Where Are the Leaders and Heroes of Yesteryear?

Looking at the roster of names of our Knesset members, Cabinet members, and less important men and women occupying a seat on the government’s payroll, I see no name which recalls a leader of strength, courage, and goodwill.

Where are the heroes of yesteryear, the fighters who rid our country of the British and established an independent State of Israel? Not the politicians of the Ben-Gurion clan, not the dreamers or the schemers, but the genuine fighters who feared no one, whose sole obligation was to the group which they served and whose mission was to “help” the British to set sail from Haifa in 1948.

Where are the Lechi fighters Avraham Stern, Nathan Yellin and Yitzchak Shamir, he who became our seventh Prime Minister?

Where are the Irgun fighters David Raziel, Yaakov Meridor and Menachem Begin, he who became our sixth Prime Minister?

Not talkers but doers following a Hebrew principle “lo midrash ha ikar elah ha maaseh”… it is not so important what one says but it is important what one does.

Too bad our current prime minister cannot follow in their footsteps. His anxious yearning to sign an agreement with Avigdor Liberman will be a catastrophe for our country.

And Liberman is an orator who spews out hateful words against Arabs and anyone who opposes him. He has the qualities of dictatorship and woe be to us if he accepts the Defense Ministry.

The lives of thousands of our brave young men and women rests in his inexperienced hands. How will our military staff work successfully with a corporal who knows nothing about defending the country or leading his officers?

A coup d’etat is not an impossibility. Liberman, like his former fellow countryman, Vladimir Putin, is greedy for power and will not allow anyone from dissuading him from pursuing insane policies.

Some refer to the Lechi and the Irgun as our Jewish terrorists. They were not terrorists of the ilk which we see today among the Palestinians. They did not seek the murder of innocent civilians but aimed their heroic actions against a ruling power whose time to evacuate the soil of our ancient homeland had come.

We have a Declaration of Independence, but we lack a written constitution. There is an expression in Yiddish, “jeder man macht shabbes fur sich alein”…. Every man makes his own shabbes. Every politician makes his own rules and expects the majority of our citizens to abide by them.

It has long been said that Bibi seeks counsel with his wife Sara. She tells him who to hire and who to fire. She is the dominant figure in the Netanyahu household. Perhaps Bibi thinks it is wiser to follow Hebrew history. For God once said to Abraham, “Listen to the voice of your wife, Sara”.

But Bibi is no Abraham, a man of peace. Like the American politician and presidential candidate, Donald Trump, he flip-flops and speaks from both sides of his mouth.

We need leaders like Zeev Jabotinsky and his disciple, Menachem Begin. Begin, through his wisdom and understanding, made our first peace treaty with an Arab country, Egypt. Not by military might but by an extended hand in search of peace.

Where are our leaders of yesteryear?

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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