Op-Ed: Avoiding Apologetic Lunacy
Ron JagerThe writer (www.ronjager,com) a 25-year veteran of the I.D.F., served as a field mental health officer and Commander of the Central Psychiatric Military Clinic for Reserve Soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty, he provides consultancy services to NGO’s implementing Psycho trauma and Psychoeducation programs to communities in the North and South of Israel and is a strategic advisor to the Director of the Shomron Liaison Office.
Their logic goes like this: in response to the filmed clip in which a Lt. Col of the IDF is seen hitting a foreign anarchist with the magazine of his M-16, the officer is immediately suspended from duty, coupled with across the board condemnation by the Chief of Staff and other senior officers in the Central Command, so as to prevent a public relations crisis.
They will claim that it's better to stop and do the right thing in terms of PR so as to minimize the fallout and damage that could have resulted from this kind of isolated event. They will claim that an apology is in order so as not to stain all of Israel.
All this because of a five-second-long video segment in which no one is seriously injured.
The current duo at the head of Israel's Defense establishment, I.D.F. Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, and the current Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, have both held similar senior positions and were responsible for adopting a position of appeasement and abandoning soldiers under fire in the past.
In those cases, the ending was much more tragic. In the year 2000, during the 2nd War of Terror ( "Intifada El Aksa") I was a medical staff officer and under the command of General Gantz, then the Commander of IDF forces in Judea and Samaria. I had a first hand glimpse as to how senior military commanders can place political considerations above all others.
Gantz and Barak refrained from giving the order to rescue a squad of soldiers besieged in the Tomb of Joseph..six soldiers were killed, one bled to death...despite two columns of IDF tanks on standby within spitting distance .
Gantz and Barak refrained from giving the order to rescue a squad of soldiers besieged in the Tomb of Joseph compound that had been destroyed and surrounded by hundreds of armed Palestinian terrorists and PA irregular soldiers. In response to their inaction, one of the soldiers, a Druze, Corporal Madhat Yusuf, bled to death. Six other soldiers were killed by the armed mob over a period of almost 24 hours.
This was allowed to occur despite two columns of IDF tanks on standby within spitting distance of the Tomb of Joseph, able to reach and rescue the trapped soldiers within 30 minutes.
The main issue at hand is not the actual event. The fact is that the Palestinian Arabs, and the European anarchists accompanying them, were guilty of entering a closed military area. The fact is that the Lt. Col. was recorded and filmed being hit by the anarchist himself, who had attacked the IDF officer just prior to the segment edited by the demonstrators. He was threatened with a knife, resulting in him being physically injured and requiring medical attention. All the above is irrelevant to the main issue.
The rationale behind the fallacious and demeaning logic that argues that the only acceptable response to those that openly seek to destroy Israel as the homeland of the Jewish nation is to ignore provocations and win the PR war, is a sure recipe for inviting the next Goldstone Report.
By not responding, we are reinforcing the belief among those committed to destroying Israel that they can continue provoking IDF officers. They can continue and initiate provocations similar to the Mavi Marmara flotilla with full immunity, knowing that Israel is afraid of losing the PR war and will blame itself at worst, and vindicate the provocateurs at best.
Is this inclination to exploit the natural tolerance of the people of Israel by placating the anti-Israel coalition throughout the world really based on a well- thought-out policy for the nation? Or is it simply a convenient response on the part of aspiring military and political leaders? I refer to those who for personal gain want to maintain their "politically correct " relationships with certain leaders and philanthropists of American Jewry - the group who maintains a political agenda that espouses the belief that as far as Israel and Israeli Jews are concerned, we have become an ethnic group unworthy of ever being right or justified in how we react to Palestinian Arab terror.
Those stubborn Israelis simply do not fit this group’s understanding of how Jews should be portrayed.
The American-Jewish liberal mindset likes its Jews portrayed as Holocaust victims or as soul-searching soldiers in movies such as “Beaufort” or “Waltzing with Bashir,”, but never ever as determined and tenacious citizens and soldiers of a potent military power that does what is necessary to maintain its deterrence against Arab rejection of Israel as the home of the Jewish Nation.
The problem with strong, courageous, forceful, and resilient Israeli Jews and I.D.F. officers in particular, is that they are not identifiable as Jews at all to them. They want their Jews palatable and morally superior so as to make their own lives as supporters of Israel a non-conflictual relationship.
The main issue has to do with whether or not our military and political leaders should show restraint in the face of provocation. This attitude of patient endurance, rather than reacting - in order to avoid inflicting injury on our enemies and thereby invite world media condemnation, has become a strategic liability.
This readiness to refrain from action, empowering those that are part of the red-green alliance between Islamists and the radical Left, openly supporting terror against Israel, must end now. Israel must stop being the only country in the world that grants freedom of action to those who openly seek to destroy it.
Today, as Israel notes Holocaust Remembrance Day, the notion of Jews responding weakly to provocations should stir among our military leaders a natural inclination to remain steadfast and unrelenting.
Unfortunately, this is not the case, as we have all witnessed during the past week.
Albert Einstein was quoted as stating that “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” It seems that at times the Jewish people keep making the same mistakes over and over, giving our enemies the impetus to continue on and elevating apologetic lunacy to policy.
The following also a quote attributed to Einstein, I think it reflects much of what has transpired in recent days: "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”