Wake up, Israel, and smell the burning synagogues and Jewish homes in Lod, Acco, Yafo, and other towns that the fighters of 1948 died for.
Wake up and see that Jews have not been allowed to walk on the Temple Mount for 18 days, the Temple Mount that the fighters of 1967 died for.
Wake up and hear that the roads of the Negev are infested by bandits, and that a Jew who enters an Arab town or an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem risks being beaten to death.
Wake up and learn that Israel is not a sovereign state. Its laws and court decisions can be overridden by the antisemitic “international community,” and its military campaigns ended by fiats from Washington.
Wake up and understand that we are not in control. Hamas demanded – they demanded! – that Jews be kept from the Temple Mount and from living in the Shimon haTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem. Our politicians say that the cease-fire with Hamas was unconditional. We will know in the next few weeks whether they were telling the truth, or whether they have given in to the enemy’s demands.
Our enemies are taking our country and our sovereignty from us, bit by bit. They have been trying to force Jews to flee from Judea and Samaria by terrorism since 1967, and now they are using similar tactics in places with mixed Jewish-Arab populations. They are burning our synagogues, homes, and cars in an attempt to take back what they lost in 1948. If Jews flee from Lod, from Acco and Yafo, they will become Arab cities like Ramallah where Jews will be afraid to go.
Israel’s War of Independence did not end in 1949. Israel’s leadership was divided then over the question of whether to expel the Arabs, and despite what the Arabs say, there was no general policy of ethnic cleansing. That was a mistake: there should have been. In 1967, when the Temple Mount was captured, Moshe Dayan said that he didn’t want “all that Vatican.” A “status quo” was established, giving Muslims rights on the mount at the expense of our sovereignty. Jerusalem Arabs expected to be expelled, as the Jordanians had done to every Jew in the territory that they conquered in 1948, because that’s how it’s done in the Middle East. But we didn’t want to be Middle Eastern. We thought we could be a “villa in the jungle.” That was another mistake.
Hamas is trying to drive us from southern Israel with their rockets. They fired more than 4,000 rockets at Jewish towns and cities, killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens, destroying homes and property, supposedly because Jews tried to assert their authority over violent rioters on the Temple Mount, and because Israel tried to evict four Arab families that had refused to pay rent to the Jewish owners of the property for decades. It’s all connected.
Israel’s response was, as always, cut short by a command from the American president. The IDF collapsed some tunnels and killed some of Hamas’ officers and weapons development personnel. It bombed the (empty) houses of Hamas leaders. It destroyed some weapons and some manufacturing facilities. But the infection remains. It will take a while, but it will come back. It always has. With the connivance of our leadership – in the name of maintaining quiet – money will be pumped into the strip, tunnels and weapons factories will be rebuilt. It will take time, but they have patience, and their Iranian patrons will have money. They will come back. They always do.
Israel is many times stronger than Hamas. We control their electricity and water supply. The threat could be ended once and for all, the way it’s done in the Middle East. That would be tough on the residents of Gaza, but the “international community” which is so concerned for them could step up and help them find new homes, in underpopulated Jordan, Europe, and North America. But we prefer to make mistakes, one after another. We prefer to suffer, even die, ourselves if the alternative is to cause suffering to others.
We must stop the incremental loss of our land and sovereignty. The gains of 1967 are being erased as I write, and after them will come what was achieved in 1948 at such great cost. If we don’t act, in the way that a Middle Eastern country must in order to survive, we will lose everything.
We can turn it around. Nobody expected that we would win in 1948 or 1967, but we did. This time it will be a different kind of struggle, a conceptual struggle to confront reality and deal with it. A struggle that will not begin until we wake up.