“No doubt, God took a risk with creation by granting it consciousness and free decision.” ― Eliezer Berkovits, God, Man and History
I am no political analyst. I’m an artist, a graphic designer, living by the beach in Tel Aviv. But I constantly watch, listen and educate myself to define my Jewish identity. I know this is far from the first time in history the Jewish people stand alone before the threat of destruction. But we have evolved.
Men in power are panicking. Masks are slipping and true colors are being revealed. Obama is fickle and unsure. By trying to please everyone, he has surrendered his confidence and policy. He has undermined himself, showing that-yup, he’s a great public speaker- but all he is talk. War is a time of action, not the ability to give a heartwarming speech to your ‘fellow nation-folk’. War is horrible, self-destructive, self-inflicted action. Syria, Russia, Iran, North Korea etc. are run by evil men who massacre their own innocent citizens, make millions dealing weapons and rob their own countries blind. They are angry, rebellious teenagers, lacking certainty, direction and a sense of self. They use methods of terror and destruction, violence and oppression of their own in order maintain personal power and wealth. They should seek a 12 step program for Threataholics, or power addiction.
In testy, dangerous times, you want leadership whose main objective is the preservation of their people, not their own title, greed and power lust. If we do indeed now stand alone before those threating our existence, at least we have a leader consistent with where were standing alone. Where are the photos of Bibi posing by the fireplace, like Obama and Assad? A charade of a smiling family man beside an equally manipulative wife, decked out in designer clothing? Wherever you stand on Bibi politically, one thing is clear. His goal is to protect us. He seems unafraid.
The men on his-OUR- government- which we elected democratically- are outwardly stating their belief in God and their people. They are army men, realists and survivors. They can have both peace talks and wars talks. Their identity here is defined.
So is the people’s. Interviews with people baking in the blazing Mediterranean sun waiting for gas masks don’t expose fear or demonstrations- either real or forced. Just the Israeli inability to wait in line patiently. People don’t cater to the cameras. I almost fell off the elliptical at Kolnoa Peer (gym here in Tel-Aviv) when I literally LOL-ed watching an interview with a sweaty Israeli man, boasting he had bet his friend $100 attacks were not going to happen. When the newscaster asked him why he was still getting the mask if he was so certain of this, he responded as if it was obvious- “What do you mean, I have a wife to protect, and it’s my duty! How can I let her worry?? I’m waiting here as long as necessary just so she can be calm”. Then he went on to give a ‘Dash Cham’ to his favorite person from the Israeli Big Brother reality-show. Hilariously raw and uncensored insight to an average citizen’s state of mind, amid this all. That pure good-heartedness and faith is worth protecting.
We have a responsibility to protect and preserve ourselves so they may see there is another way to live. There are 26 official Muslim States, 18 official Christian States, but there is only 1 Jewish State . We are one tiny spot of freedom of speech and government amid all these Arab regions. Our love and respect for human life and determination to prevent destruction is mind blowing. It’s why we release terrorists for a single soldier to be able to come home to his Imma and Abba.
Take heart. It’s not smiling through the fear, in spite or despite it. We are above the fear. We are less than 70 years old and more confident in ourselves than the rest of them. We disagree about everything but how loyal we are to ourselves. We look to the future, ponder the outcome and consequences.
Albert Einstein wrote, “The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice and the desire for personal independence — these are the features of the Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it.”
Israel, we are amazing. In our short existence, we have made astounding contributions to the development of medicine and health, cutting edge science and technology, culture, philosophy and religion, clean technology startups and environmental issues. We are the home to brilliant universities, engineers, doctors, professors, rabbis and Nobel Prize winners.
In these dark times, be proud. We suffered 2000 years of Diaspora and persecution and are now free with an incredible powerful army to defend us. History repeats itself, Assad should think twice based on the track record of those who messed with us before.
Never again will we cower before an enemy. We owe that to every Holocaust survivor and victim, to every Jew perished in a pogrom, inquisition or crusade. In direct contrast, we have died for our religion and nation, not because of it.
“If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example.”
― Anne Frank