I want to share with you, my readers, a recent conversation on facebook about the possibility of Israel’s call for a unilateral end to operations in Gaza. A fellow writer and colleague, Sarah Tuttle-Singer had just posted a TOI article on this very subject on her personal page. The dialogue that ensued between Charlie and I is reproduced below:
Charlie: What. No. This Neville Chamberlain peace in our time bullshit needs to stop.
Chip: Tisha B’Av is on the horizon …
Charlie: I was in Iraq on Independence Day…didn’t stop me.
Chip: It is a date filled with great sadness over the course of our history and not at all one of celebration, but instead a time of lamentation.
Charlie: You mean like Pearl Harbor day or 9/11, when we were still sending guys out? I’m all for observing a solemn day, but sometimes, you still have to go out and kill some hamassholes.
Chip: Both of our holy temples were destroyed on this day, the first by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the second by the Romans in 70 CE; 100,000 Jews were massacred by the Romans in Betar on this day in 132 CE; the Jews were expelled from England on this day in 1290 CE; the Jews were expelled from France on this day in 1306 CE; the Jews were expelled from Spain on this day in 1492 CE; the residents of the Warsaw Ghetto were sent to Treblinka on this day in 1942 CE …
Charlie: I know. But I also remember what both William Tecumseh Sherman and Stonewall Jackson said, almost exactly the same: man is by nature peaceful and loathing of a protracted war, by this reason war should be swift and brutal, so as to crush your enemy’s resolve to fight you, and instead make them sue for real, lasting peace.
Chip: I have been very vocal about the need to destroy all of the ordinance, the need to destroy all of the terror tunnels, and the need to indeed destroy all of Hamas including those leaders sequestered outside Gaza, but … we need to accept G-d’s very strong message as regards the 9th of Av.
The conversation stopped …
Let me assure you, I am not a biblical scholar, but I was profoundly struck by the confluence of the announcement and the approach of this most solemn day. Does anyone else feel as I do?