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A Light unto the Nations

Israel must preserve itself if it wishes its light to be seen.

by
David Solway

Bio

August 19, 2014 - 12:01 am
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I have often wondered why a people that professes itself, as the prophet Isaiah said (Isaiah 49:6), to be “a light unto the Nations” — something that it manifestly is, as any objective study of its world-benefitting discoveries and humane military practices would demonstrate –  is so often a darkness unto itself.

For example, a video clip has just surfaced of a Palestinian mother whose child was saved by Israeli doctors, gleefully proclaiming that she will raise that child to become a shahid, a suicide “martyr,” who will repay his gift of life by slaughtering Jews. The doctor and nurses are presented as smiling and full of fellow-feeling for someone who hopes her son will destroy them and their homeland. Why are Jews so eager to help those who seek to destroy their children? The moral calculus on the part of Israeli benefactors is self-destructively skewed.

On a similar note, I wonder why Israeli officialdom tarried so long before acknowledging Philippe Karsenty’s documentary evidence proving that the Palestinians staged the travesty at the infamous Netzarim Junction and the presumed death of Mohammed al Dura, for which Israel was duly blamed. Why was Israel so slow to proclaim its innocence and so prone to take seriously the scurrilous charges leveled against it?

More recently, a report reveals that the IDF is preparing to defend itself against potential charges of war crimes for its campaign in Gaza to defend Israel from thousands of rocket attacks launched by Hamas at Israeli civilian communities. Yet the fact remains that it is not the IDF that is guilty of war crimes, but Hamas itself, which deliberately targeted non-combatants and conscripted its own civilians as human shields, while Israel cripples its military effectiveness by warning Gazans of impending strikes.

Compounding the absurdity, for years after the Gaza withdrawal up to the present day, Israel has been furnishing an avowed and determined enemy with food, fuel, electricity, medical supplies, and building materials. Earlier embargos on certain dual-purpose items were eased in 2010 and 2012. According to IDF estimates, 181,000 tons of gravel, iron, cement and wood entered Gaza via Israeli crossings in the last half year alone.  I know of no other nation on earth that would stockpile and replenish a bellicose entity devoted to wiping every one of its supplier’s citizens off the face of the planet.

I freely admit that I am no military expert and certainly not a diplomat or policy wonk; nonetheless, it seemed undeniable to me that not only was Israel reinforcing a terrorist aggressor but that the so-called building materials would be used not only for civilian purposes but to construct military installations and structures, such as bunkers and tunnels. How could the Israeli political class and its high command not perceive what was so blatantly obvious that even a mere Canadian poet could see the writing on the underground walls?

Top Rated Comments   
A report just hit the internet (www.algemeiner.com) this morning that Dennis Ross "the senior Mideast policy adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from 2009 to 2011, has admitted that it was he who was assigned the task of pressuring Israel to ease up on its military blockade of Gaza."
He said: “I argued with Israeli leaders and security officials, telling them they needed to allow more construction materials, including cement, into Gaza so that housing, schools and basic infrastructure could be built,” Ross revealed in the Washington Post on August 10. “They countered that Hamas would misuse it, and they were right.”

Now you may understand what causes Israel to help her enemies.
Whenever Israel tries to defend herself, the world acts to prevent her from being too successful. www.why-israel.com
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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How many Jews are familiar with what Martin Buber wrote about how the Creator interacts with each creature?

Start there, because wisdom is knowledge put into action, and it is better to be wise than to be a fool.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Buber and Judah Magnes dominated academia in the pre-State Israel and their heirs continue to dominate those spheres of influence, also the media and intelligensia.The greatest influence has been the chokehold on the Justice system, which has crippled any legislation that would favor nationalistic aims.A tiny minority has thus been able to totally dominate the majority. Their ideology greatly shows the crippling effects ofcenturiesofoppression.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Israel has a guilty conscience about defending itself. Thus the act guilty and back off.

Such faltering provokes anti-Semitism which is in a sense good for Israel, encouraging Jews to return, being seriously shorthanded.

The arrogance with which the article begins is odious and racist.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
The more Israel tries to be liked, the more it is hated.

In the halting, hesitant, apologetic defense of its existence, Israel actions carry with them the aura of uncertainty about the righteousness of their cause. The picked on kid who begs for acceptance from the low character lunch table delinquents.

Humbling itself, eyes cast downward, head drooped...it adopts the stance of the shamed. Only when the attacks leave the realm of insults and slander does it rise up to full height and administer a measure of justice on the damned.

Then, when that defensive beating has been issued, it shrinks back to give off a smallness vibe. It hides its strength, its power, its might so that it removes any hint of ability to destroy evil.

Because wanting to be liked is more important than wanting to be safe.

Israel is a candle in a storm from which it refuses shelter.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Excellent commentary as always, David. Your outrage and compassion are perfectly articulated, and you speak for many. I have missed seeing your columns lately; please write more.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
For a slightly different POV:
http://issuesetc.org/2009/07/23/christian-zionism/
an interview with Aaron Wolf, writer for "Chronicles". Israel isn't always the most tolerant of places.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
For observant Jews spiritual annihilation is as big as a concern as physical annihilation. Your link did not make it readily apparent what your issue was but I will say that Israel is very tolerant of people of all faiths practicing their faiths but is not at all "tolerant" of people coming to Israel to try to convert Jews…Show some respect in your host's house I would say.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, David, we are a strange people. Hitler wrote that he hated us because "The Jews invented conscience." That's as good an explanation as any, I guess. In the end, being a Jew is an interesting karma... full of contradictions, brains and talent, the focus of scrutiny and hatred and envy and admiration and head-scratching the world-over, hot women, weird genetic diseases...

Any post-WWII Jewish person who doesn't get the miracle/saga of the creation and thriving of the nation of Israel as the greatest single achievement of our time (i.e., American Jewish liberals) is missing out on the power and fulfillment of what it means to be connected to our brothers and sisters... that Jewish is not merely a religion, not a race, not like anything else...but Jewish is a People. And we're not going away.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
A report just hit the internet (www.algemeiner.com) this morning that Dennis Ross "the senior Mideast policy adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from 2009 to 2011, has admitted that it was he who was assigned the task of pressuring Israel to ease up on its military blockade of Gaza."
He said: “I argued with Israeli leaders and security officials, telling them they needed to allow more construction materials, including cement, into Gaza so that housing, schools and basic infrastructure could be built,” Ross revealed in the Washington Post on August 10. “They countered that Hamas would misuse it, and they were right.”

Now you may understand what causes Israel to help her enemies.
Whenever Israel tries to defend herself, the world acts to prevent her from being too successful. www.why-israel.com
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually I did not need Dennis Ross to tell me that…it was apparent…Hilary was putting Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood in charge of Hamas and full steam ahead in building up Gaza.Talk about rewarding bad behavior!
You know if you gave those people a little more reason to hate Hamas maybe there would be a slight chance that they would overthrow them.

I really can't believe this article, though.
At one time maybe Israelis believed in peace…remember that lovely expression conjured up by the Left, "Victims of Peace?"(for the thousands killed by terrorists)
Well, I'd say that today Israel is in a stew of it's own cooking…they tried and failed at peace but the world will not let them "no backsies"…No, no, no, we must move ahead on the "Two-State Solution"…didn't, even PM Netanyahu commit himself to it?(Don't remind them that not one condition of that "solution" has ever been fulfilled by Fatah, let alone Hamas).
Now, we have almost all of Israel realizing that the whole idea was just a dream…today, even Hareidi Shas MK Eli Yishai came up with the idea to label the Oslo Accords as a "National Tragedy."
In these days, we see the reason for the "compromise"…it's like saying a parent, whose child has been kidnapped, "compromises" with the extortionist.
'Nuff said, but I will add that Jews can only be "a light unto the nations" when they are in their own nation, Israel.From there we can do the only real "tikkum olam."
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Last winter, in the midst of Kerry's "peace initiative", I heard Dennis Ross speak at a Maryland synagogue. During Q&A, I asked why, given the series of US missteps in the region, the US still still acted as if it knew better than the locals who would have to live with the consequences of US policies.

His long-winded answer - focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - boiled down, is that we had to try something. (Ah yes, the liberal's obsession with "doing something".) I followed up, reminding him that the failures were not limited to the peace process, but extended to Hamas in the 2006 elections, the Arab Spring, Syria, and Iran's nuclear project. I never got what I thought was a cogent answer. I turned to my friend, asking if she thought he'd answered my question. "Not really," she said.

Ross is among the presumably "smart guys" that have made a career out of treating the Israel-Palestinian problem as the focus of their Middle East musings. But because they misread the core issues, they naturally get the rest wrong too. Sometimes catastrophically wrong.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Or it could be that they stubbornly continue to try to put square pegs into round holes.

They conclude they know that part of the world, but it is more about what they want that part of the world to look like.

Put another way, they don't want to hear what they don't want to hear.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks for calling my attention to the Dennis Ross piece, http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/08/17/how-hillary-clinton-enabled-hamas-construction-of-terror-tunnels/.

I pray it is widely circulated. Dennis Ross' "achievements" include the Oslo Accords, serving as Obama's point-man on Iranian WMD and now apparently facilitating the smuggling of terror materials to Hamas.

It's depressing that Ross enjoys such great prestige as a foreign policy operator, including stratospheric levels of respect from the American Jewish establishment.

Ross would have done more for the US if he had spent his career flipping burgers at a hamburger joint on Ft Bragg and more for Israel by 30 years of sweeping streets in Tel Aviv.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...Whenever Israel tries to defend herself, the world acts..."

"The world acts" by finding a careerist kapo without like Dennis Ross to do its dirty work.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
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