Events like these change a nation. The fall of the Twin Towers in Manhattan showed liberal New Yorkers that they, too, can be hit.
The fools who are to blame for the catastrophes now emerging from Hamas and Gaza mostly are dead. They are the Labor Party fools who had the power in June 1967 to grasp a moment of Divine miracle and launch Israel on a new destiny of fulfillment.
“The Temple Mount is in our hands!” we heard. But the cowards of Labor could not fathom the moment. It would take the 1973 Yom Kippur War to fully reveal that Moshe Dayan, whatever courage he may have manifested in battle, cowered in fear when not on the battlefield. He was terrified to take Jerusalem in 1967, and he had a nervous breakdown as Defense Minister in 1973.
Likewise, it took 1973 to see that Golda Meir may have been an astute and ruthless politician and qualified to be a bubbie cooking chicken soup but was no leader of a nation on the cusp of historic greatness that was simultaneously facing annihilation. Her refusal to act on intelligence she had before Anwar Sadat struck cost the lives of thousands of our boys, sacrificial lambs to her politics of fear.
Even the heroes of Labor like Yitzchak Rabin and Yigal Allon came to be exposed more over time. It had been years since Rabin had played his evil role during the perfidious criminal murdering of Irgun heroes on the Altalena, patriots who had risked their lives to bring weapons to take Jerusalem in 1948, but Rabin returned with perfidy to push through the Oslo disaster. The Oslo Accords laid the foundation for Arafat to control whole swaths of Judea and Samaria, to gain political autonomy and control over mass media, educating two new generations of Arab children to hate and murder Jews, and owning an internal security and police apparatus. Allon, meanwhile, had helped form the Mapam party that idealized Josef Stalin and later mourned the death of mass murderer Yosef Stalin.
Ariel Sharon, too, now is dead but his legacy lives on in the thousand Hamas rockets fired indiscriminately at civilians throughout Israel. Sharon unilaterally took Israel out of Gaza without a plan for The Day After, expelled 8,600 pioneering brave Jews from their homes, handed over to the Arabs thriving industries and gorgeous shuls and yeshivot, and let them all burn as he turned his attention next “kadimah” — to the east, to wreak the same havoc for Judea and Samaria. Only a massive stroke, and then yet another, stopped The Bulldozer from bulldozing more Jews out of their homes. Was his termination the hand of G-d or a stroke of luck? You be the judge.
That is what aggregated to cause today’s catastrophe. That — plus a Netanyahu hesitancy - admittedly in the face of world condemnation and Iranian threats - to fight to a complete and outright victory.
Prof. Daniel Pipes has been advocating “Victory” these past several years, the idea that nothing short of an actual bruising crushing unequivocal victory over Hamas terror will achieve long-term results. By contrast, Netanyahu has followed a “lawn mowing” philosophy: every few years, as new Hamas weeds grow, Israel has to “mow the lawn.” Netanyahu is here, of course, bearing the brunt of daily decisions and Pipes is a theoretician.
However, the two competing perspectives each carries its respective pros and cons. A “Victory” campaign will entail the risk of more casualties up-front and even worse international condemnation. By contrast, “Mowing the Lawn” reduces deaths in battle for the short term and limits ICC “war crimes” investigations initially but so far assures more deaths and more world condemnations later, as future wars erupt. Know that these “Operations” — Operation Cast Lead, Operation Protective Edge, Operation Guardian of the Walls — are not “operations” but are full-blown, but short, wars.
Responding to one thousand rockets fired into civilian centers in Paris and Marseille, London and Manchester, Berlin and Hamburg, Rome and Milan, Shanghai and Beijing, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Los Angeles and New York — that is war, not an “operation.”
Amid such catastrophes, Israelis vote every so often — with emphasis these past two years on “often” — and, as happens in every democratic electorate, certain regions tend to vote in certain ways. For example, in America the Northeast tends towards the Democrats and the left while the Deep South goes Republican conservative. Similarly in Israel, those in Judea and Samaria, those in the northern border development towns, Jerusalemites and those near and amid the Gaza “envelope” vote for the military security of a Likud-right bloc, those in Jerusalem, Bnai Brak, Elad and Beit Shemesh also veer towards religious parties.
Those in the Gush Dan-Tel Aviv region where cafes serve seafood and worse while brazenly open on Shabbat, tend to vote for Labor and Meretz on the left. Thus, a leftist Ron Huldai can get elected and reelected mayor of Tel Aviv forever — at 23 consecutive years, already twice the tenure of the Netanyahu “too long” premiership — but when he tried to form a national political party to contend for the premiership over all of Israel’s voters he was handed his head in a hand basket unceremonious
Meanwhile, for decades Israel’s third largest city a bit more north has been known as “red Haifa” for its more extreme leftist sympathies. ly.
Perhaps Tel Aviv and Haifa voters felt they could vote gaily and merrily for the Left because it never was their necks on the line as rockets roared nightly from Gaza into Sderot, Ashkelon, and Ashdod. Haifa leftists, although on the receiving end of katyushas during the Lebanon Wars, did not share the concerns of residents based in Maalot and Kiryat Shmona who contend with Hezbollah on their border.all the time. The Arab riots in Haifa may serve as a rude awakening.
All things come to an end. Decades of Oslo-based governmental blunders driven by myopic leftist Labor governments, and by Sharon-Olmert Kadimah blindness, now have synergized to bring the catastrophe of a Hamas-dominated Gaza in the south whose Hamas terror rockets now do reach Tel Aviv, even as Hezbollah yet awaits demonstrating to Haifa’s Meretz leftists what lies in store there.
Moments like these change a nation. The fall of the Twin Towers in Manhattan showed liberal New Yorkers that they, too, can be hit. They ended up shocked into voting for another decade of Republican mayors, and the American country stuck with George W. Bush for the next eight years.
If Israel is forced to go to fifth elections in three or four months, it may well be expected that the present catastrophic awakening — that Hamas now can, will, and does hit Tel Aviv — and the Israeli Arab riots - will move some extra seats to the right. More than that, it will change a generation of Jewish thinking in Israel among the dwindling remnant of leftists who did not already wise-up after two intifadas.
There is no making peace with people who will not accept the right of Jews to live sovereign in the land of Israel. It is a hard pill to swallow, recognizing impossibly that there is no possible formula for making peace with such other than utter crushing. The reason that German Nazis under Hitler and Eichmann finally have stopped their effort to destroy us is that they are dead, crushed, annihilated, wiped out. Even their carcasses are gone. The reason that Japan, who destroyed Pearl Harbor, became friendly to and a great ally of America can be explained in eight syllables: Na-ga-sa-ki-Hi-ro-shi-ma.
As with Oslo and the intifadas, this catastrophe will impact another cohort of leftist Israelis for years to come. Tel Aviv and Haifa will be a bit less red, even less pink. And there may come a time when, beyond mowing the lawn, the weeds finally will be extirpated because they must be.
Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer is adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools, Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, congregational rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California, and has held prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served for most of the past decade on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His writings have appeared in The Weekly Standard, National Review, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Jerusalem Post, American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, and Israel National News. Other writings are collected at www.rabbidov.com .