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Op-Ed: Who Will Be There For Israel?

Talmudic Sage Hillel the Elder had timeless words for us to take to heart. Obama paraphrased them, but missed the most important phrase of all.
Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 12:35 PM


“If not now, when?  And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?”

Those were the timeless words of the Talmudic sage Rabbi Hillel, paraphrased, added to and ironically invoked by President Obama to ambush the Jewish Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, on his trip to Washington DC earlier this year.  They are more ironic than ever after the terrorist ambush of Officer Baruch Mizrahi, father of five, several hours before the Passover Seder.

Obama cited Rabbi Hillel to mock the 'nettlesome' stubbornness preventing Netanyahu from acceding to Obama's vision the "inevitability" of "peace," and the creation of a PA terror state in Judea and Samaria. Obama, however, skipped the real wisdom of Rabbi Hillel's maxim, the phrase immediately applicable to Israel: "If am not for myself, who will be for me?"  

Transposed to Israel's current predicament, the question becomes, "If Israel is not for Israel, who will be for Israel?"  After the "best-friend-Israel-ever-had" went "poof,"  we are all forced to face the ugly truth. Obama and Kerry don't have Israel's back, unless it is with a knife.  But, Obama has Iran's back. And, Israel is all alone (except for, maybe, the "moderate" Sunnis, whatever that implies).

The media reported that Netanyahu was "deeply disappointed" by Kerry's "poof speech" in which Kerry blamed Israel alone for the breakdown of talks.  I have one question: When would Israel like to be "deeply disappointed" by the fact that Obama wants Israel eradicated: before or after Israel gives up defensible mountains of Judea and Samaria that overlook Tel Aviv and Jerusalem? Before or after more freed terrorist murderers encourage others that there is nothing to lose (and a stipend from Abbas to gain) by killing Jews?

If Obama and Kerry stab Israel in the back now in a collegial Senate hearing, how would Obama and Kerry betray Israel when the Palestinian Katyusha rockets fly from Kalkilya in the PA state into Tel Aviv, or Palestinian terrorist mortars from the "liberated" Temple Mount pound into the Israeli Knesset? 

What would Kerry or Obama would do to protect Israel: Zero. No, I strike "Zero," they would vote against Israel in the UN.

So the issue is Rabbi Hillel's first question in the paraphrased maxim: "If Israel is not for Israel, who will be for Israel? The problem is that the Israelis themselves are not for the Israelis. Forget about American Jews!  Forget the Jewish diaspora!  Look at the suicidal Jewish members of Knesset.  For example, Meretz’s Zahava Gal-On just likened PM Netanyahu, Liberman, Bennett, Lapid to the Haggadah’s 4 brothers — except instead of the wise, wicket, simple and childish sons of the Haggadah, she opines that three are wicked and ‘one doesn’t know how to quit.’

And how about Israel's "Justice Minister" who threatens Israelis with BDS instead of fighting it?  How long would anyone keep a lawyer who spent all his waking hours working on how to destroy your case and win the case for your opponent? But, Israelis actually voted for Tzipi Livni, enabling her to capture a position like "Justice Minister."  It's Chelm.

How can American Jews be for a "defensible Israel" when a right-of-center Israel government's Justice Minister isn't for a "defensible Israel"?  And on top of that, Livni hysterically expounds that a "defensible Israel" is a "bi-national state."  

Is Israeli PM Netanyahu for a really "defensible Israel"?  Did Netanyahu defend Israeli Defense Minister Ya'alon, when Ya'alon accurately called Kerry a "messianic, obsessed" person who doesn't understand Israel's defense needs?  No, Netanyahu attacked Ya'alon for telling the truth - that the "Emperor had no clothes and was delusional."  Netanyahu criticized Ya'alon by saying "sometimes we should talk less, and act more." 

"Talk less" about publicly defending Israel's defensive needs??  That's exactly Israel's problem.  How do you "talk less" than nothing?  No Israeli official is publicly explaining in the official name of the State of Israel why Israel needs Judea and Samaria to defend itself.  From Netanyahu's and Israel's deafening silence, any rational person would conclude that Judea and Samaria are not important for Israel's survival. 

All the Israeli Nobel science prizes in the world and billion-dollar start-ups in the world won't make a damn bit of difference if Israel - whether willingly or by force - creates an Iranian-terror-state in Judea and Samaria which can rocket Israel to "Kingdom come, 'Obama's' will be done.'

Perhaps I should properly rephrase, transpose, and repeat Obama's Talmudic question:  If Israel is not for Israel, who will be for Israel?  And, if not you, Mr. Prime Minister Netanyahu, then who?  And, if not now, when?  For, if Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't explain the truth now about Judea and Samaria's critical defensive importance to Israel, when will he ever explain the truth?