A Voice from Hebron -- February 10, 1998

What Happened to Jewish Self-respect?

By Gary M. Cooperberg

It is so reassuring to hear from our American allies that Israel has the right to defend itself from an enemy attack. The very fact that anyone as much as suspected a need for American approval to define such a right clearly indicates the nature of Israeli sovereignty. I cannot remember ever hearing such a statement offered to any other nation. How is it conceivable that any nation would feel the need to get approval from outside its own government to determine whether or not to defend itself when attacked?

Actually things are backwards here. Considering the likelihood that Iraq would respond to an attack from America by striking at Israel, one would naturally expect the United States to get approval from Israel prior to mounting such an attack. Yet, because of the "special relationship" we enjoy with that country, it would never occur to anyone that Israel would object to any American decision, even one which is likely to be a direct threat to our security.

It is heartwarming to hear how the United States will react with full force should Israel be attacked. But it is the people of Israel who will bear the results of such an attack, not the people of the United States. Despite all the protests by our leaders that no attack is expected, the civilian population in Israel is panicking. Droves are swamping gas mask distribution centers and supplies are rapidly dwindling, which only further fuels the flames of panic.

While everyone is worrying about if and when Saddam Hussein will attack, it amazes me to see now little worry is expressed toward a far greater danger which is already beginning to engulf us.Our PLO peace partners have been holding organized demonstrations declaring their support of Saddam and encouraging him to bomb Israel.Why is it so difficult to understand that it is the Arab population within our own country that presents us with the most serious danger?

Israel may, indeed, have a strategic response all ready for Saddam should he dare launch an attack against the Jewish State, but where is our response to the cancer which is already devouring us from within? There can be no doubt in anyone's mind of the intentions of the PLO, and their supporters (who include nearly all the Arabs within the Jewish State as well) to use the Oslo process as a tool to destroy Israel and replace it with "palestine". While such intentions may, in the past, have been laughable, they are no longer funny.

The question which begs for an answer is, "How is it that the PLO can burn our flag and call for our destruction in demonstrations on Jewish soil and our government still tries to negotiate with such people discussing how much more of our homeland to give them as well as whether to permit them to build air and sea ports?"

Israel is in grave danger today. Yet that danger is not from Saddam Hussein, nor from the PLO seekers of our destruction. The danger lies entirely with our own warped misconception of our very reason for being. When will the Jewish people wake up and realize that we are not a Middle Eastern version of the United States? The more we try to represent ourselves as a democratic society which welcomes Arabs to share our sovereignty equally with us, the more we encourage our enemies to try to destroy us.

The Jewish State has a singular purpose. It came into being, miraculously, in fulfillment of Biblical prophesy. It's Divine purpose is to bring blessing to all the nations of the world. This purpose cannot be fulfilled unless the Jewish people live up to their obligations. One of the key obligations upon us is to return to, rebuild and possess all of the Land of Israel. To deny that obligation by offering to give away parts of our Divine inheritance to others is to delay blessing to ourselves and to the rest of the world. Peace will only result from our adherence to Divine principles. It most certainly will not result from our violating them.

Every day that the PLO demands more and more concessions from us and does not get a firm and clear negative response is a further desecration of the Name of the Living G-d of Israel. So too is every day that we fail to undo the tragic errors of giving anything to the PLO. Not only has peace not resulted from our cowardice, but we have enabled our enemies to inflict far greater pain upon us than they would ever have been able to do otherwise.

No. It is not gas masks and Patriot missiles that will protect us against our enemies. It will only be the Jew who clings steadfastly to his Torah, with both feet planted firmly upon the soil of Eretz Yisrael that will bring Divine protection against any man-made weapon. As we approach our fiftieth birthday let us remember the dream of two-thousand years. Let us not spurn the dream that, for generations, our fathers and mothers died to preserve. That dream was not to become a host country to the PLO, nor to become the flunky of the United States of America. It was to return to and rebuild our ancient homeland and to reestablish Jewish sovereignty here with pride in our heritage and resolve to serve the Living G-d of Israel. Anything less is to spit in the face of Jewish destiny which has already begun to unfold before our very eyes.

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