By David J. Seidemann, Esq.
It was not on my schedule. Then again, it was not on their schedule either. Neither the Shiloni family nor the Lemkus family had intended to attend funerals for their children on Tuesday. I was among some 1,500 attendees at Almog Shiloni’s funeral the other day at Har Herzl as, once again, the terrorists and those who incite them add more names to the casualty list. Many rabbis spoke at Almog’s funeral, as did his father, his twin brother, his uncle, his friends, and his fiancée. Her comments were brief and to the point: “You brought me back to religion. Perhaps that was your mission in life. I will love you forever.”
My sense as I walked the streets afterward is that the natives are restless. After a 50-day war whose “victory” is debated, terror has returned to the streets. There is no Iron Dome that prevents a knife attack or a car from being driven into a crowd. The only answer is deterrence so strong that those who live to kill will abandon that fool’s paradise.
The enemy won’t change their philosophy because of education. They won’t abandon their battle plan because of a newfound love for the infidels. They will not rewrite their charter or rewire their brains. The hatred oozes from their pores. I witnessed it myself up close and personal these last few days. It is real. It is palpable. But so is the frustration and anger of the Israeli populace, and now is the defining moment when Bibi and company must look the leftists in the face, tell them the truth, and act upon that truth. Now is when every Jewish anti-Zionist must put his dogma aside and realize that all Jewish blood is the same color.
Every Jew must realize that the enemy couldn’t care less whether or not you drink chalav Yisrael. They don’t care about the size, shape, or color of your yarmulke, kippah, or beanie. They don’t care if you attend Yeshiva University or Stanford University. They don’t care if you live in Tel Aviv, Paris, or New York.
The only checklist they have is the same one Hitler had. They don’t care if you observe Israeli Independence Day or if you rue the day the “medinah” was founded. They love the divisiveness in our ranks. It simply adds fuel to their fire. They love the capitulation to the left in Israel, and all the human-rights groups defending their right to kill our citizens. They love the moral equivalency of attack and defense implicitly provided to them by the foreign press and the rewriting of history by their own press.
I do not advocate vigilantism or “price tag” attacks. I do not advocate asserting all of our G‑d-given rights to all holy places at this time in history if doing so will be the cause of additional funerals of our best and brightest.
There are many answers to religious questions that our rabbis tell us will remain in suspense till Elijah the Prophet arrives and settles the issue. So is it in the world we live in. It is possible, therefore, that sovereignty over certain areas might remain out of our hands until a later date as well. But let’s not confuse self-preservation, which sometimes requires delaying or forgoing a certain course of action, with cowardice or a lack of resolve in dealing with threats to our very existence.
There is very little the media can say or do to vilify Israel more than they have done already. There is very little the United Nations can do diplomatically to change the facts on the ground. Every nation in the world can follow the over 120 countries that have voted to recognize Palestine as an independent state, and that still will not create a Palestinian Arab state or change the boundaries of Israel.
There is not much more Obama can do to create more distance between Israel and the United States. But there is a lot more Israel can do, and now is the time to do it, even if when they woke up this morning, it wasn’t on their schedule. Then again, the Shiloni family and the Lemkus family had to revise their schedules, and thousands of Israelis and millions of Jews worldwide now have to revise their worlds.
David Seidemann is a partner with the law firm of Seidemann and Mermelstein and serves as a professor of business law at Touro College. He can be reached at 718-692-1013 or firstname.lastname@example.org.