not even comprehend the problem, so we are nowhere near an age where we will see any change. How many examples do we require of police abuse and general ineptitude, which resulted in murdered Jews, either by Arab terrorists, or by homegrown Jewish sociopaths who thrive in a bully culture, which lacks a basic bill of rights?

A government, which refuses to protect us from local terror, from rioting Arab mobs with slings and knives, will never protect us from Iran. A normal country must be (if nothing else) self-respecting. A country, which believes it, has the right to exist and does not need to point out its technological achievements to assert itself. The Soviets had brilliant men and woman who accomplished much in the arts, medicine, technology, etc., yet despite their contributions, they were evil. Our reason for being, our moral Divine right is not contingent on talented Israelis.

Enough with the BDS hysterics! Netanyahu’s policies present a greater danger to Israel than the BDS movement. The endgame for both major parties and their aspiring counterparts in the small populist parties are the same. The only difference is that the Likud lulls the populace to sleep, while the prototypical left would hand the keys to Abbas overnight. The former deadens the will to fight back, since the illusion of a better option stifles any opportunity to rebel. The status quo is a temptress.

I ask all thoughtful Jews to assess Israel’s current inability to protect itself from the rampant Arab terror. Does anyone with common sense believe that Israel is technically unable to protect itself? It is very capable. It is unwilling. Moreover, because it lacks the will to fight the Arabs, our governments are complicit in the murder of Jews.

The system is sick. The supposed ability to change the system by working within the system is a lie. If they dislike your message, they will ban you. They will detain and torture you for fictitious crimes. The Knesset is a haven of the corrupt and the sick. Israel needs a new popular movement to expose everything that is wrong with Israel. The abuse of the innocent. The right solutions will arise when people ask the right questions.

The solution can only arise from a grassroots movement of the people. There are many problems in Israel. Foremost is the Arab problem, and it derives solely from Jewish weakness. The arrogant claim of Israeli strength is a lie. Our Prime Minister’s dominant trait is weakness. The same can be said for every politician who regurgitates tired populist talking points to retain their congregants.

It is not just about security. There are many economic and judicial abuses in Israel. All of it terrible, all of it so terribly unjewish. It stifles creativity and productivity and frequently punishes the innocent, and the vulnerable. Yet we cannot even begin to address these problems in the current climate, which denies Jews the most basic right of all. The ability to breathe and live without having your throat torn open by Arabs.

Tragically, we are nowhere near the point where the growth of such a movement is likely. Death has not personally affected enough people for them to see the truth. The time is not ripe. This does not justify inaction or apathy, or excuse us from fighting in some capacity. It simply reflects the blood pressure of the nation. Too many people are happy with “Israel” and proud of their country. Their Facebook statuses and posts reflect this. I see things differently. We need to be ashamed that a modern nation with the military capacity for protecting Jewish lives refuses to do so. We should be outraged that Jewish deaths are accepted, tolerated, and ignored, by governments who have a high tolerance for murdered Jews. We need to weep for the incarceration of innocent Jews whose “democratic” government treats them the way Jews were treated in Siberia not that long ago.

Proud of the government of Israel? Not I. I am ashamed that our leaders refuse to protect Jews from our Arab enemies. The most basic responsibility of even a flawed state of Israel would be in protecting Jewish lives. Since the government denies us the basic right to live, we need to use every effort to expose and discredit the internal players who ensure future Jewish tragedies. It starts with the charlatans of Likud who control the country today, who have long ago cast away any semblance of self-respect and Jewish identity, and who repeatedly choose an ill-qualified man to lead the nation. It starts with the masses who protect and support this inept party, who get away with the very same things that it accuses Labor of doing.

As long as the charade of a “Jewish State” as currently constituted exists, we will never have a truly Jewish one. Authentic Zionism must be based upon Torah. The alternative is a society of corruption, weakness, and eroded morals. The alternative is the Divine promise for failing to do so. A person who genuinely loves Eretz Yisroel and Am Yisrael must commit himself to exposing the deadly status-quo.

We need to attack the prevailing popular myths extolling Israel’s “morality” with facts that highlight real pressing problems which need to be rectified. Despite what many hasbara types would have you believe, self-restraint when dealing with enemies is not proof of one’s morality. It is evidence to the contrary. We need not worry about “airing our dirty laundry” for the world to see. The world sees a dirty Israel for all the wrong reasons. Let them condemn us for the right ones.
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