Early Zionists were some of the most optimistic people that roamed the Earth. They had an impossible dream, recreate a Jewish commonwealth in the historic homeland of the Jewish people against the opposition of more than half the world – and the rest of the world would be apathetic. They were facing Arab violence, an unfriendly environment, and a lack of support from their fellow Jews. Yet even though they’d have to go to war, both literally and figuratively, they didn’t back down or give up. When the battles eventually had to be waged, they met the challenge and fought off their enemies.
The calls the Israeli people hear today for a ceasefire do not just come from their enemies, they come from their friends, and even some of their own people. These criers see a value in walking away from the battlefield, from laying down the sword, holstering the gun, and turning the other cheek. Traditional values advocate a different approach.
Over the Jewish people’s two-thousand-year exile foreign values have crept into their own philosophies. The Jewish people’s moral compass has been perverted by other religions and people’s ethos. They’ve forgotten their history, leaders, and achievements on the battlefield. Somehow, over the past two thousand years of exile they’ve forgotten the brave Jewish warriors and their zealousness to wipe out their enemies without hesitation.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin said, “The fighting Jew is a human being. He is the son of a Jewish mother, that most marvelous of all God’s creatures, with all the softness of her love and the heavy burden of her concern. The fighting Jew loves children, all children – Arab children, too, I assure you. The fighting Jew loves books, loves liberty and hates war, like Garibaldi, but he is prepared to fight for liberty.”
Begin continued, “The fighting Jew does not want to harm any Arab. He wants peace between us and all Arabs. But if you ever raise a hand against his people, know this: the fighting Jew is fearless, his heart is of steel, his hands are trained for war and his fingers for battle. He will strike the enemy, disperse him, repulse him and destroy him, and ensure that his people shall have life, freedom and human respect in the Land of its Fathers for all eternity.”
When God introduces the world to Abraham, there is a picture of his character that is drawn for the Jewish people. To most Jews, Abraham represents kindness and outreach. His famous tent had four entrances to welcome guests coming from any direction. He welcomed them into his tent, fed them, gave them water to drink, and taught them about God and ethical monotheism. Today, those talked about as “Mini-Abraham’s” keep an open home and emulate Abraham’s hospitality.
What is frequently ignored is Abraham’s legacy as a warrior. In the same section that Abraham is introduced as a kind and generous man, God also tells the story of Abraham leading his household into battle, taking on armies more numerous and seemingly stronger than he was in order to right a wrong and recue his nephew who was taken hostage. Abraham shows no mercy, fights forcefully, and wipes out the enemy. Abraham wasn’t just a man of kindness; he was a warrior.
The demonstration of just how far the Jewish people have moved away from traditional values and moved to foreign values, is that Abraham is rarely described as a warrior or use defeating an enemy through force as the example of emulating Abraham. For some reason, the Jewish people have forgotten how Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, King David, and countless other Jewish leaders were warriors who fight valiantly, vanquished their enemies, and brought justice and victory to the Jewish people.
Those who stand today, weak-kneed, undermining the Jewish warrior with calls for a ceasefire and negotiations instead of all-out battle, are betraying the brave Jewish heritage and do not understand that Jews advocate for battle when an enemy attacks. Jewish tradition advocates for the elimination and eradication of the Jewish people’s enemies. Jews fight bravely and win. Jews do not fight solely to bring peace to the land, but to bring peace along with justice and security. Jewish tradition doesn’t encourage turning the enemy into a friend, but to bring peace to the land by whatever means brings peace the quickest and with least casualties.
After the Simchat Torah attack the Jews aren’t looking for peacemakers and negotiators. Today, the Israeli people turn to their brave IDF Generals and commanders and ask them to lead the people into battle. The Israeli people are aware of the risks but are also courageous. Today, the Jewish people stand tall against their enemies and tell them to surrender or face the consequences.
Prime Minister Netanyahu announced to the nation, “I am initiating an extensive mobilization of the reserves to fight back on a scale and intensity that the enemy has so far not experienced. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price.” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant followed up by declaring, “The State of Israel will win this war.” Perhaps no one summed up the Jewish spirit of courage as well as comedian Bob Hope, “The only thing chicken about Israel is their soup.”
The Israeli people didn’t ask for this war. They didn’t start this war, and they didn’t want this war. The war was started by the Jewish people being attacked. Like cowards they attacked during a Jewish festival. Like weaklings they fought against Israel’s women and children instead of Israeli soldiers. Like savages they raped, burned, and beheaded Jewish children. In response, the Jewish people will defeat them and make them wish they had never attacked Israel. This is justice. The Jewish people demand justice, and they shall have it.
The Jewish people are coming after their enemies like never before and they won’t know what has hit them. Our enemies’ horrific aims will be stopped and our warriors will bring us closer to securing our nation again. As Maimonides wrote, “Once a soldier enters the throes of battle, he should rely on the Hope of Israel and their Savior in times of need. He should realize that he is fighting for the sake of the oneness of God’s Name. Therefore, he should place his soul in his hand and not show fright or fear.”