In his imperious and widely-condemned putdown of Israel on its 72nd independence day, Londoner Sir Mick Davis wrote: “…Palestinian dysfunction, corruption and intransigence were previously an obstacle for Israel to overcome, not a set of values to emulate”.
That inane statement came to mind on Yom Yerushalayim during a Zoom conference I was chairing with special guest Ambassador Dore Gold.We were talking about how there was no plan to take back Jerusalem at the start of the Six Day War. The Jordanians were supposed to stay out of the war and only started shelling the Jewish suburbs of West Jerusalem after Egypt’s president Nasser lied to King Hussein about heavy Israeli losses. Under fire and on a strong legal footing of self-defence, Israel seized the opportunity which in little more than a day led to the restoration of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to our people.
Another important opportunity seized was in 1973 when General Ariel Sharon went rogue and launched his unit over the Suez Canal to encircle the Egyptian Third Army and bring the Yom Kippur War to a swift end.
The annals of IDF campaigns are replete with stories of improvisation, seizing opportunities in the field and striking while the iron is hot.
The Trump peace plan is today’s opportunity. And we dare not let it pass.
Just as our children today cannot conceive of a Jewish world without Jerusalem and the Kotel, future generations will blame today’s leaders for not seizing the once-in-a-lifetime gifts of President Donald Trump in securing the Jordan Valley and reasserting Jewish sovereignty over our tribal heartlands of Judea and Samaria.
Israel’s most eloquent foreign minister was Abba Eban who famously referred to the 1967 ceasefire lines as ‘Auschwitz Borders’. He also authored that famous line: the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Which is why Mick’s Davis’s statement came to mind.
If there is even a grain of substance in his suggestion that Israelis are emulating the Palestinians – please let it not be the missing of opportunities.