The Same Old Story–2023 Iteration

Here in Israel, one way of saying that something is deja vu is to roll your eyes let out a sigh, and say, “We’ve already been in this movie.”

That phrase sums up our current political moment. We’ve seen this all before.

The media would like us to believe that demonstrators who block our roads and threaten our prosperity, health, and security, are battling heroically to save our democracy which we are told is under siege.


Last I checked, democracy is defined as a government elected by a majority of voters. In Israel’s last round of elections, our current leader and his coalition partners scored 64 out of 120 Knesset seats. That’s a clear majority. Democratic.

So what is going on?

What we are experiencing now is mass hysteria has gripped a small but influential and noisy sector of our population who are certain that we are on the road to dictatorship.


Dictatorships don’t tolerate mass protests or protests that close roads or protests of any sort. Remember Tiananmen Square, the Prague Spring? The Hungarian uprising? If you don’t, google them. That’s what dictatorship looks like.

The police have gotten tougher, but they’ve moved to stink bombs, water cannons, and stun grenades–not bullets and machine guns..

So what is going on?

We’re doing something we’ve done for centuries–we’re demonstrating our Jewish crazy streak and flair for self-destruction.

Just open a Tanach. You’ll read about how our ancestors drove Moses to near madness with their complaining and the worship of a golden calf just weeks after G-d Himself (or Themself) spoke to us at Sinai. Then there’s the story of Korach and his followers, the judges, wicked kings like Ahab and Yeravam Ben Nevat, and false prophets like Jacob Frank and Shabtai Zevis.

Zionist history is a long string of craziness and confusion.

The early political Zionists from whom the current left claims spiritual and, in some cases, genetic descent, were wild-eyed fanatics noble in a way but also nuts.

They were tough. Those early Zionists endured starvation, malaria, extreme heat without the benefits of AC, poverty, and marauding Arabs, whom they’d often kill in cold blood. This was years before they decided that they didn’t approve of colonialism.

They were also relentlessly ideological. The early kibbutzim were famous for their endless bickering. And they were snobs–these Israelis were interested only in their type of Jew a preference that would have tragic consequences. After Hitler rose to power the Zionist establishment led by Ben Gurion continued to prioritize state-building over the rescue of the old-fashioned diaspora Jews of Eastern Europe.

The Zionists were a contentious lot. The revisionists and the labor Zionists were blood enemies. In 1948 the nascent country’s revisionist leader Menachem Begin’s remarkable restraint prevented these tensions from escalating into a civil war.

In the early years of Statehood, the labor Zionists now the ruling party refused employment and educational opportunities to anyone who failed to kowtow them eg Jews who belonged to other parties or no party at all. And then there’s the story of the Yemenites, their sidelocks shorn, their babies kidnapped, their children were alienated from their parents by secular Zionists who didn’t believe that primitive orientals could be trusted to raise their own children!

Finally, these people, have been voted out of power.

But they can’t stand it. They’ve declared war in the streets. In the name of the god of “democracy,” they are about to sink the whole Zionist enterprise.

Tensions are quickly reaching a boiling point.

I hope I’m wrong, but the way things look, it won’t be long before violence erupts. We’ve already seen signs of it when left-wing demonstrators intentionally pulled emergency stop chains on trains and surrounded drivers unfortunate enough to entangle themselves in their crowds.

On the other side, this week, a man intentionally drove his car into a crowd of demonstrators. Thank G-d no one was killed or seriously injured, but the very fact that this occurred is a cause for alarm.

So what is the solution?

We need to return to our roots–all of us.

Our only claim to this land is Torah. If we don’t believe in the Torah why inhabit this corner of the globe? Out of a love of the Mediterranean? A taste for  Schwarma?

The Torah very clearly states that our ownership of this land is conditional. We will live a good life here if we follow the mitzvot. Otherwise, all hell will break loose and it is. It’s time for all of us to return to our source of wisdom, the reason why other nations respect or disrespect us. When we live the way that we should, we will light up the whole world.


We’ve already seen the movie.

About the Author
Carol Ungar is a prize-winning author who writes from the Judean Hills.
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