מפגינים חוסמים את כביש מס' 1
מפגינים חוסמים את כביש מס' 1צילום: דב גזית

I am heartsick. Disconsolate. Waves of outrage wash over me. Once again, two more young Jewish men are dead, shot multiple times at point blank range. And yesterday, yet another korban on the pagan altar of “The Two State Solution.” Patriots. Kedoshim. The Cream of our Youth. Mowed down in their prime for no other crime than being proud Jews.

The outrage is exacerbated by the fact that the seven or eight US media outlets that I generally follow didn’t even carry the story – even as we learn that the latest victim, Elan Ganeles, was an American citizen. (Drudge ignored the massacres but picked up a story from the Jerusalem Post on how women were being blocked from a street in Tel Aviv.)

I made Aliyah at the height of the Second Arab Uprising (I refuse to legitimize the Arab term which has been mainstreamed.) My young daughters had to ride armored buses to school. We were only half a block away when a Palestinian Red Crescent Ambulance blew itself up on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem. I attended funeral after funeral of terror victims, people I didn’t even know, cried until no more tears would come. At every funeral, the same question was heard, asked by thousands: when will the Government of Israel start to protect its own citizens?

It is a question we ask still.

How did we let this come to pass? Look eastward, young man. In order to reduce tensions for Ramadan, last week the United States, Egypt and Jordan squeezed Israel hard for restraint. Restraint on the side of law enforcement, mind you, not on the side of the terrorists. They recognize no restrictions on Open Season for Jews. Unlimited bagging limit.

It is time to stop the euphemisms and the doublespeak. Let’s lay the facts out on the table.

Netanyahu, in my opinion, has proven himself to be no Yoni, no hero; he is little more than a politician. His sole moral imperative is to rule at any cost and he will climb into any political bed to achieve it. We must never lose sight of this. In the latest revolution of the political carousel he was forced to cobble together a coalition of right wing parties. This was distasteful to him, but as his only path to rule went through the right-wing parties, he seduced them, whispered sweet nothings in their ears, made delicious promises, all engineered to get them to sign on the dotted coalition line.

Once he had secured the Premiership, however, he wasted no time in distancing himself from the very platform that got him elected. Judicial reform is secondary. The people want security on the streets and that was the principal mandate of this government.

Netanyahu was desperate to get a Gantz or a Lapid to join the coalition as a counterweight to the agenda of the right. But these progressive idealogues would sooner sit with Moslem Brotherhood types than Netanyahu – and have proven it. They have some red lines.

So Netanyahu is stuck. His only recourse to slow down the determined efforts of his coalition partners to reform the Israeli cultural and political landscape is to make the Biden Administration or the International Community the “Bad Cop” to his “Good Cop.” So he gleefully promises restraint at Aqaba.

Netanyahu then used the opportunity to restrain his coalition partners, which was the whole idea in the first place. "Yes, I too would like to crack down on terrorists, but what can I do? International considerations are at play." Blah, blah, blah.

Havlagah, הבלגה, I think Ben Gurion called it. You should be familiar with the idea: its the pattern where they butcher us like sheep and we remain silent. Havlagah. We are now burying the bitter fruits of Havlagah.

Jewish blood runs in the streets of the Jewish homeland like water and we are urged to restraint. Havlagah.

Silly Jews: you’re supposed get murdered without complaint. After all, that’s what the ghetto Jews did. Havlagah.

Arabs build illegally on Jewish land with EU & Canadian money while the government looks the other way. Havlagah. But start a new Jewish community and the bulldozers are there by dawn. Havlagah.

Every week, my daughter used to ask me at the Shabbat table how this week’s Torah portion related to current events. The pasuk that is ringing through my head today is from Megillat Esther, which we will IY”H read next Monday night. It says:

אֲשֶׁר֩ נָתַ֨ן הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ לַיְּהוּדִ֣ים ׀ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּכׇל־עִיר־וָעִ֗יר לְהִקָּהֵל֮ וְלַעֲמֹ֣ד עַל־נַפְשָׁם֒ לְהַשְׁמִיד֩ וְלַהֲרֹ֨ג וּלְאַבֵּ֜ד אֶת־כׇּל־חֵ֨יל עַ֧ם וּמְדִינָ֛ה הַצָּרִ֥ים אֹתָ֖ם טַ֣ף וְנָשִׁ֑ים וּשְׁלָלָ֖ם לָבֽוֹז׃

The king has permitted the Jews of every city to assemble and fight for their lives; if any people or province attacks them, they may destroy, massacre, and exterminate its armed force together with women and children— Esther 8:11

So cry me a river that Jews rioted in Harawa. We have had enough of the mealy-mouthed prevarications of the government. Let me be clear: I am not excusing vigilantism, but neither can I condemn it; it is eminently understandable. (Not unlike, by the way, the Capitol riots in 2022, which was an exercise in frustration by dozens of Americans citizens who felt they were not being heard by their leaders.) People are frustrated with corrupt politicians who only care about them on election day - and the politicians are not getting the message.

Perhaps if the people lead, as the old saying goes, the leaders will follow.

May this month be the end of all our sorrows – for the Yaniv family, for the Ganeles family, and for the entire House of Israel.

Rabbi Mizrachi is the author of a new book: Holistic Judaism: A Radical Rethinking of Our Service to Gcd and our Fellow Man in the Messianic Age. Available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle as an e-Book. He can be reached at [email protected] Twitter: @HolisticJudaism