The IDF deserves respect

For Jews, the IDF is the only substantive difference between now and then.

As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders, Alan Dershowitz wrote that although “the guiltiest individuals were the Nazi leaders who directly planned and implemented the final solution,” many others hold responsibility, including “the guilty governments that cooperated and helped facilitate the deportations and round-ups”.

Today Israel faces a similarly contemptible set of criminals: the terrorists who attempt to kills Jews, the regimes who wish to annihilate Israel, the governments who facilitate the crimes by appeasing the monsters, and the masses who participate in the anti-Semitic demonization of the Jewish state. The situation facing the Jews has not changed much, except in one important respect. Today the Jews are not helpless in the hands of their attackers. They have the Israeli Defense Forces.

The IDF’s legendary exploits are many, from saving the newly reborn State of Israel in 1948, to the astounding defeat of the Arab coalition in 1967 despite the French embargo on arms to Israel, to the Entebbe raid deep into Africa to save the passengers of a hijacked Air France plane, to the destruction of the Iraqi and Syrian nuclear facilities, to many other lesser known missions where the IDF soldiers demonstrated courage, creativity, and resilience to overcome enemies often better equipped and more numerous.

It is not a coincidence that the IDF is today the main target of those who hate Jews and Israel. Unable to defeat it in battle, Israel’s enemies are trying to paint the IDF as the villains in order to demoralize Israel and its supporters. With this goal in mind, terrorists shoot their rockets from hospitals and schools and hide behind children, hoping to paint the IDF as baby-killers. For this reason, corrupt Palestinian leaders encourage teenager girls to attack Israelis with knifes, hoping to portray the IDF as heartless criminals.

But the IDF of today is just as moral as the IDF of 50 years ago. The difference is that while in the past the IDF’s main attackers were regular armies, today the IDF is attacked by cowards who use children as their main weapon and who use the media’s naivety and cynicism as their main tool.

The IDF of today is just as important to the Jewish people as the IDF of 50 years ago. The anti-Semitic hate has not abetted. In fact, it keeps increasing. The haters know that while Western governments appease them and international bodies are their pawns, the IDF is still there, as tough as ever, and it is defending all of Israel’s citizens: Jews, Muslims, Christians, and atheists.

Every moral person of every ethnicity and every religious persuasion should recognize the importance of the IDF, not only to Jews, but also to the Middle East.

About the Author
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere. Fred Maroun writes for Gatestone Institute.
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