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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