Next week is Israel’s birthday. Its 75th birthday. Its three-quarters of a century birthday. And while Israelis have been busy counting down to this important achievement, our most ardent enemies have also been busy counting down to what they believe is our imminent and inevitable demise.
They are so sure it is about to happen that they are giving instructions to their minions and partners to ‘just wait on the sidelines and let those Jews/Israelis destroy themselves.’ And when the time is right and the Israelis appear irrevocably broken, they will ratchet it up a level and finish off the job. They think they are playing the long game.
The problem for them, however, is that they are measuring us against their yardstick. In a similar situation in their countries, after six weeks of increasingly larger and louder public protests, they would be one step away from all-out civil war.
Boy, are they going to be disappointed.
What they see right now is that we are fighting with each other. Every new piece of information about the government’s plans brings more and more angry Israelis out into the streets. The media then adds its two cents’ worth and stirs the already boiling pot. Finally some big players in high tech and the army get their four cents in, and voila, the whole world has an opinion on our family drama. Add in some external political observers and some misguided North American Jews, and the mix becomes toxic. It’s like hummus manufactured and sold in North America … it does not work. The problem is that they don’t understand us and their interpretation of the facts on the ground is simply wrong.
Here’s what they don’t see. Families fight. Sometimes they fight like cats and dogs. Sometimes they can’t have Shabbat dinner together anymore because each side thinks it knows what is right for the country and fully believes the other side is wrong. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, they are still family. They may be angry but where are they going to go when they abruptly leave the Shabbat table in a huff? There is no “elsewhere”. The whole reason they ended up living together in one, not so big, house in the first place was because every other place they tried to settle eventually threw them out, killed them or made life so miserable that they felt they had to leave.
There are always going to be some family outliers who are going to test the international waters. In the short term they may think they are better off away from the family, but in the long run they aren’t.
Eventually, when our enemies have finally had enough of watching from the sidelines and they are sure we are suitably weakened by all our feuding, they will see their opportunity to act. That’s when it will all go south for them because nothing brings family together faster than an external threat.
At the end of the day, what they don’t understand is that we have each others’ backs. It doesn’t mean we forget everything that pulled us apart in the first place, but rather we all know that we are stronger together than apart. We need each other. We are still peeved but we put a pin in it for now because we know we can resume our disagreements later when we are all safe.
In the meantime, we are focusing on our reaching our goal. Happy 75th birthday Israel. May we go from strength to strength and may our enemies continue to underestimate us forever.