Genuineness and politics don’t go hand in hand. Most altruistically well-meaning people don’t look to express their kind-heartedness in the political arena; so when we hear time and again that the relationship between Israel and America could never be stronger, and Israel has no greater ally than the United States, that should be taken with a grain of salt.
Paraphrasing a Biblical axiom, the late Shlomo Carlebach put it best when he soulfully sang, “Israel, we have no friends in the world, the holy land, the holy people of Israel are all alone – hein am levadad yishkon…” I believe that in their heart of hearts all Israeli’s believe this Biblical adage, but for some reason when push comes to shove they keep making the same mistakes all over again – as the definition of insanity goes.
Abu Mazen could stand on his head claiming his legitimacy as a viable peace partner until he’s blue in the face and I wouldn’t believe him. The problem isn’t that Abu Mazen is not trustworthy, rather that our President chooses on principle to negotiate with terrorists and pressures Israel into doing so as well, which they are compelled to comply with, for fear of being labeled an obstacle to peace and stability in the region.
The truth, however, is that being Israeli or Jewish for that matter is altogether not in line with political correctness. In other words, as far as Israel is concerned it would be illogical to continue to make concessions and sacrifices in the way of pleasing the international community, since it is a fruitless gesture towards gaining more friends in the world. The bottom line is, those who have Israel’s back will continue too knowing full well Israel’s right to the land it calls home. And sadly but truly, those who continue to contest Israel’s rights to its G-d given homeland will continue to defy any logical claims towards ownership in order to push their sole agenda to besmirch Israel as has become the political norm on the international stage.
To anyone who observes the realities of life it is clear that the truth is not popular. We see this clearly in the Gemara who sides, more often than not with Hillel over Shammai. Hillel had a reputation of being more of a people’s person than Shammai. Shammai was more intent on seeing through to the unadulterated core of each issue that he encountered whereas Hillel sought the most effective way to disseminate a life of Torah and mitzvos to the masses.
Perhaps a more modern day example of the polarities between popularity and truth is the video of Mohammed Zoabi, an Israeli Arab calling for the immediate release of the three Israelis being held captive by Hamas terrorists, and a wakeup call to Prime Minister Netanyahu to cease cooperating with terrorists. Just a day after the video first aired it had garnered 50,000 views but has earned the young seventeen year old Israeli Arab, death threats from his neighbors and feelings of isolation and alienation from his immediate family, including his aunt Hanin Zoabi who is an MK in Israel.
As politically incorrect as it may be to hold onto areas of the land that the Palestinians claim to be theirs, it is an indication as to who is the true owner of the land and the opposite holds true as well. When the Gemara discusses the law in a scenario where someone claims that he owes money and the alleged borrower denies ever borrowing money from that person, he is exempt, since we assume that a person would not completely deny a claim to the face of his creditor. On the other hand, if he were to agree partially to the claim we administer an oath regarding the remainder that he is denying.
If Israel acquiesces to the incessant claim of the Palestinians to land that is rightfully theirs, thinking that they will cease bothering them, it only bolsters their claims that Israel is occupying land that does not belong to them. However, if Israel believes that the land is rightfully theirs and they stand strong amidst the pressure, there is a greater chance of convincing the international community to their unquestionable rights to the land of Israel. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, who’s twentieth Yartzeit is a couple of weeks away, warned Israeli leaders countless times not to forfeit an inch of land for the sake of peace. Instead, he advised Israel’s leaders, to open up to the first Rashi in Bereishis which states forthrightly G-ds promise of Israel to the Jews. Sadly, to this date, I don’t think that advice has been heeded, and here we are in the same struggle that we have been in since the founding of the state in 1948.
Winston Churchill had what to say regarding the truth and it went something like this: “The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. If there was anything that has been pursued longer than peace between Israel and the Palestinians and has also been unsuccessful, it has been the sworn enemies of the Jews throughout history, to erase us from the annals of history. Nothing is more in line with Churchills definition of the truth more than that – because in the end we are here and we will continue to be here forever.
By Yochanan Gordon