The week between Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israeli Independence Day provides the perfect symbol of the Jewish nation's stamina and resoluteness. Following on the most unspeakable of crimes against humanity, the Jews rebuild themselves into a strong, viable and bold nation, reborn in the image of a world power.
Yet even now, 60 years after the Holocaust, nearly the entire world is united in allowing the continued slaughter of Jews, agreeing that Jews have no right to self-defense. The Jews are demonized as colonizers and aggressors, while Arab terrorists are praised as valiant defenders when they blow up a bus full of unarmed passengers, a restaurant full of children or a holiday celebration full of senior citizens. In Europe, the scene of the Holocaust, Kristallnacht is being relived. The United Nations is incapable of agreeing upon anything other than the evil of the Jews.
The Jews are expected to bow to international pressure with total helplessness. Hundreds of Jews have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists and world leaders have the audacity to claim that they know better than Israel's elected government what is best for the Jews. Demonstrators in cities throughout the world cheer them on. Once again, the only permissible behavior for the Jews is passivity, as lambs being led to the slaughter. While the Palestinians openly prepare a Second Holocaust, the “moderate” Arab regimes, along with the rest of the world, demand that Israel end its efforts to prevent them from doing so and engage in appeasement to ensure “peace in our time.”
Jewish “leaders” abroad click their tongues loudly over the sorry situation of the Jewish State as it comes under attack daily from the forces of annihilation at its doorstep. Yet these same “leaders” refuse to offer the most meaningful support possible - their presence at the sides of their brethren in Israel (or in Europe) at times of need. There are even Jews in Israel and abroad who voice support for our enemies. Throughout history there have been Jews who felt it would be better for them to side with their enemies against their own brethren. Even in Egypt, 85% of the Jews supported remaining as slaves rather than going free. In Germany, many Jews assisted the Nazis in rounding up other Jews and exporting them to the death camps. In the camps, Jews served as camp administrators, often ensuring that their brethren went to their deaths in the most orderly fashion.
Today, that same brand of Jew exists in no small number in Israel. They belong to extreme leftist groups such as Gush Shalom, Meretz, Peace Now and others. They sit in the Knesset and threaten to withdraw their support for the government simply because the government has decided that defending Jews is an important goal and value of this State. They work to ensure that Palestinian terrorists are treated as humanely as possible so that they will not have to pay the price for their heinous crimes. Groups of them stand watch over IDF checkpoints taking notes as soldiers inspect ambulances to ensure that they are not carrying wanted terrorists or - even worse - bombs and other weaponry. While these soldiers brave possible armed attack to protect the Jewish nation, the self-hating Jews of modern-day Israel work to make sure that such ambulances and other vehicles are granted free and safe passage to carry out yet another attack.
There are yet other enemies in our midst - those who refuse to fight for our defense because of petty political posturing. The group of IDF officers refusing to serve in certain parts of the country and refusing reserve call-up notices are not only actively aiding the enemy in the fight against Israel by refusing to defend, they are plain cowards who are very interested in their army positions and pensions but who are unwilling to work for those perks. The IDF puts these officers in military prison for 28 days as prescribed by law for refusing to serve, but this is no punishment for them. Rather, they should be given a dishonorable discharge from the IDF and have their post-service perks, including their pensions, revoked.
Yet, with all of the despair that could be felt at these things, the portents of this week in modern Jewish history speak of a huge difference between our nation today and the Jews of old. The week between Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israeli Independence Day is a week in which the Jewish nation first remembers its fallen martyrs of the Holocaust, then honors those who fell to protect our people and our State and then celebrates that State's continued independence and progress as a Jewish State. It is a week that symbolizes ultimate Jewish victory over all enemies, that these foes of the Jewish nation, whether external or internal, will not be victorious.
On Independence Day this year, we should celebrate the newfound iron will of our government in standing against international pressure and refusing to abandon the defense of the Jews. The whole purpose of the Jewish State is to act specifically when no one else will defend the Jews. That defense must mean a decisive policy against neighboring enemies as well as a resolute steadfastness against international opposition to that defense and to our continued existence.
Most importantly this year, we should be honoring those who stand at the front, putting their lives on the line to defend that independence and progress without question. They defend us against armed assault, whether we live in Israel or abroad. More importantly, they defend us against the rot that continues to infest our nation from within.
To our government, our soldiers and our people, to the real heroes of the Jewish nation who continue to visit and immigrate to Israel, to all those who hold us firmly in their prayers and their thoughts, Happy Independence Day.Yehuda Poch is a journalist living in Israel. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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