What Olmert Didn't Say

Michael Freund,

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צילום: ערוץ 7
Michael Freund
Michael Freund served as Deputy Communications Director in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu during his first term of office. He is the Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that searches for and assists the Lost Tribes of Israel and other "hidden Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. In addition, Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and authors a popular blog on Middle East affairs, Fundamentally Freund. A native New Yorker, Freund is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia. He has lived in Israel for the past 19 years and remains a loyal New York Mets fan....

In one of his first major policy addresses since becoming Acting Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert delivered a wide-ranging speech at the Herzliya Conference yesterday covering topics such as economic policy and the future of Israel’s relations with the Palestinians.

But the really interesting part of his remarks was not so much what he said – but what he didn’t say.

Toward the end of his speech, Olmert declared: “I believe in the people of Israel and in the State of Israel. I believe in the genuine will of the citizens of Israel to live in peace, security and tranquillity, and I believe in our ability to achieve this goal when we are united.”

When I heard this, I thought to myself: nice rhetoric. Uplifting, hopeful and even somewhat inspiring.

But then it immediately occurred to me - the leader of the Jewish state failed to mention the most important thing of all: what about the G-d of Israel? What about the Land of Israel? What about the Torah of Israel and the faith of Israel?

Does Olmert not believe in any of those too?

And that, my friends, is precisely the problem in Israel today. Most of our leaders are not men anchored in faith or guided by eternal principles of right and wrong. Instead, they put their trust in man and turn their backs on all that is sacred and revered by our people and our tradition.

As long as that is the case, I’m afraid, this country will only continue to stumble along. After all, we are here by Divine right, and we must not shy away from acknowledging this fact openly and proudly. We need to return to ourselves and to G-d, for unlike our politicians, He will surely not disappoint.


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