Does Israel Get It?
By Rabbi Ben Tzion Krasnianski
September 16, 2001
On September 11, an explosion of evil took place that shook the very foundations of the world and of life itself. The world has known many evils but not of an evil so absolute that it recognizes no boundaries, a hatred running so deep it knows of no limits, a plot so diabolical that it has no other goal but total destruction for destruction's sake.
While the sadness is unbearable and the tragedy is overwhelming, we've also experienced an unprecedented explosion of goodness. The outpouring of goodness and selflessness was titanic, surely G-d must have been smiling. In a moment of truth it became evident that America is essentially a righteous nation with goodness at its core.
All of us unanimously applaud the President's characterization of Tuesday's cataclysmic attack as a war between good and evil, as a struggle for our very survival and existence. The Congress has unanimously endorsed the President's position that not only must we go after the perpetrators of these acts but also after those who harbor them as well.
We must, however, take it one step further. We should single out not only those who physically harbor the terrorist but also those who intellectually harbor the terrorist, as our enemy. Those who have laid the intellectual groundwork to excuse, justify and rationalize terrorism, who give comfort to the terrorists with their glib tongues and poisonous pens are just as guilty. The moral equivocators in our midst are in a way more dangerous than the terrorist because the harm they do and the havoc they wreak isn't as obvious.
"What are we doing that is making them so mad, that evokes such rage," cry the moral relativist among us. "We must address the political root of the problem. It's not so simple," they claim, assuring us that there's no military solution to the problem. "We have our point of view and they have their point of view, and who can say who's truly right," etc.
Ideas have consequences. We must realize that these ideas are poisonous, undermine our confidence and drag us to the abyss. These pseudo intellectuals embolden the terrorist with their dangerous prattle.
What it boils down to is something quite simple. Life is sacred and has an inherent and absolute value and there's nothing in the world that could justify the taking of a single innocent life. Nothing. It doesn't matter how angry the murderer is there's absolutely nothing in the world that could justify the taking of an innocent life.
While ours is a culture that values life, theirs is a culture that values and celebrates death. Our two cultures are now at war with each other locked in a life and death struggle. Only one of us will survive.
Terrorism is a malignant tumor and you don't make peace with cancer. If you play nice with cancer it will kill you, show mercy to a tumor and it will metastasize and mercilessly kill you and kill itself in the process. The only merciful thing to do is to eradicate, destroy and pulverize the tumor into oblivion.
The same is true with terrorism. If we want to live they must die and if they live we will die. Those who have put us on a guilt trip should be run out of town. We state unequivocally that we are good and they are evil. Let no one undermine us or undermine our confidence. To win we must believe one hundred percent in the justice and in the righteousness of our cause.
America now gets it. The question is does Israel get it. The signs are not encouraging. With "Oslo," for the first time in its history Israel has made peace with terrorism. It has allowed itself to be hijacked by a very small group of pseudo intellectuals who have put the entire country on a guilt trip for the merciless terror and aggression that has been waged against it since its miraculous founding and continued existence. This band of intellectual terrorists have sapped Israel of the elementary will to live, fight and to survive.
The thinking behind Oslo and its underlying assumptions are lethal, threatening Israel's very existence. As of today neither the right nor the left have rejected the underlying premise of Oslo. Although Israel is fighting for its life it is still pretending that it's not at war. Incredibly it's still negotiating with the granddaddy and the wiliest terrorist of them all!
The first responsibility of government is to protect its own citizens. Jewish law (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 329:6) states unequivocally that when life is in danger, even a single life, there can be no political considerations. The country must mobilize, go to war, uproot and stamp out the terrorist threat at its source! Israel should immediately launch "operation chemotherapy" and obliterate the whole infrastructure of terrorism in its midst.
Israel could have had the eternal honor of delivering the coup de grace to terrorism around the world. Instead that honor will go to the United Stated which will lead the world to victory against this abhorrent evil, and deservedly so. America had the courage of its conviction to stand up to the whole world in "Durban" and walk out of that hate filled conference that would have made Hitler proud. We hope and pray to the Almighty that the war will be more successful than we dare expect, but we have no doubt of the outcome. In the end truth, justice and goodness will triumph. In America it may already have triumphed.