June 25, 2024
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June 25, 2024
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Thoughts Written During a Ceasefire

Dear God, will this one last? Are the tun­nels completely, truly de­stroyed?

I have grown tired and weary of reading analysis after analysis. At the end of the day, only God knows, right?

Why pick up the New York Times or click to CNN ever again? Fox News and the Wall Street Journal certainly do the trick.

I don’t know his name or his wherea­bouts, but I pray that that Indian TV reporter who staked out the Hamas launch site and exposed their methodology to the world is still alive and that they never find him.

Actually, some Jewish organization WILL probably track him down so as to honor him at their next dinner. Which they should. Ditto Sean Hannity.

The Hamptons Synagogue, on Shab­bos Nachamu, ran an Emergency Israel Ap­peal. They raised $1.1 million dollars in 27 minutes. I was there. It was downright im­pressive. A TABC grad, Moshe Hirt, is in­jured in battle, patched up, and sent back to the front. A nephew by marriage whose family made aliyah years ago is lucky to be in a wheelchair for the next few months as he al­most lost both his legs. He hopes to walk in four months. When did these wars ever hit so close to home?

I’ll tell you when. When aliyah came into vogue, thank God. And from here on in, something this community will need to learn to deal with is the fact that for the first time in history we have a stake in these wars. Those stakes are our friends and their children who all have made ali­yah and made it into the history books while we can only read the headlines.

It wasn’t that way in’67 or ’73. Not even the Scud war of 1991.

The trauma professionals are so right. Too much information, 24/7, is not healthy.

Israel’s PR efforts still need work. The spokespersons have improved, but I don’t quite understand how we haven’t nailed it yet. Remember the days of people like Zalman Shoval lecturing the press and be­ing condescending? Michael Oren and Ron Dermer are terrific, but they are not near­ly enough.

Amir Peretz should be awarded the Isra­el Prize. The former Defense Minister, who exited unceremoniously as a bumbling failure, did sign one contract that will go down in history as pure genius. He chose Iron Dome over the other options. I have no idea what the other options were, but it really doesn’t matter at all, does it?

Defense Attorney Ben Brafman said it straight and to the point on Fox News’ Hannity Show. It’s antisemitism, stupid. Pure and simple. There cannot be any oth­er logical reason why even mildly intelli­gent people blatantly ignore the facts.

Anyone you know planning a Europe­an vacation in the near future? 15 years ago, someone, I forget who it was, coined a term and predicted the region will one day be called Eurabia.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has done an admirable job, by most accounts. But let’s face it—a lot of folks really miss Mena­chem Begin right now. Has anyone blamed the settlers lately? It’s all their fault right?

The last time I took a really close look at Gaza, it was Aza, and I saw Orange groves and beautiful shuls and lovely garden neighborhoods. That was just nine years ago? No way.

Naomi Ragen and others have been writing about miracles, how our three murdered boys did not die in vain for if it weren’t for their murder we would have never discovered the tunnels and then who knows what would have happened on Rosh Hashana. Fine. I get that. But did anyone ask the bereaved parents how they feel about this order of the world?

Rabbi Heshie Billet of Woodmere was right. I have heard it from others near the line of fire as well. The pizzas and felafel and shwarma and underwear and socks were very nice, well-meaning and well in­tentioned. But they were not needed, espe­cially in the bulk that they were sent. News bits I heard, and that were confirmed, was that SO MUCH was received that the IDF actually donated the food to local Israeli food pantries and clothing to gemachs for the poor.

So the IDF fights the good fight AND gets a charitable tax deduction…not bad.

In reality, the days of idyllic rah-rah of the troops are long gone. Women crochet­ing woolen winter hats and baking choc­olate babkes need to be replaced with bil­lions of dollars for improved Iron Dome technology. Because somewhere deep in­side some mountain, the Iranian Mullahs are supplying mad scientists with billions of dollars to figure out a way around Iron Dome.

Boko Haram. Vladimir Putin. Taliban. Hezbollah. Islamic Jihad. ISIS. Hamas. This is real. We are not watching a James Bond movie. Just for the record, Obama called ISIS a group of “Junior Varsity” terrorists. That’s Obama, as in President of the Unit­ed States.

Back to the tunnels for a second. I know this isn’t an original thought, but how in the world did Israeli Intelligence not detect such a degree of underground activity. (ed. note. But they did!) I have not heard nor read a good explanation on this matter anywhere. Then again, refer back to the comment above, I have grown tired and weary of reading analysis after analy­sis. At the end of the day, only God knows, right? And the final thought—and this can be the only legitimate final thought: God bless our boys.

By Robert Katz

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