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      Op-Ed: Labor's Lost, What of Kadima?

      Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 1:32 PM
      Kadima's message is useless, Labor is lost. But Netanyahu can stop vacillating and remember that you become strong by believing first in something positive and true that you can embrace and be passionate about.


      The peace process. You’ve heard about it? The Arabs have one version and the Jews have many.
      Kadima says it wants peace. But the world is a tough place, and when it hears, ‘surrender land, get peace’, it is not ‘peace’ that the world hears—it is, ‘surrender’.

      This surprises you?

      Or, are you just surprised that the world seems to hate us?

      Why would the world hate us?  Is there something wrong with them?

      Or, is there something wrong with us?

      Here’s an idea: maybe it’s us. Maybe the world is giving us what we deserve.

      News trendsetters tell us that we have only two messages : Kadima's and Netanyahu's. Every other message is irrelevant to them.

      So what’s the problem?

      The  two messages are the problem.

      Kadima seems to have a clear message:  “surrender land, get peace”. But as you’ll see, there’s a problem.

      Netanyahu, on the other hand,  does not have a clear message. He sounds  like a grandfather clock,  going first ‘tick’, then ‘tock’:  yes to a freeze,  no to a freeze;  yes to apologize to Turkey, then no;  yes to compromise for peace, then no;  yes I was elected to act a certain way, then no , and so on, back and forth.

      How does the world react to these two?

      Not well.

      In a world of strong-arm leaders who rule by  the law of winner-takes-all,  any country that can be bullied to surrender land it won in defensive  wars can be labelled,  ‘weak’.

      Kadima says it wants peace. But the world is a tough place, and when it hears, ‘surrender land, get peace’, it is not ‘peace’ that the world hears—it  is, ‘surrender’.

      This is why President Sarkozy of France can say that the Arabs are stronger than Israel—the Arabs are not surrendering.

      Kadima wants peace?  Doesn’t matter.  When you’ve got two parties, one of whom says ‘surrender’ (never mind the context—people don’t  know how to listen) while the other party shouts, ‘that’s mine!’, you don’t have to be a  genius  to understand who looks  dominant, who submissive.                               

      The universal truth of survival seems as cruel as it is simple: if you appear weak, you not only lose your voice, you will be attacked by the entire pack.                       

      We see this coming true in the UN.

      So if Kadima’s message fails to bring the peace it so desires, why is it heard? Because it has three things Netanyahu’s message doesn’t have:   it is clear;  it is simple; and it is easy to repeat.

      In America, there is a saying, ‘keep it simple, stupid’. This means  ‘simple’ makes sense.’ Simple’ is easy. ‘Simple’ sells.

      Kadima’s message is simple. Netanyahu’s message is not.

      Kadima’s message sells. Netanyahu’s message doesn’t.

      So while Kadima’s message sells but fails and Netenayhu’s message appears still-born, the only other message news  trendsetters show us is the Arab message—and they, apparently, have a message all their own.  Haven’t you noticed? The Arabs never use the word, ‘peace’.

      Do you want success? Then forget weakness. Forget tactical vacillation. Forget surrender. What we need is to be strong. And remember: being strong has nothing to do with the IDF or the IAF or our economy. In today’s world, being strong is not about fact.

      Ask the Arabs. Do you think they can survive as an independent State?  They have no power generation, no medical care,  no infrastructure that works. They’re helpless.

      And yet, Sarkozy says they are the stronger. Why?

      Because the world we live in has nothing to do with fact.  Our world is , ‘perception is reality’-- and right now, the perception is, Israel wants to surrender, which is why Kadima’s message does not bring a peace-fest, but instead fuels a feeding frenzy against Israel.

      Appear to be strong, and you have power—see Iran. Appear weak, and someone will try to eat your lunch—see Israel.

      Being strong is a funny thing. ‘Fear’ is not related to ‘strong’.  Fear may be necessary, so that you understand you have to change, but you cannot build enduring strength on fear, or by saying that you have to surrender because you have no other choice, as Kadima says.

      You become strong by believing first in something positive and true that you can embrace and be passionate about; and it will then be upon that belief, that passion, that you build something you can fight for and commit to.

      That’s where strength comes from, not facts--and certainly not from decisions to surrender, or play tick-tock. .   

      This is where Mr Netanyahu has the advantage over Kadima, because he has the taller pulpit.  As leader, he can carry forward a National Message of positive belief. Frame that belief, make it simple, clear and based on what we in Israel know to be true, and the world will see a different Israel.     

      So if the Arabs say, ‘give me--it’s mine’ and the best the Jews can say is ‘surrender’ and ‘tick-tock’,  then, yes, we appear weak, and the entire pack can attack without fear.                             

      They’ll simply be giving us what we are currently asking for—unless, of course, we are willing to listen to another message—a third  message—one that news trendsetters apparently believe is irrelevant.

      This third message is different. News trendsetters can’t take credit for it—and unlike Kadima,  it does not guarantee peace.  In fact, it’s not even about ‘peace’.

      It is not a message that will automatically give Israel support in the UN--but neither does it make Israel look weak, vacillating or ready to surrender—or easy to attack.

      Instead, it is a message that gives Jews the courage to strive, to fight (if necessary), and to endure.

      It is a message of pride and strength.

      It is a message that says to the world, ‘we are strong!’

      It is a message that carries the secret to our survival, with or without the UN.

      It is a message which  believes in part that Israel is our land, forever—all of it.

      Naturally, this message typically involves religion, not peace or demographics or borders or surrender or playing all sides at the same time .

      What?  A message about religion?   There are people in Israel who respond to a message about  religion?

      Listen, if you don’t like the message, we don't mind , because  we Jews have been there before. If you know Jewish history, you know that Jews have not survived against all odds because we have been called upon to ‘surrender’, or, ‘be afraid’.  We have been written off before, many times, and some of us know the secret to our survival (hint: our survival does not come from a commitment to liberty, fraternity or equality, social justice or ethnic food). 

      We know how the world works. We know how the nations of the world will behave. And we know how this movie ends. We’ve read the Book. Actually—with a little help—we wrote the Book.

      So if you have a problem with any of this, talk to the Boss. He’s available online, if you learn how to look. But don’t wait too long. The future might be closer than you think.