Three Small But Bitterly True Words

While paying a condolence call to the family of Moshe Agadi who was killed when a rocket fired by Hamas from Gaza struck his home, our very respected President, Reuven Rivlin, began by offering the first words of comfort given to mourners: Baruch Dayan HaEmet…. Blessed be the True Judge.

He probably continued with the words which follow, words found in the biblical Book of Job, the righteous sufferer. “HaShem natan, v’Hashem lakach, Yehi shem HaShem mevorach”.. the Lord has given and the Lord has taken away that which He has given, blessed be the Name of the Lord.

President Rivlin is fond of words. He has a God-given talent for using appropriate words at the appropriate time. But on this very sad visit, some words need to be omitted.

The words “v’Hashem lakach”… and the Lord has taken… are not appropriate on this occasion, in my opinion, because it was not the Lord our Merciful God who has taken. Moshe Agadi’s life was taken by the vicious murderers who rule in the Gaza Strip.

Because President Rivlin is a master of the spoken word, I commend to him three small but bitterly true words. They are the concluding words in a statement given by Yair Lapid, a reputable politician and a gifted journalist.

Lapid began by saying “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t do anything in Gaza. For 10 years he’s been the Prime Minister. He won’t solve the situation, so he hides.”

And he continues : “ The actions of the Netanyahu government can be summed up in three words—-


Three small but bitterly true words.

Binyamin Netanyahu lacks the courage of his late brother Yoni.

There were three brothers in the Netanyahu family. Yoni was the national hero, the bravest of the brave, who lost his life in his heroic efforts to free the captive passengers at Uganda’s Entebbe airport where they had been held as hostages while in an Air France plane, by terrorists who threatened their lives. Yoni Netanyahu was one of Israel’s greatest heroes. May his memory ever be for a blessing.

A second brother, Ido, is a doctor of medicine whose life is dedicated to saving the health and life of his many patients. A man dedicated to healing the sick and to easing pain.

The third brother, Binyamin (Bibi) is the longest serving Prime Minister of Israel. He is dedicated to his own ego, his family, his friends, and in that order, to the welfare of the nation which he governs. A man who will soon be indicted on charges of bribery and fraud. A man who, if found guilty, will grow older in a prison cell.

Yair Lapid’s three words describe the feeling of millions of Israeli citizens. And because our President chooses words with care, I entrust his skill in elucidating the fearful results of Yair Lapid’s three Hebrew words.


Residents in the southern communities adjacent to the border with Gaza have suffered bitterly for more than a dozen years. They have lost faith and trust in Netanyahu and they accuse him of forgetting or ignoring them.

Is it his mesira (surrender) that frightens them? Is it his pachdanut (cowardice) which they despise?

But when all is said and done, our history will write of Netanyahu’s great busha (shame).

His lack over the years in resolving the Hamas entity and the problems within the towns and cities of Gaza are deservedly qualified to be accepted by Yair Lapid’s words. Bitter adjectives.

Three small words. Bitter words. But above all, very true words.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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