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Gary Epstein
And now for something completely different . . .

D-Day

 

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Someone sent me an unkind meme from The Babylon Bee: a picture of Karine Jean-Pierre over the text “White House Says Biden’s Ability To Do His Job Not In Any Way Impeded By His Rigor Mortis.”

It is unseemly to ridicule an old man who is embarrassing himself by trying to perform a job whose demands exceed his limited skills. But it borders on the criminal to allow that old man to proceed in that critical job when he lacks its most basic requirements.

I felt a strong sense of conflict as I watched President Biden deliver the speech that had been written for him on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of D-Day.  It was a fine speech, and he delivered it as well as he could, given his physical frailty and diminished capabilities. It touched on the bravery and dedication of the massed troops that stormed the beaches, facing death in what he described as a battle between freedom and tyranny.

The camera panned to the grizzled faces of the octogenarian and nonagenarian veterans. Some seemed to be dozing; some seemed significantly more alert than the President.

I was conflicted because, for once, I was glad that the President was probably unable to understand what he was saying.  If he did not comprehend the implications of his speech, he may not be held responsible for them. If he did understand his words, he is even a more vile hypocrite than I am willing to believe him to be.

“We will not bow down. We will not forget. Let me end with this: history tells us freedom is not free. If you want to know the price of freedom, come here to Normandy.”

No, Mr. President. If you want to know the price of freedom, go to Gaza, and see the price that Israelis have paid since October 7 and will continue to pay as you advance your policies of appeasing Iran and coddling Hamas. You spoke of the horrendous evils perpetrated by the Nazis, including the slaughter of millions of Jews, but you seek to prevent Israel from wiping out Hamas, the modern-day Nazis who carry forward the Nazi ideology and Jew-hatred. You, by relieving sanctions, have provided Iran with the financial wherewithal to promote terror against the West, including American soldiers and civilians.

4,572 Allied soldiers were killed on D-Day, more than half of them American. 3,000 French civilians died on D-Day, mostly from Allied bombs and shells. Before the Normandy campaign ended, 20,000 French civilians would be killed. German casualties in Normandy exceeded 300,000, including 30,000 dead.

Yet, despite the carnage and the civilian casualties, you glorified the noble efforts of the Allies. And it was altogether fitting and proper that you did so, because they were fighting evil, even while they were tragically and unwillingly causing the death of innocent bystanders, as they struggled against an implacable enemy. They, like the IDF, were fighting an existential battle against tyranny. They had no choice.

The passage of time has not made that fight any less critical. Tyranny and evil must be staunchly opposed if it is to be defeated, whether that evil is under the direction of a Hitler or a Sinwar. The Israeli armed forces are a modern incarnation of that allied expeditionary force. They march straight into hell, a band of brothers and sisters, focused on saving their country and the world from the forces of evil.

You mouthed the words. Why do you seem not to comprehend their import, or their application to current conditions? Are you so blinded by political considerations that you fail to see the reality confronting you? They mean it when they shout “Death to America. Death to Israel.” Help Israel fight our battle. Or the battle will be lost.

Freedom is not free. The Israelis have paid a high price. The civilians in Gaza who elected Hamas and provided them with shelter and served as willing or unwilling human shields have paid a high price. One hopes that the President will allow the substance of his words to penetrate the fog in which he lives and that he does not prevent Hamas from paying the ultimate price.

For the Israelis, every day in Gaza is D-Day. If the Nazis had not been defeated in Normandy, notwithstanding the attendant devastation, Europe would not be free. If the Israelis are not allowed to win the war, there will never be peace in the Middle East. Stop pressuring Israel and start pressuring Hamas to return the hostages, surrender, disarm, and thus establish the possibility of an enduring cessation of hostilities.

D-Day is now.

About the Author
Gary Epstein is a retired teacher and lawyer residing in Modi'in, Israel. He was formerly the Head of the Global Corporate and Securities Department of Greenberg Traurig, a global law firm with an office in Tel Aviv, which he founded and of which he was the first Managing Partner. He and his wife Ahuva are blessed with18 grandchildren, ka"h, all of whom he believes are well above average. He currently does nothing. He believes he does it well.
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