Passover and the mutually beneficial US-Israel bond

Heine said that since the Exodus, freedom has always spoken with a Hebrew Accent - and America was founded as the land of freedom. Op-ed.

Amb. (ret.) Yoram Ettinger ,

Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman Emhoff in virtual Seder
Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman Emhoff in virtual Seder
Reuters

Passover recap

1. According to Heinrich Heine, the 19th century German poet, “Since the Exodus, freedom has always spoken with a Hebrew accent.”

2. Prof. Yehudah Elitzur, one of Israel’s pioneers of Biblical research, maintained that the Exodus occurred in the second half of the 15th century BCE, during the reign of Egypt’s Amenhotep II. Joshua reestablished the Jewish Commonwealth in the Land of Israel when Egypt's rulers, Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV, were preoccupied domestically. Moreover, the Tel el Amarna tablets, which were discovered in Egypt's ancient capital city, documented a 14th century BCE military offensive launched by the “Habirus” (Hebrews and other Semitic tribes), corresponding to Joshua’s battles.

3. Passover is a Jewish national liberation holiday, highlighting faith, humility and solidarity. It emphasizes patriotism, optimism, defiance of the odds, liberty, gratitude and education; the historic legacy which is the foundation for an enhanced future, and the ancient Jewish roots in the Land of Israel. Passover is one of the three historic Jewish pilgrimages to Jerusalem, in addition to Shavou'ot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).

4. Passover spotlights the centrality of women. Yocheved, Moses’ mother, hid Moses and then breastfed him at the palace of Pharaoh, posing as a nursemaid. Miriam was Moses’ older sister and advisor. Batyah, the daughter of Pharaoh, saved and adopted Moses (Numbers 2:1-10). Shifrah and Pou’ah, two Jewish midwives, risked their lives, sparing the lives of Jewish male babies, in violation of Pharaoh’s command (Numbers 1:15-19). Tziporah, a daughter of Jethro and Moses’ wife, saved Moses' life and set him back on the Jewish course (Numbers, 4:24-27).

Da'ye'nu Passover hymn and the US-Israel bond

Da'ye'nu ("it would suffice" in Hebrew) is a Passover hymn, which expresses appreciation for 15 benefits bestowed by God upon the Jewish people - though one benefit would have sufficed – such as the Exodus, the Parting of the Sea, the historical events at Mount Sinai, and the return to the Land of Israel.

The US-Israel bond may be assessed in a similar manner:

*If the US Founding Fathers had considered the United States as "the modern day Promised Land" and the Biblical Jubilee as a role model of liberty; but had not been inspired by the legacy of Moses in the formulation of the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights and US civic culture; it would suffice (Da'ye'noo).

*If US civic culture had been inspired by the legacy of Moses; but over 400 US dignitaries, including Supreme Court Justices, congressional leaders, governors and mayors had not signed the 1891 Blackstone Memorial, calling for the reconstruction of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel; it would suffice (Da'ye'noo).

*If the Blackstone Memorial, calling for the reestablishment of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel had been signed by over 400 US dignitaries; but the Abolitionist Movement, and especially Dr. Martin Luther King, had not based their mission on the Biblical Exodus and the books of Psalms, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Amos; it would suffice (Da'ye'noo).

*If the Abolitionist Movement had been inspired by Moses and the Exodus; but US-Israel relations were based on shared values, as well as on the mutually-beneficial two-way-street US-Israel defense and commercial cooperation; it would suffice (Da'ye'noo).

*If US-Israel relations were based on shared values and strategic cooperation; but Israel did not provide the US with more intelligence than all NATO countries combined; it would suffice (Da'ye'noo).

*If Israel provided the US with more intelligence than all NATO countries combined; but General George Keegan, former Chief of Air Force Intelligence had not assessed that the US would have to establish 5 CIAs, in order to procure the Israeli-provided intelligence; it would suffice (Da'ye'noo).

*If General George Keegan had assessed that the US would have to establish 5 CIAs, in order to procure the Israel-provided intelligence; but General Alexander Haig, a former NATO Supreme Commander and US Secretary of State had not defined Israel as the largest US aircraft carrier, effectively deployed in a critical region with no US personnel on board, sparing the US the need to deploy a few more real aircraft carriers and a few ground divisions at a cost to the US of $15bn-$20bn annually; it would suffice (Da'ye'noo).

*If General Alexander Haig had defined Israel as the largest US aircraft carrier, with no US personnel on board, sparing the US $15bn-$20bn annually; but Israel were not the most cost-effective battle-tested laboratory for the US defense industries and the US armed forces, sharing with the US unique operational, maintenance and repair lessons, which enhances the US military performance, upgrades the quality of hundreds of US military systems, improves US industrial research and development, increases US exports and expands the US employment base; it would suffice (Da'ye'noo).

*If Israel were the most cost-effective battle-tested laboratory for the US defense industries and the US armed forces, but had not destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981, which spared the US a potential nuclear confrontation in 1991; it would suffice (Da'ye'noo).

*If Israel had destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor, but did not train US Special Operations units - on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan – in neutralizing suicide bombers, car bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), thus saving many American lives; it would suffice (Da'ye'noo).

*If Israel trained US Special Operations units on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan; but were not the site of research and development centers for over 200 major US hightech companies, yielding game-changing telecommunications, healthcare, Internet, cellular, cyber, artificial intelligence and social media technologies and products, thus increasing US exports and expanding US employment; it would suffice (Da'ye'noo).

*If Israel were the site of research and development centers for over 200 major US hightech companies, but was not the only stable, democratic, credible, unconditional and effective ally of the USA; it would suffice (Da'ye'noo).

Realizing the track record of US-Israel relations, the Jewish State is, indeed, the most reliable and potent ally of the USA, commercially and militarily.

Happy holiday!

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, a popular speaker, is author of "Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative" and can be read at https://bit.ly/3bRukYB



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