Wednesday, August 16

Israel's broken heart

Yossi Klein Halevy is telepathic. Either that, or he stands in the same check out lines that I do at the supermarket, shuk and bank. I cannot think of one Israeli who I've met in the last few weeks who isn't bewildered over the handling and outcome by the government of this war. And, to read the press, certainly not only on the right.

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."

"Why not?"

"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)


Liz said...

I have a question
Isarelies are willing to sacrifice physical, economical, social, political, environmental and psychological pain and loss - for themselves as well as puting others at risk for it - in a war which motives revolves around a few often repeated motives:
The securing of the two Israeli soldiers captured July 12
The establishment of a security zone bringing security

If this is the case, why was a military campaign-of this scop if not larger-planned long before the capturing of the soldiers, and why were there already talk in Isral media quoting officials in effect saying that the next Hezbollah move would be the "trigger"?
And why-talking about the security zone-if the border area population security is a motive are towns and villages in which precisely this populationm lives without shelters and sirens?

Such cirucmstances hollows out the Israeli rationale in the eyes of people around the world, and therefore I would like someone to comment-in a civilized manner, please.

Anonymous said...

You better think about where you can move to away from the Middle East.

G_d has forsaken your people. In every other war Israel has been since 1948 G_d has blessed your people with miracles to help you win, but not this war.


I believe it's because of the tolerance that has been seen in your nation for homosexuality, BSDM, and other immoral behavior.

Chronicles 24:20
New International Version (NIV)

20 Then the Spirit of G_d came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, "This is what G_d says: 'Why do you disobey the LORD's commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.'


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