In The New Republic, Klein writes:
This is a nation whose heart has been broken: by our failure to uproot the jihadist threat, which will return for another and far more deadly round; by the economic devastation of the Galilee and of a neighboring land we didn't want to attack; by the heroism of our soldiers and the hesitations of our politicians; by the young men buried and crippled in a war we prevented ourselves from winning; by foreign journalists who can't tell the difference between good and evil; by European leaders who equate an army that tries to avoid civilian causalities with a terrorist group that revels in them; by a United Nations that questions Israel's right to defend itself; and by growing voices on the left who question Israel's right to exist at all.Sitting with a close friend at a Jerusalem coffee shop last night, I watched from across the table as her son, who serves in the Armor Corps and was in battles in Lebanon, called her to say he was back in Israel - but not coming home for Shabbat.
She immediately asked him to pass the phone to his commander, so she could convince him to give her son a break after such hellish experiences (only in Israel...):
"He can't come to the phone, mom."
"Well, he's not here."
"Where is he?"
"He's been at funerals all day of soldiers in the unit."
Ashen-faced, she replied, "This is not a conversation for the telephone..."
(...) Still, in the Jewish calendar, the summer weeks after the fast of the Ninth of Av, commemorating the destruction of the Temple, are a time of consolation. "Be consoled, be consoled, my people," we read from the Torah on the Sabbath after the fast. And so we console ourselves with the substantial achievements of the people of Israel during this month of war.
First, our undiminished capacity for unity. My favorite symbol of that unity is the antiwar rapper, Muki, whose hit song during the era of Palestinian suicide bombings lamented the absence of justice for the Palestinians but who, this time, insisted that the army needs to "finish the job" against Hezbollah. Second, our middle-class children, with their cell phones, iPods, and pizza deliveries to their army bases. In intimate combat, they repeatedly bested Hezbollah fighters, even though the terrorists had the advantage of familiar terrain.
This generation has given us some of Israel's most powerful images of heroism, like the soldier from a West Bank settlement and father of two young children who leaped onto a grenade to save his friends, shouting the Shema--the prayer of God's oneness--just before the grenade exploded. Along with the recriminations, there will be many medals of valor awarded in the coming weeks.
So moving. So right. So go sign in and read the rest.
(Hat Tip: An Unsealed Room)