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Paula R. Stern is CEO and founder of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company offering documentation services and training seminars. She made aliyah in 1993 when her oldest son was 6 years old. In March 2007, her son Elie entered the Artillery Division of the Israeli army and Paula began writing about her experiences as A Soldier’s Mother. The blog continues as Elie begins Reserve Duty and her son Shmulik is now a soldier. She recently opened a publishing house, helping other authors fulfill their dream to publish.
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Cheshvan 23, 5772, 11/20/2011
I love how people ask me what Israel will do - as if I would know. I am a citizen of Israel; I have my opinion. But I would guess that you can count on a very few hands how many people KNOW what Israel will do and I sincerely doubt (and hope) the President of the United States is one of them. I would guess that you could count on less than one hand how many people KNOW the timing of what Israel might do, and I KNOW that the President of the United States is not one of them.
And yet, I know the weapon, the true weapon, Israel will use if and when it attacks Iran's nuclear infrastructure. Some will dismiss this as whimsical. If you are of that type, you can stop reading right here because you are probably right and oh, so wrong. Some will say that God Himself will avenge, in advance, anyone who would dare to attack His people. Sadly, we know that is not true. Even today, there remain survivors who can tell you of a time when God allowed His people to suffer. If you are expecting me to say that God will handle Iran, here too you may want to stop.
So let me tell anyone who has continued past the previous comments what I believe, what I know, about what will happen. I believe that if the world will not stop Iran - and I believe with all its talk, it won't - then yes, Israel will attack Iran and, if it does, it will, most definitely, use a secret weapon. It isn't so much secret as one that is denied. We've used it in the past, in the distant past and in the recent past.
There was a meeting once at West Point in which an American general spoke to new cadets. I have heard his name, but can't remember it - so perhaps someone can help me with more of the details of the speech he gave. What I remember from the story was that the general cited many different battles in history as examples of great historical military strategies. One cadet raised his hand and asked why the general did not include any of Israel's battles. The general refused to answer, telling the cadet to see him after the speech. When the cadet approached the general quietly at the end and asked his question again, the general explained that he could not use Israel's military strategy because they were, from a military point of view, impossible. He told the cadet that what Israel had accomplished was physically, historically, militarily impossible. No, he didn't deny that Israel had done it - only that, essentially, without God (and I would add our secret weapon), we could never have done what we did. That cadet chose to leave West Point. He came to live in Israel and joined the army here.
As for our secret weapon - it is a combination of two great forces - determination and desperation. That simple - and that impossible to duplicate. In 1948, a nation of vastly outnumbered, under-armed, badly trained, and with the added weight of tens of thousands of half-starved, empty-handed refugees from hell - defeated five standing armies. In battles to great to count, victory by the weak was delivered - by God and by the knowledge that there was no other place, no other land. The Arab threat to push the Jews into the sea was both dramatic and accurate - that was the only real place they had left.
On Yom Kippur (October 6, 1973), when Israelis were in the synagogues praying, Egypt and Syria launched a war against them. About 1,400 Syrian tanks faced off against 170 Israeli tanks. Within three days, scores of Syrian tanks had been destroyed, at the cost of almost 3/4 of the Israeli tanks. By October 9th, the third day of the war, Israel was down to just 6 tanks. In a valley that has since been called the Valley of Tears, a young Israeli named Avigdor Kahalani was facing impossible odds. He had only a handful of tanks and defeat was certain. Kahalani called his situation in, and was ordered to withdraw. He wanted help - that's why he called, and he was told to retreat.
Kahalani refused - he complained to command that he couldn't hear them and that he was going on. In a battle that could only be described as half mad, he ordered his tanks to spread out and fire wildly in all directions. The Syrians believed that reinforcements had arrived and fell back. Determination and desperation. Kahalani knew that if the Syrians came down off the Golan Heights, all of Israel lay before them.
Will Israel attack Iran? When will it happen? Will it happen? I could enter the pool of guessing games; I could tell you what I believe, which has no basis in reality. But rather, I'll say something else.
We did not come to this land to be taken from it. I do not believe God will ever allow us to be exiled again. Elie is organizing his passport to travel with his future wife to visit her family. His passports are all expired - all of ours are expired. People keep saying we should get them renewed and I know they are right and yet I hesitate. I will not leave this land. The Iranians will not succeed, nor will the Syrians or the Palestinians.
Our secret weapon is that we have no where else to go, no other land that is ours. There are more than 20 other Arab countries; there is only one Jewish one. We would like to live in peace with our neighbors and as soon as they agree, we might actually have a shot at it someday.
In the meantime, Israel may have to attack Iran's nuclear infrastructure because we may not have a choice. If we do, I believe with complete faith, that we go with God as our Pilot. We will succeed - because we are determined, because we are desperate, because ultimately, our secret weapon is that we don't have 19 other lands from which to choose from...only Israel, always Israel.