By Ari Bussel
There are some things I am confident I know. Some may be hidden beneath the surface, others true for some. In totality, they are a source of my comfort in the future. Despite all the challenges, Israel and the Jewish people will survive and overcome modern-day hardships. These are the ingredients to my optimism.
First, there are entities that evaluate various scenarios and whose job is to protect Israel. These are “think tanks” of sorts embedded within the central nervous system of Israel. Their work is translated into operational “drawer”-plans to be executed as required. For these it is said, “Will not slumber and will not sleep the Guard of Israel.”
Second, anti-Semitism is once again boiling over at the surface. In the 1930s there was no Israel; today there is. Israel and Jews around the world find themselves in a most precarious position. However, the very existence of modern Israel provides shelter and an escape for Jews everywhere and the greatest reason for Israelis to protect their country. Once a person “owns” something, he is unlikely to give it away easily. Israelis will fight to the very last drop of blood and their very last breath to ensure Israel does not fall.
Third, Israel is now fighting the final battle for its survival. The Jewish State has spent the last two decades exhausting every imaginable and unforeseeable course of action. Israelis crave peace like no other nation in the world. They are tired of wars and have continued to bear the loss of lives and nurture the injured. But this exhaustion must not be confused with weakness or an unwillingness to fight. Quite the contrary, although the price paid is unbearable, still the determination is unbreakable.
Fourth, Israel is a beacon of light and life. Venture into any kindergarten, elementary or secondary school, unannounced and unexpected, and you will find a celebration of life. In fact, walk any street throughout Israel, or board the train or a bus, and you will see Israel impregnated with life. Israel constantly reproduces, celebrating a spring of flowers and hope. Much as in the plant or animal kingdoms, when a female is pregnant, she glows. All systems are focused on protecting the mother and nurturing the future generation, providing the optimal caring environment for the yet-to-be-born.
Nature has am amazing way to ensure survival, and Israel, in its 64th year is, whether she wants it or not, under protections afforded to her beyond the comprehension of us mere humans.
Fifth, Israelis understand internally how to get along with one another. We seem unruly, opinionated, loud, lacking manners, pushy and otherwise restless. We are indeed thorny, but this is an outer protective layer. People mistake the plurality and diversity of opinions (what some would call the essence of a democratic society) and use that against us. They read op-eds written by Israelis or watch movies made in Israel and use them as weapons. They take things out of context and dress them up to serve their agenda. However, it is exactly those discussions and internal debates that strengthen Israeli society.
Israelis debated the value of a presence in Lebanon; an experience that cost too many lives. Israelis debate the value of land vs. peace. Israelis do not leave any stone unturned in their futile search for peace, carried out by no one else with such intensity of intention.
Israelis are concerned with human lives, even those of their enemies. Israelis can be called “stupid,” but they are not. They constitute an open society the likes of which the world craves to have and replicate. And this openness is one of Israel’s greatest strengths.
Do not mistake our discourse as serving the goal of Israel’s enemies to see her destroyed. When push comes to shove and Israel is against a wall, gun pointed and acid aimed at her beautiful face and body, Israelis will put their differences aside and fight to protect, preserve and survive. They simply do not realize this scenario is the current reflection in their mirror.
Sixth, there is inherent goodness inside each and every Israeli. Although not always displayed over the noise and havoc so characteristic of daily life in Israel, it is as common as the redness of the blood flowing in our veins. When a million people in the north fled their homes and hometowns, as Hezbollah replaced rains of blessings with missiles, Israelis in more protected areas beyond the missiles’ reach opened their homes to complete strangers.
In troubled times, Israelis are there for one another. No questions asked, no discussion. A friend, life teaches us, is measured at a time of need, and Israelis are true friends, occasional appearances notwithstanding.
Seventh, history teaches us that haters have stood and threatened to destroy the Jewish people. Too many almost succeeded. The First and Second Temples were destroyed, and the Jews were exiled from their homeland. The Spanish Inquisition continued the effort and Hitler dreamed of the “final solution.” None succeeded, and now they are gone.
But the Jewish people are still here, a beacon of light, and still bestow goodness on earth. From medical advances to scientific and technological miracles, from exporting agricultural know-how to homeland security expertise, Israelis are at the forefronts of research and development, fighting for the world’s survival on each and every frontier.
Clearly, their contributions are unprecedented, but they are also under-appreciated and taken for granted. There is a reason in the greater scheme of things, for the Jewish people to exist. Simply put, Israelis have a role to play, and the Designer who chose them is too fond of them and their work on His behalf to allow their destruction.
Eighth, decent people everywhere know how to differentiate between good and evil, light and darkness. A blind or deaf person has other senses heightened, compensating in part for that which he lacks. Deep inside, we are all created in the same image, man and woman, irrespective of one’s abilities, skin color, culture or ethnicity. The same laws of nature apply to all. This we know, whether we admit it or not, and even when we use all our faculties to oppress the very idea from surfacing, and everyone knows, Israel is a force for good in our world.
Israel’s enemies consider falling into the hands of an Arab or a Muslim a nightmare, yet being taken prisoner of war by the “evil Zionists” is a secure and comfortable outcome. They will not be tortured, raped or mutilated, but treated with dignity.
Arabs often describe the behavior of other Arabs in the following manner: “Even Israel would (or does) not do that!” they say, knowing that Israelis can be trusted to behave like human beings, not animals, even against their worst enemies, despite facing the worst atrocities humankind has witnessed.
Ninth, Israel’s very being goes back three millennia. It did not come into being out of a void or chaos in 1948. Jews are an ancient civilization intrinsically tied with the Land of Israel. Despite all modern-day attempts to rewrite history, destroy archeological findings and ignore what the eyes can see and share, the indisputable truth will prevail. Eventually it always surfaces as with Communism and the Soviet Union, and this is what will transpire in the Jewish State.
Hold the Hebrew Bible in your hand and feel its strength. The battle against the Jewish people is a war against their God and in religious wars God has never, and can never be destroyed. History teaches not to dare Him, a proposition so many ignore so quickly and so often. The enemy pays a high price, and humanity would be better served remembering fighting the Jews has resulted in fighting the Almighty. Warning: DO NOT ATTEMPT, it will not end well for you.
Tenth, nature has to run its course. Water flows from a high point to a low one. Gases expand, and lava devours everything in its wake. There are cycles in life and in nature as one plus one still equals two. The Jewish people may suffer greatly, but they will survive. The world will try to destroy their spirit and exterminate even the few still in existence, but it will be unable to do so. Each of the 14 million or so Jews around the world is a candle. One tiny light that existed before birth and continues even after departure from this earth.
Thus, as history has shown, armies of goodness will be called upon when Israel and the Jewish People seem on the brink of extinction. These warriors may be unseen, invisible and untouchable, but they are there, protective and powerful against all threats of annihilation.
On that day, when the future seems impossible, these soldiers will surface to do battle for humanity to save itself. They will defend the Jewish people, fighting against the most evil, cunning and capable enemy, Satan. It is a war that has been long in the making, war against the Almighty, Lord of Hosts. Only a fool might doubt Israel and the Jewish people will survive, for it is a guarantee as ancient as water, wind, fire or sand.
Mistake not Israel’s appearance of weakness and the impression of the strength of her enemies. This is mere illusion, a mirage meant to confuse and weaken us.
Remember history, know who is fighting and why, and the picture will become clear and the fog will disappear. Then with clarity and understanding you will know where you must stand, and everything that must be done.