Tall Ships, Netanyahu & America

"If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?"

Gerald A. Honigman,

OpEds Honigman

It was a moment in time never to be forgotten - July 4, 1976.

I was watching those spectacular tall sailing ships from numerous countries passing under the Verrazano-Narrows
Israel must concentrate on the first part of Hillel's famous quote.
Bridge in Brooklyn in salute to America's two hundredth birthday. Tears of pride were in many of our eyes that day.

I was there with my best friend Arie, who is from Israel. At almost the very same moment that those tall ships were sailing by, something else was happening which would link Israel and America together in many a mind forever after.

During the night before and the early morning hours of July 4, 1976, Israel launched Operation Thunderball AKA Operation Entebbe AKA Operation Yonatan.

On June 27, Air France Flight 139 was hijacked by Arabs and some European soul mates. The plane was taken to Idi Amin's Uganda, where the hijackers were met with open arms.

The passengers were soon asked to form two lines - one for Jews, the other for Gentiles. Most of the latter were freed, but the Jews became Idi Amin's "guests". Amin's buddies next announced that the Jews would be killed if demands were not met.

I won't prolong this now, it is an amazingly true story which sired several movies and so forth. Look it up on the Internet or rent one of the movies.

But what you need to know is that on July 4, 1976, Israel raided Entebbe, freed the hostages and showed the world that it was possible to defeat terror - a lesson some still need to learn today. It was a wonderful present commemorating America's own liberty as well.

There was one Israeli combat fatality.

Lieutenant Colonel Yonatan Netanyahu, of Israel's elite Sayeret Matkal, had commanded the strike force and was killed by a Ugandan soldier. Yoni was a Dean's List Harvard scholar who returned to Israel to resume his combat role during the stressful years leading up to the 1973 Yom Kippur War. He was a remarkable human being - both a man of the world, as well as a true son of Zion reborn.

When my own son was born (G-d bless him), we named him Jonathan, in honor of King Saul's son, Prince Yonatan - King David's closest friend - and in honor of Yoni Netanyahu.

Today, the mainstream media would portray Yoni as a right-wing extremist. Just look at how most of it has dealt with Israel going after the non-stop terror machine and its willing supporters in Gaza. Any Jew who refuses to stick his head in the sand regarding what the Arabs' true intentions are regarding the Jew of the Nations is branded this way.

That brings me to another Netanyahu - Binyamin (there's no "J" in the original Hebrew ) or "Bibi".

Unlike too many other Israeli leaders, who feel that they have to prostrate themselves and resume a ghetto Jew stance while begging the Gentile world just to survive, this Netanyahu also refuses to fit into that pathetic mold, as does the man with whom he's formed a coalition government - Avigdor Lieberman.

Netanyahu's main opponent, Tzipi Livni, was too comfortable with ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The latter's non-stop, suicidal demands (which her boss had to approve) were an abomination, in light of what Israel really faces regarding either the Foggy Folks's alleged good cops of Abbas or the bad cops of Hamas. The latter are merely more honest in their murderous intent.

Bibi knows this. And, G-d willing, this time he'll have the will to resist even more powerful turns of the screw which will probably be coming in American President Obama's new administration.

Resuming his earlier role as Prime Minister, Netanyahu has promised to renew the Jewish and Zionist spirit that has been lacking in recent Israeli leadership.

Such "attitude" scares folks like the New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, NBC, BBC, and others of their ilk. For them, Netanyahu and Lieberman are right-wing, racist hardliners, because they refuse to bare the necks of Jewish kids to either the Palestinian Authority's Fatah or Hamas - neither of which show Israel on a map or in their own kids' textbooks, while raising those children on nothing but pure Jew-hatred. And Netanyahu and Lieberman are really extremist because the refuse to have Israel return to its 1949 armistice lines, in a nine-mile-wide rump state. I travel three times that distance to go to work.

Arabs claim twenty-one states to date in their Arab League, on over six million square miles of territory, forcibly Arabized from mostly non-Arab peoples; but how
Netanyahu also refuses to fit into that pathetic mold, as does the man with whom he's formed a coalition government.
dare Jews claim a sole, minuscule, resurrected one of their own - practically invisible on a world map?

On July 4, 1976, Yonatan Netanyahu, of blessed memory, re-sent America and the entire world a message that Jews have been delivering for thousands of years.

Rabbi Hillel, who lived during the Roman occupation of Judaea, restated already ancient Jewish teachings when he proclaimed: "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am not for others, what am I?"

Israel has tried very hard to come to fair accommodations with current "others", who see the entire region as merely purely Arab patrimony. Justice, through Arab eyes only. That's what Darfur and the south of the Sudan is about; that's what gassed, massacred and subjugated Kurds, Copts, Berbers, and so forth, is about as well.

The compromises Israel has sought with the Arabs are light years beyond what Arabs have offered to the scores of millions of non-Arabs with whom they have clashed and competed themselves. But nothing will really change until the Arab mindset changes. Until then, Israel must concentrate on the first part of Hillel's famous quote.

It's long overdue for Israel to again have leaders who will place Israel's own crucial national interests first, before being pressured into consenting to any new deals which will only endanger it further down the road. The Arabs have openly bragged about the progress they've made in their well-known destruction-in-phases scenario. Given this reality check, Bibi must send the same message Yoni did over three decades ago. He must demand - not beg - empathy for live Jews, not crocodile tears of sympathy for dead ones.

What would over three hundred million Americans in a three thousand mile wide America do given the true nature of the beast Israel faces? If I am not for myself, who will be for me....?