KANDEL: The unexpected destroyers of my Zionist dream


GIVAT SHMUEL, Israel August 18, 2014  — I have been asked a number of times by my esteemed editors at Communities Digital News to broach the topic of what, in my opinion, makes Israel so important. In essence, they have (rightfully so) been pushing me to explain why I gave up my comfortable life living close to friends and family in sunny Southern California for a tiny desert in the Middle East surrounded by insatiable blood-thirsty wolves.

My answer to this question is of course anything but simple. However, to even begin tackling the issue, I must first make an important distinction. I decided to move to the LAND of Israel for one reason and chose to live in the STATE of Israel for another.

My reason for living in the Land of Israel, while of equal (if not more) importance, is perhaps a topic for another column at another time. Suffice to say for now that it is of a more religious nature and, thankfully, no matter what the political reality of the day may be, my dwelling on this piece of earth will always allow me to achieve this objective.

My reason for living in the State of Israel, surprisingly enough, lies in the city I left behind, in a graveyard in downtown Los Angeles.

I grew up as the grandson of two Holocaust survivors. I watched two of the strongest people imaginable rebuild their lives from a pile of ashes so high that it is a sheer miracle that it did not drown them. I also had the opportunity to visit both concentration camps they were imprisoned in.

And then I stood on the spot where the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising took place. At that moment, drawing on all I had learned from my grandparents, seeing first-hand the destruction Nazi anti-Semitism wrought on European Jewry and being inspired by visiting the hallowed ground where the modern Jew first sought to defend himself, the importance of living in the State of Israel became evident.

While it may seem obvious to most, the reason I, as a Jew, need the modern State of Israel, is because it is the only place in the world where the Jewish people control their own destiny. Even living a comfortable Jewish life in America could not ensure me the safety living in Israel does. American Jews are safe for now, but what about their children and grandchildren? Any American Jew who is stubborn enough to say it could never happen there is actively choosing to be ignorant of history.

The Israeli Defense Force is the protecter that the historically-wandering Jew has been without since the times of the prophets. Each and every 18-year old boy serving in the IDF is a real-world personification of Simon and Schusters’ Jews savior, Superman.

If I had imagined anyone could endanger my assured safety in the State of Israel, I would have guessed that it would have been at the hands of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah or any of the other vicious Jew-hating Islamic monsters that encircle the Jewish State. That is why it is so shocking that it is the very leaders of the Western World that are, in fact, putting my Zionist dream in jeopardy.

Barack Obama is crushing my Zionist dream. As he continues his quest to find favor in the eyes of international Muslim communities that will never love him back, he has thrown Israel onto the train tracks and is now trying to keep her tied down with the locomotive fast approaching. As he continues to berate the Israeli Prime Minister and attempt to cancel arms transfers to Israel his words and actions are at the same time emboldening radical Islamists worldwide, as he demonstrated that anti-Israel and anti-Jewish violence and incitement will be allowed to go unchecked by the leader of the world’s most powerful nation. As he undermines the deterrence of the IDF and sabotages the negotiating positions of Israeli political leadership, he is endangering the lives of a Jewish people that have chosen to live in a country where life is never easy so that they can sleep at night knowing their children will always be protected.

This brings me to those aforementioned Israeli political leaders. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the only real Israeli politician who matters at the moment, deserves credit for staying as strong as he has in the face of ever-mounting condemnation from Israel’s supposed ‘friends.’

However, his decision to engage Hamas in talks in Cairo, at the behest of Obama, is baffling. The very notion of signing an agreement with Hamas flies in the face of the logic of even the most left-wing Israeli. Since the outbreak of this war, left-wing Israelis have decided for the rest of us that the recent Hamas aggression is irrefutable proof that Israel must make emboldening Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas a number one priority. They want Israel to sign an agreement partially brokered by Abbas, which will ‘ensure’ quiet for the residents of Israel and Gaza, and gives Abbas more authority at the same time.

However, it is the very hero of the left, the predecessor and mentor of Mahmoud Abbas, Yasser Arafat, who proved to Israel that the signature of a radical Islamist on a peace agreement is not worth the ink it is sealed with. The 1993 Oslo Accords, hailed at the time by the left as Israel’s saving grace, exposed Palestinian duplicity after Israel compliance with the treaty was met with one of the bloodiest waves of Palestinian terrorist violence the modern Jewish State has ever endured.

Benjamin Netanyahu is not dumb and he is certainly no dove. Thus, it is even more puzzling as to why he has agreed to send a delegation to Cairo to negotiate with a terrorist animal he knows will never stop seeking the destruction of Israel. The legitimization of Hamas and weakness of Israeli resolve in the face of international pressure by Netanyahu endangers my Zionist dream as well.

England’s Prime Minister, David Cameron has put my Zionist dream in peril as well. Stating that if the current cease-fire is violated, even if it is done so by Hamas, would result in a ban of all weapons sales to Israel, puts the Jewish State in a position of weakness and they are defenseless to prevent.

My Zionist dream is under fire. Long before I was born, it was under attack by the radical Muslims who have always hated me and my people. It is the fact that the United States, the United Kingdom and the Israeli political leadership who have further threatened my hopes of a safe and secure existence for me and my family, that is far more jarring.

However, while I am disheartened, I am not disconsolate. I do not, in any way, regret moving to the State of Israel. I regret that the leaders of the Western World have abandoned me and my people. However, Israel will survive because that is what it exists to do. The State of Israel exists to ensure that the Jewish People will continue to endure. That is what makes her so special. I just wish the leaders of the free world better understood that.

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  • RockyMissouri

    Many Jewish people feel that Zionism itself is the problem…and Netanyahu and his Likud thugs with their slaughter of Palestinians, kind of demonstrate that fact. Shouldn’t the Palestinians have a way to defend themselves…….??

    • perryt

      If you haven’t figured it out yet, Israel is at war with Hamas, not the Palestinians. The root of the problem is Hamas bloodthirsty desire to kill Jews.

      • RockyMissouri

        Riiiiight.. They’ve certainly slaughtered a lot of Palestinians, in the meantime. The Palestinians deserve to live there. It’s their home.

        • perryt

          Its land of Jews as well. The have been living there for thousands of years, predating the Palestinians. Israel has no intention of slaughtering anybody. They just want to live in peace.

          • Jmontalvo

            That’s a lie because in the Torah when Jews left Egypt there were already people living on the land of Judea. Those are the ancestors of the Palestinians. A large part of Jews there aren’t even of middle eastern decent which original Jews are. They are descended from religious Jewish converts not ethnic Jews.

          • perryt

            Israel exists as a Jewish state because of long historical and religious ties. Arabs and muslims live peacefully in Israel with more rights than any other country in the region. In 1948, the world/UN partitioned the area into two states. The Arab world rejected a Jewish presence and went to war. Three times now and counting. So, they have historical ties, they have UN declaration, they spilled blood and treasure. No different than any other country in world. The difference is Hamas/ISIS only wants Israel and non-muslims wiped off the map. Its that evil that is the cause. Israel and the civilized world would be more than happy to rebuild Gaza and turn into a thriving Mediterranean mecca where all races and religions could live and practice their religion (like Jerusalem), only if radical Islam would let them.

      • Jmontalvo

        No they are going to war because Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank were having talks to reconcile their differences and join together as a political movement along with the BDS movement to attack Israel’s legitimacy. Maybe if they had some land to live on instead of being packed into a small strip of land which is now the most densely populated spot in the world along with a embargo on essential goods then we could have peace. Israel isn’t a safe place for Jews if the US ever pulled back support they would be annihilated their only recourse being their nuclear weapons. Noting how crazy Zionists are I bet it would be a whole nuclear winter in the ME.

        • perryt

          Read the news, or at least the statements by Hamas. They deliberately kidnapped the three kids that led to this latest crises. They executed collaborators in front of a mosque and hundreds of people. Hamas is no different than the Islamic State. Israel had pulled out completely of Gaza in 2005 and this is what they get in return. There isn’t an embargo on essential goods, just an embargo on war making equipment. Notice there are no missiles coming from Ramallah.

    • AIB

      Your argument makes no sense. Which Jewish people think Zionism is what problem? and how is what Netanyahu doing demonstrating that? You’re just taking the typical buzzword approach trying to associate the word “Zionism” with “slaughter”.
      Ask yourself what each side would do if they had complete control. Israel basically does, and they are going to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties. If Hamas had complete control, there wouldn’t be a single Jew left alive.

      • Jmontalvo

        You are a liar sir. what great lengths are they going too. Bombing hospitals and locations packed with civilians is not great lengths. This article is a big pile of steaming garbage.

        • AIB

          The great lengths like warning everyone in the area they are about to bomb a place? If Israel’s goal is to kill civilians, they are doing a terrible job of it when taking into account the considerable advantage they have. Or the fact that every operation in Gaza has been sparked by a Hamas offensive. So yes, they are going to EXTREME lengths to avoid civilian casualties.
          As to your other point – The whole of Gaza is packed with civilians, and the party to blame is not Israel – it’s Hamas. How much money did they pour into developing the infrastructure of Gaza? Improving the quality of life? None. They used their money to purchase weapons, and build tunnels, whose sole purpose is to destroy the lives of innocents.

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