Steve Kramer

What if New Jersey were Israel?

All my readers know that Israel is undergoing a major assault, which in its first day was the most horrific in Jewish history since the Holocaust. And this in one day! It’s hard for Israelis to get our heads around this existential war, but even more so for those who aren’t familiar with the geographic implications of our war against Hamas – and Jihadists in general.

Some of you may have visited  Israel many times, even prolonged visits for a month or more. But the majority have never visited Israel, or you came on a whirlwind “mission” which went by in a flash. For those who have had no “feet on the ground” experience here, I’m presenting you with an analogy that illustrates Israel’s complex geographic situation.

There are many similarities between Israel and NJ. First, the size of NJ is very similar to Israel and the long and narrow shape is also similar. Second, our populations are nearly the same, with Israel having a slight edge at 10 million. Third, the bulk of the population of both places is very dense in one area, very sparse in a second area, and moderate in the third area. Lastly, both Israel and NJ have a long coastline as a border.

So, picture in your mind the elongated shape of NJ, but with the Mediterranean, not the Atlantic Ocean on one side, Jordan and Syria  (think Pennsylvania) on another side, Gaza and Egypt (think Delaware) in the south, and Lebanon (think New York) in the north. Then, what if those surrounding states saw NJ and its citizens (think Israelis) as a people to be annihilated?.

Would NJ have withstood tens of thousand of rockets fired into it in the last few decades without going to war? Israel has. Unfortunately, both our numerous governments and the IDF accepted a certain amount of casualties and damage for decades, with only intermittent operations or mini-wars serving to – supposedly – deter our enemies from a full-scale war. (After our victory over the Islamist barbarians there will be a full-scale investigation and reckoning with our government and military leadership.)

We are now reaping the results of this misbegotten strategy, which exploded in our faces on October 7, our day that will “live in infamy.” The one positive thing that has happened since this calamity is Israelis instantly dropping the rancor which existed for more than a half year among our political and social factions. For example, the largest organization which fought against change in our judicial system turned on a dime and repurposed its huge community to fulfill many needs of our nation at war. 

The largest ever call up of our reserve forces (former soldiers of one or two previous decades) of 350,000 men and women was oversubscribed by 150%. Many of our Air Force pilots against judicial reform, who had boycotted their extensive drills and had threatened not to serve if a war broke out, instead clamored to serve exceeding the numbers called up. Even a good number of the ultra Orthodox (Haredim) who, with some exceptions, have reflexively refused to serve in the military have volunteered in various capacities. Not to mention the brave and excellent, Haredi emergency medical volunteers who are always on duty.

I don’t know if Westerners in general would have been up to the task that we Israelis are facing. For us, there is no alternative: we have nowhere else to go. If Israel loses one war it will mean our extermination. Could that happen? Israel certainly could find itself on the cusp of that, if Iran manages to galvanize all its proxies and its own redoubtable Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) against Israel. See Note.

I hope that my readers comprehend the cataclysm that Israel is wholly engaged in. Israel is fighting for its existence with barbarians who purposefully sacrifice their own civilians, for their own protection. (Keep in mind that more than two-thirds of Gaza’s citizens favor Hamas rule. Quite a few more would prefer the Palestinian Authority – you know, the ones that pay top “dollar” for murdering Israelis.) The worst devastation will come soon when the IDF ground forces search for the many, many tunnels underneath vast areas of Gazan cities. These tunnels are under churches, mosques, hospitals and schools, where the Hamas commander hide – for now. Meanwhile, the top Hamas leadership is likely living in plush circumstances primarily in Qatar, but in European capitals as.

Don’t expect a swift end to this war. Israeli leaders are giving every indication that, this time, they finally understand that the full force and might of Israel is necessary, in a long and bitter fight, to destroy the power of Hamas. Whether Hezbollah and others will join the battle against Israel is unknown. But, finally, “Victory” is Israel’s clarion call, and Israelis are primed to achieve it.

Note: During a Fox News broadcast of October 16, Mark Levin, the explosive right wing author and TV personality, whose podcasts are ranked in the “top ten,” brought up a subject that is rarely mentioned: Israel is a nuclear weapons power. Levin said, “So when we go on TV and say ‘what are they [Israel] going to do, what are they going to do, they’re surrounded, they’re going to wipe them out, we can’t send troops, we can’t do–‘ fine! But if I’m the president or prime minister of Israel I’ve got to think it all through — all of it! …If Israel is going to face annihilation, you think they have those nukes in there to collect dust? If you’re a country that has that type of weaponry, and your people are going to be slaughtered as they were — except this time totally destroyed, they need to be thinking about all their options.”


About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.
Related Topics
Related Posts