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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
"Today’s calls for peace are calls for Israeli surrender"
Israel Deserves our Support

Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

President, The Board of Rabbis of Southern California

It seems that it all happened in the flash of an eye. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Israel is at war again, its air force and navy bombing sites throughout Lebanon. The usual calls for Israeli restraint have been issued. The claim that Israel is acting disproportionately has been repeatedly asserted. Both non-Jews and Jews have called for Israel to return to the paths of peace and non-violence.

But this conflict did not begin in the flash of an eye, nor did it come out of nowhere. And all of the criticisms of Israel’s actions at this time are the result of the failure to understand these facts. Hezbollah, sworn to Israel’s destruction, has been parked on the border between Israel and Lebanon since Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon six years ago. Syria and Iran have conspired to provide Hezbollah with the necessary training and arms to kill Israeli civilians in the north, harass the Israeli troops that guard the border, and generally wreak havoc whenever the prospect of real progress toward peace is in the air. The Lebanese government has been unable and unwilling to fulfill its UN-declared obligation to disarm Hezbollah. The violence we are seeing today has been in the works for years, waiting only for Hezbollah’s (or Syria’s or Iran’s) decision that the moment had come to begin the shooting war.

What is the “proportional” response to an enemy whose objective is to destroy you utterly? How much more restraint could Israel have shown beyond the decision to not attack preemptively? And what can peace even mean when confronting a foe which exists for the sole purpose of seeing to it that peace is never ever achieved?

Every attempt that has been made to bring peace to the Middle East – including the successful ones between Israel and Egypt and Israel and Jordan - have all been premised on the readiness of all parties to recognize the right of the other to live as a State in peace. The reason that Israel does not have peace today with the Palestinians is simply that Yasir Arafat never sincerely accepted this premise (as was dramatically evidenced by his rejection of the Camp David accords in July of 2000), and because Hamas explicitly rejects the idea. The only way that Israel could achieve peace with Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, or Iran is by agreeing to dismantle itself. Today’s calls for peace are, in effect, calls for Israeli surrender.

Israel deserves our support in the same way that any nation victimized by terror deserves our support. And beyond that, Israel deserves our support as a democratic nation that wakes up every morning with radical Islamic anti-Western forces within easy rocket distance of its civilian population. Support of Israel when it faces off against these forces, is the only thing that will one day – may it come soon – bring peace.

In a vacuum, who could argue with calls for restraint and calls for peace when innocent civilians are in harms way? But Israel isn’t in a vacuum. It is in the Middle East.
This is such common sense--I don't know why we have to keep repeating it. But we do, apparently.
Yay, Rabbi Kanefsky!

Thanks for posting it, Ralphie. Where did you see it? An email? Is it on the web somewhere so you can link?
email. couldn't find it online.
Surprisingly, this article stands in stark contradisinction to the Rabbi's sermon a couple weeks ago. I still love him, though.
Hizbollah wanted Israel to release 1200 terrorists from Israeli prisons for each of the two Israelis they kidnapped. Thus a proportional response is 1200 dead terrorists for every Israeli killed. From their own mouths. It is Hizbollah itself which has set the rate of exchange: One Jew = 1200 jihadists.
Great point, Toby! Also shows you how much they value their own lives. But I guess we knew that already.
Better than his speech at the rally. He was the only person to talk about the giving the Palis a state. It was, um, how to phrase this? inappropriate verging on the appalling.
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