A Dangerous Correlation

Recently the ombudsman concerning the status of our army issued a damaging report about its readiness. Another worrisome report by the immigration authorities stated that for the first time in the history of the state the majority of new immigrants do not consider themselves Jewish. Unfortunately, there is a direct correlation between these reports.

Our very existence depends on our young soldiers whose welfare has for decades been subordinated to the absorption of immigrants (Zionist or economic).  Yes, we need immigrants, but we need our young soldiers more. Our first priority should be the standard of their training and armament and the second should be the direct benefits to enable them to be absorbed into civilian life and thus remain in the Jewish state.

Unfortunately, Israel’s almost endless bureaucracies tend to be self-perpetuating and very self-indulgent at the expense of genuine national interest. Don’t forget that they provide jobs and status for the numerous coalition partners.  Their very existence is based on the demands inherent in a patronage system that trumps the genuine requirements of Israel’s patriotic youth.  They are the leading cause of emigration and demoralization. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that in a national emergency you can’t mobilize people who for decades managed to deny any connection to Judaism, and you can’t mobilize countless Israelis who emigrated because their needs came second.

In 1968, after being discharged from the US Navy, I immigrated to Israel at my own expense, and soon after volunteered for the Israel Defense Forces, during the war of attrition with Egypt. At this time I learned that poor young Israeli friends of mine were planning to move to Australia where they had relatives to help them, because an officer who fought in the 6-day war was refused a loan for housing, and myself a recent immigrant, automatically receives it as an entitlement upon landing in Israel.  I sent a letter to the Jewish Agency instructing them to give my benefits to this young officer instead. I called their attention to the fact that while he was earning medals fighting in Gaza and the Sinai I was earning dollars in the United States, and thus could provide for my own needs.  I ended the letter by equivocally stating that if my friend left for Australia I would immediately return to the United States.  That way they would be high on statistics and low on combat soldiers.  They gave him the loan.  We both served in the Yom Kippur War 3 years later.

While Israel’s greatest strength is the morale of its army, its greatest weakness is the demoralization caused by its degenerate bureaucracy which can be symbolized by a rapist former president and a convicted felon of a former prime minister.

Could the ombudsmen in his report, possibly be implying that in a national emergency you can’t fill the ranks with the young Jews that left, and certainly not with the vintage goyim that took their place? In other words, with so many winners that left and so many losers that came. Thus, logic dictates that instead of building a diplomatic Maginot Line in Africa at our great expense with dictatorial strongmen, that Bibi stay home and rectify the complaints of the ombudsmen. Netanyahu should be reminded that Golda Meir tried African diplomacy in the 1980s and nearly all these countries broke diplomatic relations with us during the Yom Kippur war. Idi Amin, that part-time cannibal, and full-time dictator, even took our entire stock of Uzi submachine guns in the process. Perhaps a bullet from one of these could have killed Yoni his brother during the Entebbe rescue. That was certainly the reason I had to guard Egyptian prisoners with WWII vintage rifles during the Yom Kippur war.

It may sound like inverse logic but let the immigrants earn their own spurs before you give them somebody else’s boots.  If things go on like this it’s only a matter of time that the Jewish National Fund will report that more trees were cut down for Christmas then were planted for Tu B’shvat.


About the Author
Daniel Levinson is a U.S. Navy veteran, veteran of the Yom Kippur War, combatant in the terrorist raid of Nahariya, and the father of two reserve officers in the Israeli Army.