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Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is http://tuviainil.blogspot.com He publishes 4-6 times a week on his blog. Please check the blog regularly for new posts.
Here are some headlines you might have missed:
-A Frustrated Gates Slams Israel, 09/06/2011, Middle East Clarity)
-Gates's gripes (Newsletter, 09/06/2011, Israel Hayom)
-Robert Gates Says Israel Is an Ungrateful Ally (Jeffrey Goldberg, 09/05/2011, Bloomberg Opinion)
-Defense Minister: Kerry is 'Obsessive and Messianic' (01/14/2014, Arutz Sheva)
-Yaalon: I Didn't Intend to Offend Kerry (01/14/2014, Arutz Sheva)
-US Takes Offense at Ya'alon's Remarks (01/14/2014, Arutz Sheva)
-US Demands Israeli Retraction of Ya'alon's Statements (01/14/2014, Arutz Sheva)
-White House Expects PM to Condemn Ya'alon Comments (01/14/2014, Arutz Sheva)
-Ya'alon Apologizes for Kerry Comments (01/15/2014, Arutz Sheva)
If you remember your lessons from Tanach (Jewish Bible) and Jewish history, you will recall that the West is generally considered to be the descendant of Edom. Edom, the Tanach tells us, is Esav, the wicked brother of Jacob. Esav and his descendants hate Jacob.
Jacob went on to become the father of the Jewish nation. Esav went on to conquer the world. At one point, Rome was Esav. That is, Rome was chief among Esav’s descendants (see Tractate Avodah Zara, 2b, The ArtScroll Series, Note 7, and ibid, 8b, Notes 14, 20). Today, some say America plays that role. America, they say, is the most powerful nation the world has ever seen--and the most powerful ‘Esav’ ever to live.
Esav and his descendants hate Jacob.
In 2011, US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, spoke before a meeting of the National Security Council Principals Committee. Jeffrey Goldberg, above, wrote that Gates made the following remarks two months before he retired; Wikipedia reports that he said these remarks two months after he had retired. At that Principals meeting, Gates declared that the US had given Israel much, but had received nothing in return.
His words were a slap in Israel’s face, for Israel in fact had given much to the US—and, according to Todd Warwick in Middle East Clarity, Gates, as Defense Secretary, should have known exactly what Israel had given to the US—valuable military advantage (see above, “A Frustrated Gates Slams Israel”, September 6, 2011). Quoting David Weinberg from Israel HaYom, Warwick writes that "Gates knows full well that recent upgrades in U.S.-Israel intelligence sharing and weapons development are to America's benefit as much as Israel's". Moreover, Weinberg wrote that Israel gives extensive training to US military units. Israel has provided the US technological advances. Israel has helped the US make major leaps forward in its anti-missile system—at a serious discount to the US.
Jeffrey Goldberg wrote (“Robert Gates Says Israel Is an Ungrateful Ally”) that Gates spoke about Israel directly to his President (Obama). Gates is reported to have said that Israel had become an ungrateful—and dangerous—ally.
Nevertheless, no one scolded Gates for such a bold, galling insult. No one told him to apologize to Israel.
No one in Israel took offense. No one in Israel demanded an apology. No one in Israel announced that they expected Gates to retract his insult.
Robert Gates is Edom. He doesn’t have to apologize to Jacob.
Jacob, however, must bow to Edom.
When headlines in Israel on January 14, 2014 declared that Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon had said that Kerry was obsessive and Messianic, Israel’s news wires practically melted from a series of angry responses from the US. Over several hours, the State Department, unnamed Washington officials and then the White House itself expected an apology--and then demanded retraction--for Yaalon’s ‘offensive’ remarks.
Yaalon then had to humiliate himself before Edom: first, he explained that he didn’t mean to offend Kerry. Then, when that didn’t sit so well with the US, he apologized.
Edom is arrogant. Edom demands Jewish genuflection. Jacob is afraid. Jacob must—and will--bow before Esav.
Why must Israel be afraid? Why must Israel bow? Israel cannot achieve its Destiny when it behaves with such raw fear before Edom.
Israel must stand proud before the world or the world will trample on Israel. Israel is the spiritual center of the universe. Israel is the world’s Holy Land. Millions of tourists—most of them not Jewish—tell Israel that every year.
Israel is to be a Light unto the nations. It is to lead, not bow.
Israel must never bow to the wicked. Israel must never serve the cruel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is reported to know his Tanach. He should know better than to demand an apology to appease an angry Edom.
Yaalon should never have apologized. At the very worst, the Prime Minister’s office should have issued a statement about the independence of its Ministers and its ties to the US—and then left it at that.
An apology was excessive fawning. It was unseemly. It was servile. Indeed, it was un-Jewish. Forcing that genuflection was an insult to the Jewish people.
What must the G-d of Israel think of such appeasement?