Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sometimes events occur in Israel and my opinion forms immediately, while other times I have to gather the reality of the event a bit; the facts, background, etc..., before I can come to a conclusion.

Thus is the situation with Lebanon, and I think that it has snapped into place and that I've come to a conclusion of what must be done. While I do absolutely believe that the life of every single person possesses the value of the whole world, per the Talmud's statement, "every person is a world," I had to think critically of Olmert's decision to reach into Lebanon in the name of retracting and rescuing them. It has become an Israeli national maxim that no Jew will be left to the whims of kidnappers, a noble tenet. The Talmud also considers the scenario when someone kidnaps Jews, which used to be a frequent set of events throughout the last two millennia in Europe. I remember studying this with a rabbi. This section of the Talmud said that one must do anything in their capability get a kidnapped Jew back, but referred to paying any ransom that the kidnapper demanded. This would translate into today's modern situation as giving Hezba-llah any amount of terrorist prisoners back that they would like. In that we see the difference between the European "kidnappers of old," whom would demand a demoralizing sum of money for the return of kidnapped Jews, but that's it. Today's Arab/Muslim variation is not satisified with money; they want a return of prisoners.

Nevertheless, if it was just a ransom of money, it would be doable. But since the demand is for terrorists, people whom will be used to continue the attacks on Israel, the exchange of three Jewish kidnapees for 1,000 terrorists (I previously said 9,000, which was an error) is not doable since it will put the entire state in further jeopardy.

Perhaps it is not this goal which Israeli Prime Minster Olmert has in mind with the entry into Lebanon, perhaps it is a show of renewed unacceptance with Arab/Muslim terrorism towards the state, that Israel has sat back idly for too long a period in the name of deterrence. It is an attempted return to Israel's formerly solid position on dealing with terrorists, which is defined by some as, "Israel has been hugely successful in defending its borders and then some." Perhaps it is an attempted return to that successful defense. But before we can have that defense, we need some "and then some."

Daniel Pipes says it best in this article, which my friend Ben, my eyes and ears, sent to me.

Enjoy, Yaniv...

5 comments:

anonym00kie said...

yaniv, i dont have the energy to discuss this anymore, but.. i so disagree with that article. worse than disagree, im so saddened and disapointed by it. i refuse to beleive that israel has to return to its policies of 15 years ago. israel is a jewish state, we dont want it to adopt the ways of its enemies. jews want peace, not to fight and to focus solely on security without giving g-d a chance to bring peace demonstrates despair, a lack of bitachon and a lack of hope. WE are not in charge.. but we have to give G-d a chance to make things better.

jjew said...

Right, right, and I'm sorry that you're saddened by this. By the same line of logic that you have though you can say that we are not making anything better in the Middle East for ourselves or for our neighbors by sticking to more liberal policies. You're right that we have to give G-d a chance, but how does that translate into viable Israeli policy? Yes, we should put our utmost trust in Him, but if we assume that that means sitting back and letting things happen, that's wrong, He wants us to act in the proper manner. I don't think it's strange to say that the G-dly thing to do is to defend our borders, albeit with humanity and morality in mind. We have to give G-d a chance, but people have free will and if they don't want to give peace a chance then it won't happen, unless there is a miracle. I venture to believe that G-d deems it irresponsible when we just let things happen to us and don't be practical in dealing with them. I'm not exactly sure what you would like to see occur (politically) to bring peace, but I think that Israel has gone very far in trying to harbor peace with the Arabs, but it hasn't worked. And I do think that Israel has done somethings wrong, but I don't think that those things were the causes for the failure of peace. Rather, I don't think that the currently held Arab paradigms are functional with peace, or at least with the kind of peace that you and I as Jews speak about, i.e., living side-by-side with our neighbors. The Arabs want peace too, but the Arab notion of peace is more like a return to dhimmitude. I understand that it's hard on the conscious of a Jewish believer to have to inflict harm on an enemy (who is a person), but the enemy is not leaving us much of a chance. You would like to see the noble thing done, the believer's thing done, which is to trust in G-d, but it has never been an "un-Jewish" thing to defend ourselves. On the contrary, I am quite happy in the manner Israel goes about defending its borders; I think that they go about it quite Jewishly, quite impressive for a secular Jewish state -- it says something about the Jewish nature, regardless if the people are religious or secular. I highly highly doubt that Arabs around the world are having a discussion of the same nature that you and I are having right now. The fact that in the pressing face of war that two believing Jews who love Israel can discuss as to the right thing to do shows that we do have bitachon. I am saddened by this too, but I won't run away from the truth in an attempt to become happier or to feel good about things; that just makes me sadder. Rather, we have to realize that a serious problem exists before we can tackle it, and we don't have to keep telling ourselves that the problem is internal -- although I'm not sure that that is what you are doing. Is it?

Be'ahava, Yaniv...

Neti said...

Does G-d not use us to make things better? Just a thought on the earlier comment...

I very much disagree with the idea of trading hundreds of terrorists for one Israeli soldier. With that said, I also am not too pleased with the idea of leaving an Israeli soldier to be butchered, which is what would happen. I've seen enough morbid films and pictures to remind me that such has happened in the past and Hezbullah promises it for the future.

I don't think this is something that has been coming for a long time and is due to numerous factors, but my hope is that it will be remembered when it is over.

Interestingly, it seems a good number of the Lebanese, although not liking the death count, are supportive of Israel fighting Hezbullah. They don't seem to want Hezbullah in their country and Israel removing them is actually welcomed. The problem is they also don't want to lose loved ones. The tragedy being that war leaves little room for saving lives. Thankfully, Israel does make efforts to do such, even if Hezbullah has blocked some of those efforts. (Shooting down the crates with pamphlets, blocking exits, and such.)

jjew said...

Neti, I'm honored that you're posting on here, thanks.

Right, but I have read that soldiers have been returned before, alive, in the Jewish Press. I had the impression that it's never happened but that was a jumpy conclusion.

True, many of the moderate Lebanese welcome change and would like to let Israel take care of Hezba-llah, which I think is kinda "cool," but they, i.e., their government, should be doing that.

It's like I heard at a rally the other day here in Tucson. Actually, I thought it was a rally but it was really a short talk given by the JCC Israel Shaliach about the recent events (no use for the five posters I made and walked in carrying). Anyway, the shaliach said if Lebanon wants to be a truly sovereign country that it needs to do what all other sovereign countries must do, and reign in on thier terrorist groups. Right now Israel is doing that for them but it'd be o-so-nice if Lebanon could do it. Thing is, how efficient would they be at it? The Palestinians tried to too, and are trying I think, the same thing considering that Hamas showed signs of splitting between extremists and moderates. That could be the beginning of a Palestinian political party WITHOUT the call for the destruction of Israel in their charter. It would be more acceptable to your average Lebanese if the blood of war was on Lebanese hands than on Israeli hands. I mean, they welcome Israeli attempts to remove Hezba-llah, but any spilled blood will be on Israel's hands. If the Lebanese military (which is Hezba-llah, no?) tries do it on their own, it'll be less insulting to them if Lebanese blood is on Lebanese hands.
Yaniv...

jjew said...

By the way, here's a copy of the Hamas Charter, drafted in 1988 of the year of their lord.

Hamas Charter

http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm

Read it and weep, or laugh, or vomit, or do kart-wheels