Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shouting to the Darkness

Every year we are asked, “Why do you celebrate Chanukah?” and/or “Are you Jewish?” I understand people’s curiosity. I even understand that they may think it’s a little weird. Heck, I even think it’s a little weird that I’m not Jewish and I celebrate Chanukah. But like I tell my kids, sometimes weird is good. It means you’re not following the norm. And more often than not these days, it’s the norm that’s becoming weird. Since the question keeps coming up, I thought I would write a little ditti about why we celebrate Chanukah.

CNN aired a show called CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute. I enjoy shows about everyday people who are heroes. More acknowledgment needs to be given to people who go out of their way to make a positive difference in this world. Chanukah is a time for acknowledging heroes. It’s a time for me to remind my children that the biggest heroes and the people worth looking up to are those who fight for just causes.

Chanukah is a story about a group of underdogs fighting for a just cause: the honor of God and religious freedom. It is a story about people fed up with oppression and finally doing something about it. Think American Revolution. Chanukah is a story of triumph over evil, of light driving away darkness.

Every time I reread the history of Chanukah, I’m astounded at how oppressed the Jews were. I think many people fail to realize how much freedom had been taken from the Jews. The Greeks weren’t satisfied to just rule over the Jews, they wanted to change the Jew’s very essence. They wanted the Jews to think like them and to live like them. Yet, many Jews resisted becoming like “the nations” hence the Greeks got a bit ticked off and brutally oppressed them where it hurt the most; at the heart of their spiritual beliefs. Women who insisted that their sons be circumcised were killed along with their babies. Brides were forced to sleep with Greek officers before they could be with their husbands. Jews were required to sacrifice pigs to the Greek gods. Studying the Bible and Sabbath observance became a capital crime. And a statue of Zeus was erected in the Temple.

Finally, someone decided to fight back. One family, led by the father and then by one of his sons, stood between the mighty Greek army and the conquest of the spiritual essence of the Jews. The family was the Hasmoneans, and the son was Judah Maccabee. Led by Judah Maccabee, which means hammer, the Jews fought for their religious freedom. The military victory by a ban of Jews against the most powerful army of the day was quite a feat to say the least. In fact there is a statue of Judah Maccabee at West Point to commemorate the outstanding military victory. After years of fighting, the climax came when the Jews finally took back the Temple and rededicated it to God. Relighting the golden menorah symbolized spiritual light being rekindled throughout the land, and the miracle of the oil was the exclamation point of God’s hand working through a small group to defeat a nation that was hell-bent on destroying His people and their spiritual heritage. Think 1967, 1973, today.

Chanukah represents much of what I want my children to value and to stand for: The honor of God and religious freedom. I want them to know deep inside that even if they are the minority, they still are obligated to stand up for truth. I want them to know without a doubt that the God Whom they believe in still performs miracles. I want them to know that it is “not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.” I want them to know that in this world, sometimes they will have to get a little “crazy” to combat the craziness around them just as the Maccabees were "crazy" to fight against such odds.

That’s why on night one of Chanukah my daughter and I danced and sang a song at the top of our voices. It was U2’s “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.” No, really, it was the perfect song. It says, “It’s not a hill it’s a mountain as you start out the climb. Do you believe me, or are you doubting? We’re gonna make it all the way to the light. But I know I’ll go crazy if I don’t go crazy tonight / Every generation gets a chance to change the world. Pity the nation that won't listen to your boys and girls. Because the sweetest melody is the one we haven't heard. Oh, but a change of heart comes slow / It's not a hill it's a mountain as we start out the climb. 
Listen for me, I'll be shouting. 
Shouting to the darkness, squeeze out sparks of light.” That’s what Chanukah is, a shout out to darkness that the Light is coming.

I also told my children the story of a modern-day Maccabee, a modern-day hero. It went something like this: There’s a man in Israel who believes that Jews should have the right to pray on the Temple Mount. He believes that it is fundamentally wrong that when the police see the lips of a Jew moving while they are on the Temple Mount, that they promptly make them stop praying. This man fights for the right for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount and he asked people around the world to join him in that fight. People were encouraged to make their voices heard by writing or calling the Israeli government to let them know that Jews should be able to pray on the Temple Mount.

One night while this man and his wife were home, they heard a knock on their door. He answered the door to find members of the Shin Bet, the Israeli Security Agency, at his home. They asked if they could talk to him. They proceeded to tell him that he had two choices. He could either stop trying to fight for the right to pray on the Temple Mount or he could go to jail.

My daughter stopped me at this point and said, “Wait. You mean the Arab police. It couldn’t have been the Israeli police.” I sadly told her that she had heard me right the first time. She couldn’t comprehend why the Israeli police would want to stop Jews from praying. She is very wise.

I ended the story by telling my children that they know this person. Their eyes got wide at the thought of knowing a real-life hero. When I told them his name (he’s given me permission to publically tell the story without using his name because he is still watched by, not only the Shin Bet, but the CIA), their mouths dropped open and they cried out in concern wondering if he had been put in jail. Thankfully, I was able to tell them he was not in jail. And, also thankfully, he continues to fight.

So no, we are not Jewish. But yes, we celebrate Chanukah. In a crazy world where the U.N. announces it’s more historically accurate to consider Rachel’s tomb an Arab mosque, where the U.S. government tells Jews not to build houses on their own land, where the Vatican announces that the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, I combat the craziness by lighting eight candles. The candles are a symbol of my pledge of allegiance to the people of Israel and to the God of Israel. And it is a prayer that I will always have the courage to stand on their side.

Chanukah is a hands-on history lesson that I pray my children won’t forget. God forbid that they ever have to face religious persecution. But as ancient battles seem to be resurfacing, I admit I wonder sometimes. And God forbid that they are ever in desperate need of a miracle. But if they are, I pray that they will remember they serve a God of miracles. May they always know that if they serve the God of Light, they will never have to stay afraid of the dark.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blood, Guts, and a Free Pass

It was not a smart thing to do right after lunch. I looked at a picture. A very gross picture taken in 2000 during the Ramallah lynching. You remember that don’t you? Two Jewish reservist soldiers got lost in PA territory, got arrested by Palestinian police, then literally got ripped apart. You remember the infamous picture? The Arab man, since known as the “Butcher of Ramallah,” triumphantly showing his bloody hands out a window to a cheering mob.

That’s not the gross picture I looked at. The other infamous picture that I suspect few have seen is of two other Arab men holding up their bloody hands for the crowd to see. Except in this picture their hands are still holding something from the lynching besides blood. They are holding the organs and entrails of the Jewish men whom they had beaten, stabbed, gouged their eyes out, and set on fire.

Yes, we who are civilized people hope there is a special place in hell. But in the mean time, the families of these two Jewish victims must live in a daily hell. And that hell was just intensified by the “deal” Israel made with the devil. The “Ramallah Butcher” is walking free as a part of the Shalit “deal.”

Since I already brought it up, I think I’ll stay on the bloody organ theme. What if, G-d forbid, a child needed an organ transplant? And what if the family and friends of that child prayed for 5 years that this would happen? As a matter of fact, what if they prayed for 1,941 days that this would happen? And it finally did. An organ became available for transplant and the operation was successful. Imagine the parents calling all of their family and friends with the wonderful news. The reaction is jubilant. The child will live! But then the rest of the details become known. An organ was available for transplant because the parents had done the unthinkable. They had murdered another child to save their own.

In Israel yesterday, the above immoral scenario has been shown as acceptable. In Israel yesterday, the end justified the means. In Israel yesterday, 1,027 terrorists were set on a path to freedom.

One thousand twenty seven prisoners will be freed. Including almost 280 who were serving life sentences. Including the "Ramallah Butcher." They will all walk free. Even one who was serving 64 life sentences. Even one who used a bus to run over and kill eight people. Even one who was the accomplice to the Sbarro pizza shop bombing, who says she is happy that many children were killed in the attack. Even one who planned the Dolphinarium disco bombing in Tel Aviv that killed 21 Israelis, most of them ages 14 to 18.

But hey, no big deal. Remember, as Israel has taught us, the end justifies the means.

And it’s no big deal that a prisoner swap has been done before with deadly, consequences. Just ask my friend’s son-in-law’s family how the swap of 1986 worked out for them. His uncle, father of seven children, was murdered by one of the released prisoners. As were so many other Jews. But hey, like I said, no big deal. Gilad is home and the muffled sound of cheering Israelis continues to be heard. Muffled because they come from people who have their heads buried in the sand.

And do you hear the other muffled sound? It comes from the belly of a crocodile that Sir Winston Churchill once knew. Unfortunately, this crocodile still exists. This beast has an insatiable appetite. Yet, many a foolhardy men have thought they could tame the crocodile, maybe even become friends with it.

These foolhardy men make speeches explaining the Shalit "deal;" trying to convince themselves and the public that they did the right thing. And who can argue looking at the pictures of frail Shalit finally back with his family? Just like who could argue with the parents in the above scenario who killed a child to gain an organ to put into their own child’s body, right? Oh, so there is a line not to be crossed? The end does not always justify the means?

The Israeli politicians, journalists, and much of the public can’t say enough, like a broken record, how much the Shalit "deal" proves that they value life. But does this sound hollow to anyone else but me? Hollow words ringing dull because they are coming from the belly of the beast. Israel has been swallowed whole by the crocodile of appeasement. What’s so sad is they don’t even realize it has happened. Or they are so ashamed it has happened they are pretending it did not.

From the belly of the crocodile MK Danny Danon cries, “Now we need to create deterrence and clarify to Hamas - terrorism does not pay, try to hurt us and pay for it dearly.” (Ah, yes pay dearly by being given a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.)

From the belly of the crocodile Netanyahu cries, “I would like to make it clear: We will continue to fight terrorism.” (Ah yes, by continuing to deny IDF soldiers artillery and military support when they are pseudo-fighting terrorists. By removing roadblocks and checkpoints to stop terrorists, per the demands of the US State Department. By trying to cover-up your own citizen getting killed by rock-throwing terrorists.)

Such political-spin crap posing as bravado. But I’m afraid the "bravado" is being drowned out by the laughter coming from the crocodile.

You see, the crocodile and the “Ramallah Butcher” have one thing in common, as do the other 1026 beasts being released. They love the smell, taste and feel of dead Jews. And Israel just wetted the beasts’ insatiable deadly appetite even more.

Can you imagine the uproar, the call to arms, the unified search that would immediately happen if a real crocodile escaped from a zoo and was roaming the streets of Israel? Over a thousand such beasts are "escaping." All in the name of the end justifying the means.

Yes, Gilad is home. But what has Israel unleashed that will also, G-d forbid, come home to roost?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Only a Rock

As a whole, we humans are easily desensitized. We log onto the internet or turn on the TV and daily, if not hourly, we are given a menu of tragic stories to choose from. Horrific images keep our attention. That is, until the next story comes along. Or we hear the same story for so long, the seriousness of the story is lost on us. Example: Arabs throwing rocks. No big deal, right?

How often have we heard or seen on the news that Arabs are throwing rocks? I did a word search on the web. “Arabs throw rocks” brought up 11,000,000 results. Arabs in Israel have been throwing a lot of rocks for a lot of years. Which unfortunately gives us, the outside world, a ho-hum attitude whenever we hear of such an event. Arabs throw rocks; crickets chirp around the world. A Kardashian breaks a fingernail; the world is inundated with coverage of the details.

To undo the desensitization, imagine these scenerios with me. God forbid you ever really experience anything like them.

You are a woman dressed up in your finery. You buckle your toddler in her car seat. You get behind the wheel and breath a little sigh of relief. You’re on time. You’ll get to your friend’s wedding with time to spare. That is until you hear a crash. You slam on the breaks. Your heart stops. You can’t turn fast enough to check on your baby girl. And your worst fear has just been realized. Blood covers your baby’s face. Broken glass covers the rest of her. The rock was thrown hard enough. Fast enough. Accurately enough, to hit your baby in the face. You and your baby experience first-hand what a rock can do. The rest of the world will think it was only a rock. You know the rock was intended to be a deadly weapon.

Or G-d forbid, imagine this. You are a young father. While your wife works her shift as a nurse, you share in the wonderful duties of taking care of your one-year old son. Family members describe you as a "quite and special man." That’s easy to see when you are with your son. You gently buckle him in his car seat. Perhaps you even say, “We’re about to see Mommy,” as you start on your way to pick her up. It happened so fast, you probably didn’t see it coming. The rock crashes through the front windshield and hits you in the head. Hopefully, your death happened instantly so you wouldn't have time to think, even for a split second, what was going to happen to your son as the car flipped. He would die too. The first “responders” to arrive on the scene stole your gun and your wallet. Animals arriving upon the carnage they just created. With rocks. The rest of the world will think, it was only a rock. It was a deadly weapon.

May God bring a complete recovery from Heaven for Dorit Tehallel bat Shlomit.

May God bring comfort to the family and avenge the blood of Asher Palmer and young Yehonatan.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Audacity of Idiocy

After hearing Obama’s Middle East speech yesterday, I read a comment that one of my Jewish friend’s posted. She said, “This is one of the worst days of my life. I feel sick.” Was she just being dramatic? Or were her strong feelings justified?

If you didn’t hear Obama’s speech, here it is in a nutshell: Blah, blah, blah, pre-1967 borders blah, blah, blah.

Those three words are what left my friend and so many others who love the Jews living in Israel, disgusted, angry, and feeling sick. Because pre-1967 borders can mean only one thing to Israel. Death.

Rewinding to pre-1967 borders would leave Israel 9 miles wide in one area. Did that register? Nine. Miles. Wide. Tell me this. Would you live in a town less than 10 miles away from a mass of people who had publically declared that they want to kill you and your children? (Psst, and they didn’t make that declaration just once and just recently. Let’s just call that declaration of hate and death a pre-1967 declaration.)

Rewinding to pre-1967 borders would leave Israel’s airport 3 miles away from a hotbed of Hamas devotees. (Psst, Hamas is a terrorist organization.) Tell me this. Would you take off from an airport less than 3 miles away from a mass of people who had publically declared that they want to kill you and your children and who had an arsenal of surface-to-air missiles?

Rewinding to pre-1967 borders would take away Israel’s strategic protective mountain ranges. U.S. 
Lieut. General Thomas Kelly, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of
Staff during the Gulf War, once pointed out that Israel would be virtually
indefensible without those mountainous areas. He said, “I look out from those
heights and look onto the West Bank and say to myself, ‘If I’m the chief of
staff of the Israel Defense Forces, I cannot defend this land without that
terrain.'” It doesn’t take a Liet. General to know that.

Rewinding to pre-1967 borders could endanger Israel’s water supply. A significant portion
of Israel’s water originates in Judea-Samaria. A retreat to the 1967
borders would leave these crucial water sources under Arab control. Tell me this. Would you drink or let your children drink water from an area controlled by people who had publically declared that they want to kill you and your children?

Rewinding to pre-1967 borders would divide Jerusalem. The Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter and the Mount of Olives cemetery would all be turned over to the Arabs. Talk about a psychological and spiritual death. Have you seen the way Arabs treat Jewish holy sites? Have you seen what they did to Joseph’s tomb? Do you know that Arabs have a little national pastime of murdereing Jews at Jewish holy sites? Have you seen the footage of Palestinians rampaging the Temple Mount last week? It was a swath of irreverential destruction; physically and spiritually. Tell me this. How would you feel if the synagogue or church you went to or the cemetery your family was buried in was about to be given to a group of people who had publically declared that they want to kill you and your children?

For those who truly love Israel and its people, the thought of pre-1967 borders is one of the worst scenarios imaginable for Israel. Unless . . . unless the thought of a world leader suggesting this wakes up Israel. The only thing that calms my fears for Israel and my frustrations over the stupid, arrogant, audacity of Obama is to remember that Obama is only a pawn in Hashem’s hand.

“Why do nations gather, and regimes talk in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand against Hashem and his anointed [Israel]. But He who sits in heaven will laugh, and will mock them. Then in His anger and wrath He will terrify them. For Hashem annuls the counsel of nations, He thwarts the designs of peoples,” per Psalms 2 & 33.

G-d let Obama become president. He let those words come out of his mouth yesterday. Now the question is, how will the Jews respond? Will this be the straw? Will this be the turning point of Jews waking up and turning to the G-d of Israel for advice, for direction, for protection, instead of turning to the nations. I hope so. I pray so. Because the other alternative is unimaginably heartbreaking.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Nakba Day (Translated, Blame Israel for Arab Leaders Mistakes Day)

After speaking to an audience about the Jews being G-d’s chosen people (yes, people do need to be reminded of that little oft-dismissed fact), I was approached by an elderly Arab lady. “My relatives were kicked out of their land by the Jews,” she bluntly stated. “Oh really?” I started to say as my feathers were ruffled. But I admit that her age caused me to soften my heart and my response towards her. Even though, on the inside I thought, “You mean the Jews who were busy defending themselves against the multiple Arab countries who attacked them immediately after Israel’s statehood was declared?”

Yeah, those Jews. Those Jews became not only a surprise to the Arab’s plan of annihilation, but an obstacle to the plan. The Arabs had a tiny problem with the U.N. declaration of a Jewish homeland; they didn’t want any Jews in it. So they devised a battle plan. Kick the Jews out or better yet kill them all. The Arabs announced this plan. They told all the Arabs living in Israel to get the heck out of dodge. “There’s a battle a comin',” they warned, “so get out or risk being in the crossfire.” (Keep in mind this is a loose translation. Kinda like the Arab's loose translation of history.) “But no worries. The Jews are nothing. We will quickly destroy them and then, viola,’ you can return home and go on as if nothing happened, except for the killing of thousands of Jews.” That was the Arab plan. Step 1: leave for a while. Step 2: we’ll do a little “housecleaning” while you’re gone. Step: 3: come back to a Judenfrei homeland.

Well, you know the rest of the story. The Jews put a little hitch in the Arab plan. Through the might of Hashem, the Jews stood their ground against the Arab Goliath. So the Arabs retreated and abandoned their plans (at least until they could regroup and reload). But guess what else the Arabs abandoned? The thousands of Arabs they had instructed to leave. These so-called refugees received absolutely zero, zilch, notta, from the Arab countries who caused their flight in the first place. Keep that little factoid in mind every time you hear about the "Palestinian" refugees who have been sat squarely on Israel's lap of responsibility. Egypt. Syria. Iraq. Lebanon. Libya. None of these countries would allow the refugees into their countries. The only country who did was Jordan.

The Arab countries abandoned their own people. And to cover their own great mistake, they concocted the greatest story of our time: the Great Catastrophe, Nakba Day, ie blame Israel for the mess we created and refused to clean up. Hence, the faux-Palestinian myth was created. Granted, it took a little time to get the myth off the ground. But now the myth circles like a high-tech satellite beaming its dogma into millions of gullible minds. Let me remind you, though, who first resisted the lie. Arab voices from the past, who weren’t quite sure yet what they had to gain from the lie. It didn’t take long though, for most Arab leaders to realize that the lie would help lead to their initial goal. The destruction of Israel. But at first they said:

"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not," Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian.

"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria," Saudi Arabia Representative at the United Nations, 1956.

"There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity . . . yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel," Zuhair Muhsin, military commander of the PLO and member of the PLO Executive Council.

"You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people," Syrian dictator Hafez Assad to the PLO leader Yassir Arafat.

"We are the government of Palestine, the army of Palestine and the refugees of Palestine," Prime Minister of Jordan, Hazza' al-Majali, 23 August 1959.

"Palestine and Transjordan are one," King Abdullah, Arab League meeting in Cairo, 12 April 1948.

"Palestine is Jordan and Jordan is Palestine; there is one people and one land, with one history and one and the same fate," Prince Hassan, brother of King Hussein, addressing the Jordanian National Assembly, 2 February 1970.

"Jordan is not just another Arab state with regard to Palestine, but rather, Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan in terms of territory, national identity, sufferings, hopes and aspirations," Jordanian Minister of Agriculture, 24 September 1980.

"The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan," King Hussein 1981.

But, hey, what are facts when Arabs-bent-on-destroying-Israel have a better narrative to tell? Hence millions of Arabs have blamed their woes, and in turn have directed their murderous hatred towards Israel. And once again they will commemorate the Great Lie by celebrating Nakba Day, the Great Catastrophe, on Sunday.

I forgot to tell you what I said to the elderly Arab lady. I told her I was sorry. Sorry for her family’s pain. And I still am. Though I don’t like the lies, to say the least, that the Arabs tell about Israel and how those lies have lent to death and destruction, I am still sorry for the lost Arab homes and lives because of their leaders’ choices. So in that vain, I have one thing to say to the Arab leaders. Leave Israel alone. Get out of her way. Because you know what Israel has done and will continue to do, especially when she’s not busy having to fight you? Something you have never done well. Take care of your own people. Arabs living in Israel have more freedom and live better than they do in most Arab countries. So instead of trying to destroy Israel, why don’t you finally learn from her and let the Great Catastrophe turn into the Great Lesson.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Do Not Feed The Animals

As I brushed and braided my 12 year-old daughter’s hair I told her the story of another 12 year-old girl. I told her about Tamar Fogel.

I told my daughter that Tamar’s family had been murdered in Israel. I left out a few details, though. I didn’t tell her that Tamar was the one who found her murdered family. I didn’t tell her that the head of one of Tamar’s siblings was almost decapitated. I didn’t tell her that Tamar’s 4 year-old brother was stabbed in the heart three times. As if one stab didn’t satiate the killers’ hatred enough. I didn’t tell her that Tamar’s 2 year-old surviving brother was found covered in his father’s blood as he sat next to the body telling him to “Wake up!” I didn’t tell her that Tamar’s mother did not die in her sleep. She came out of the bathroom and saw that her baby and husband had been murdered. She saw the intruders. She tried to fight them. Then they killed her too. I did not want one 12 year-old to have to think about the horrid events another 12 year-old just lived through.

What I did tell her was that Tamar was a beautiful, strong modern-day Queen Esther. I told her that just as Queen Esther stood up for her people so long ago, Tamar was standing up for her people. Oddly enough, though, it is not a foreign leader that Tamar is standing up too. It is her own leader Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu sat shiva with the surviving members of the Fogel family. As I watched him speak to the children, I tried not to judge. I didn’t want to have a knee-jerk reaction like liberals did after the Tucson tragedy. I didn’t want to blame Netanyahu for something he had absolutely nothing to do with. But I couldn’t help think that Netanyahu had everything to do with the murder of the Fogels. Their blood was on his hands.

Rabid animals murdered the Fogels. Even PA President Mahmoud Abbas unwittingly agreed saying, “A human being is not capable of something like that.” He spoke the truth inadvertently admitting the terrorists who killed the Fogels were animals. His words reminded me of a famous Churchill quote, "An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last." It is time for Netanyahu to stop feeding the animals.

Everyone has moments in their lives that become dividing lines. Pivotal moments so poignant that events are then categorized as either “before” or “after” those moments. These moments are wake-up calls, spurring one to value and make the most out of his life. Netanyahu had such a moment when his brother, Yonatan, was killed in the 1976 raid on Entebbe. It seems safe to presume that the loss of his brother helped steer Netanyahu towards politics. That’s why it’s so disappointing and somewhat incredulous to watch Netanyahu appease the same enemy who killed his brother; Palestinian terrorists.

Tamar’s 8 year-old surviving brother, Ro’I, spoke about the Palestinian terrorists as Netanyahu sat shiva with him. “We must overcome them,” he said. To which Netanyahu replied, “We are not fools, we understand who we are dealing with.” A weeping Tamar interrupted him and said, “What will happen if you do something, will America do something to you?” Netanyahu’s response was, “They murder and we build, and we will build, we will build our land.”

It pains me to say it, but despite what Netanyahu says, his actions prove otherwise. He is a fool. Does he not understand that even after such a revealing, graphic murder, showing the true intent of Israel’s “peace partner” that his answer was still reactionary? Because they murdered, we will build? No! Because you are Jews and Israel is your country. That is the only reason you need to build.

If Netanyahu truly understood whom he was dealing with, he would never consider any outside policies or circumstances regarding building Jewish homes. He would never offer any land for peace again. Period. He would never sit at a negotiating table with a man who represents a pseudo-nation whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel.

If Netanyahu truly understood, he would never allow Israeli police to shoot at its own people whose “crime” was to build homes on Israeli soil. He would never allow bulldozers sanctioned by his government to demolish Jewish homes.

If Netanyahu truly understood, he would never agree to close checkpoints aimed at stopping terrorists. He would never show restraint while rocket after rocket is fired into his country. He would never govern his people according to the wishes of any foreign government or entity.

If Netanyahu truly understood, he would not have sat in a chair in front of the Fogel children. He would have prostrated himself on the floor at their feet and begged for forgiveness for facilitating the notion that Jews living on any inch of Israeli soil is illegal. The building freeze that he agreed to? That moratorium led to the murder of the Fogels. It helped feed the crocodile’s vile hatred and legitimize its belief that it had a right to kill Jews committing “crimes” against them.

The adage that “people treat you the way you let them treat you,” has never rung truer than with the current political climate in Israel. Every time Netanyahu does not condemn in word and deed policies that call Jewish “settlements” “illegitimate,” “folly,” or “the biggest stumbling block to peace,” he facilitates the UN and US’s new favorite go to answer for all the world’s problems: “It’s the Jewish settlements, stupid!”

Sarah Palin asked the million-dollar question while recently in Israel. “Why are you apologizing all the time?” Think the “Joe Biden/housing” incident. Think the flotilla incident. When will Netanyahu get it? When will all of Israel get it? There is no explanation Israel can give, no action Israel can do that will ever satisfy the nations. Israel is on its own. Yet, Netanyahu still foolishly expressed his expectation of support from the nations after the Fogel murders saying, "I expect the international community to explicitly condemn the murder.” Crickets chirped. The answer from the international community was deafeningly silent. In their estimation the “settlers” got what they deserved. Yet ironically that same community voiced loud condemnation at the mere mention of 400 new Jewish homes. How much plainer can it get? The world is bothered more by a Jew picking up a hammer to build a home than a Jew picking up the body of a baby, whose throat was slashed, to bury.

I’ve heard three holy, righteous Jews who live in the land of Israel say over the last few months the same hard-to-hear message. They have all said that ultimately there is no Arab problem. The problem is a Jewish problem. If and when Jews finally decide to grow up and act like Jews, everything will change. When Jews quit acquiescing to revisionist history and the faux Palestinian narrative, when Jews dismiss the legitimacy of the U.N., when Jews decide to make decisions without the interference of other governments, when Jews decide to appease the G-d of Israel instead of appeasing foreign governments and terrorists, when Jews decide that they have a right to exist unapologetically on every inch of Israel . . . everything will change.

Tamar Fogel, a twelve year-old girl, is more of a grown-up Jew than Netanyahu and most of the other members of the Israeli government. She gets it. She is a testament to the righteous, wise parents who raised her. In addition, she is a prophet speaking the truth unabashedly, even to the Prime Minister of Israel. In an interview on Israeli television, Tamar recalled the moment when Netanyahu said “they kill and we build.” “I said, okay, but then you evacuate. When you came to comfort us, you said we build and we expand, but on the ground, you evacuate all the time.” She sees through the duplicity. Would that Netanyahu.

After Knesset Member Tzipi Livni visited Tamar, she said, “She’s only 12 years-old and sounds like she should be running the country.” If only.

I’ve asked my daughter to pray for Tamar whenever she comes to mind. I don’t want her to forget this amazing girl. A girl who after losing so much said with composure and courage, “This whole thing, and everything that has happened to the people of Israel, has not broken us. We will continue to settle the land.” May G-d allow her words to come to pass. And may all Jews follow her lead.