Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer
Rabbi Prof. Dov FischerCourtesy

My heart is in the East, and I am in the utmost corner of the West.

I feel inadequate as my heart beats elsewhere. My readers know my compromised health situation. I am an Orthodox Jew who believes deeply in the G-d of Israel, and I simply cannot find it in myself to argue with Him over my health situation that — meantime — confines me in America.

I cannot argue with Him over tragedies of far greater consequence than mine: the destruction of the Holy Temples, the Crusades and Blood Libel Massacres, the Black Death massacres and the Inquisition, the Pogroms and the Holocaust. They each were of far greater consequence than my own personal tragedies.

I cannot argue with Him for my righteous Dad z"l dying of leukemia at his age 45, my 14; or my beloved Ellen z"l dying of glioblastoma at her age 64, or my incapacitating interstitial lung disease that resulted in my reduced capacity and enhanced vulnerability after a life-saving lung transplant that — in the meantime — once again set back my Aliyah plans.

So I at least have the humility to acknowledge that I am now not on the front lines of the Jewish people’s latest war for survival. Part of me commands not to write but to remain quiet. I have no right.

But for Zion’s sake I cannot hold my peace, and for Jerusalem I cannot remain quiet. You in Israel have every right not to read a word of this if you believe my voice should be still. But I must speak nonetheless.

Here is what I can add to the struggle: A voice that a great many people deem honorable and respectable. I am national Vice President of Coalition for Jewish Values, an association that speaks for 2,500 Anglophonic traditional rabbis, primarily in the United States but also throughout the world. I served six years on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and have chaired and served on several RCA committees. For the past twenty years, I have been a member of the National Council of Young Israel rabbinic council, and major Young Israel national publications have carried my Torah writings. I have been a law professor for twenty years, was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, and have been awarded major awards for legal ethics. I am a Senior Contributing Editor of The American Spectator.

I can go on. This list already is too much, but my point is that I am not a tummler but speak with authority, responsibility, and am recognized as an expert in legal ethics, winner of the American Jurisprudence Award in Legal Ethics.

Therefore I submit my voice, as the Holy Season of Judaism has come to a conclusion in Exile, to validate ethically as ruthless a military response as Israel can muster:

1. It is imperative, if Israel is capable of doing so, that it exterminate Hamas. Again: exterminate. Leave nothing behind of Hamas.

2. It is imperative, if Israel is capable of doing so, that it exterminate Islamic Jihad. Again: exterminate. Leave nothing behind of Islamic Jihad.

3. It is imperative, if Israel is capable of doing so, that it target all Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders for extermination and exterminate them.

4. Any such leaders who are in hiding must be exterminated as soon as they are found, even twenty years from now.

5. Stop the hagzamah (exaggeration). This was not “Israel’s 9/11.” The Yom Kippur War was Israel’s 9/11. That was an attack on Yom Kippur. It resulted in 3,000 deaths. Other than for Israeli governmental incompetence, it was not the fault of the Israeli Knesset.

6. This happened because Ariel Sharon handed over Gaza to the Arabs, and the entire Labor Party and all the moral predecessors of Meretz and Labor and Yesh Atid voted for it, and others from Likud joined with Ariel Sharon in breaking from the Likud’s official platform. This is what the Left and the spineless “Moderates” did to Israel when they acceded to Sharon handing over Gaza to the Arabs. That day, decided on Tisha B’Av 2005 and then symbolically delayed a day, birthed this attack and war — and all the prior Hamas attacks and wars.

7. This would never have happened if Netanyahu and Israel had fought a previous Hamas War to victory instead of just “mowing the lawn.” And if America did not stop us as well.

8. Israel should not and must not go out of its way to kill even one single Arab civilian “innocent” as an act of revenge, but Israel must not hesitate to kill and exterminate every single terrorist and terror objective, even if it will mean the collateral loss of thousands of civilians. The terrorists base themselves in apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, mosques, ambulances, and other profoundly civilian non-combatant locations. Each such site must be deemed fair game for utter elimination, and no civilian’s presence can justify refraining from exterminating every terror site in Gaza.

Moreover, let it never be forgotten that Hamas came to power in Gaza by means of democratic elections. The population of Gaza have voted for them repeatedly. They are no more innocent than German voters in Dresden who elected Hitler.

9. This must not be a “mowing the lawn” operation but an utter extermination, not the intentional extermination of the civilian population of Gaza, but the utter extermination of Gaza terror, come what may.

10. Israel will win this war handily because it is not an attack on the country alone but an attack on the G-d of Israel, launching deliberately on Sh’mini Atzeret. This was Sadat’s great mistake: he launched his war not only against Israel the country but against the G-d of Israel by striking on Yom Kippur. That is why he never had a chance to win, despite the incompetent Israeli leadership then of Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan. Tellingly, Sadat struck on the secular calendar day of October 6, and G-d left His thumbprint on Sadat’s demise by snuffing him out on October 6 (1981).

11. Avigdor Liberman has offered to join an emergency national unity government if the Israeli government will commit to wipe out Hamas and its leadership. This offer should be warmly accepted. First, it will signal that this indeed will not merely be a “mowing” operation but a war of extinction. Secondly, it will add meaningful legitimacy to the coalition’s actions. Thirdly, it will strike a terrible morale blow to the Left and their 27 Million Shekel demonstrations to see the biggest Bibi Hater of them all sitting in coalition with him. Fourth, it will open a door for Liberman’s later finding a way back in to join an impregnable right-wing coalition, even alongside the religious parties he presently hates, once Netanyahu departs from the political coalition, perhaps three years hence or sooner.

Liberman cannot stand sitting in a coalition that depends for its majority on “The Religious.” But he also cannot stand sitting in a coalition that depends for its majority on “The Arabs.” He hates both. But he lives in Judea-Samaria, not in Rahat or Umm al-Fahm. Bring him in. Also, only by bringing him in can he later be kicked out.

12. Things happen for reasons. And those reasons are part of G-d’s mighty hand and outstretched arm. The minute that nine months of leftist civil disruption escalated to physically attacking public Yom Kippur prayers in the center of Israel’s most populous city, this war became inevitable as G-d’s horrible, terrible punishment that also will begin the process of healing tensions flaming toward civil war.

I have been a rav for more than forty years. Horrible tragedies bring torn families together. Those who read me regularly know I have been predicting something along these lines would be bringing all the boycotting pilots back to their planes and releasing the pent-up steam inflamed by the G-dless Shiksa Bresslers and Ehud Baraks. Barak wanted dead Jewish bodies and now he has them — but he will not hear his imagined wistful voices begging him to return to leadership. They will continue urging him to go back to Jeffrey Epstein Island where he belongs.

13. It is very, very hard that 100 or more Jewish hostages have been taken. I do not write in euphemisms but in truths: It will be impossible to recover Jewish hostages from Arab terrorists without paying prices that guarantee even more mass killings of many more innocent Jews than are freed by releasing hundreds of Arab murderers. This is why Hamas and Islamic Jihad — this time — must be utterly exterminated, and the bombings must not stop until all hostages are returned.

Endless bombings are no more “disproportional” than the hostage exchanges. Moreover, electricity must not be restored until all hostages are returned. Biblical Egypt was dark for three days. Gaza should remain dark for three years or decades if needed to recover the hostages. No electricity, no fuel, nothing but basic food and medical supplies forever until all hostages are returned.

14. And The Day After: How did this all happen, a terror project this well coordinated from so many vantage points? So many towns attacked at once, with missiles launched simultaneously? So: What of the vaunted Shin Bet? The Defense establishment?

They can torture Amiram Ben Uliel to get a confession. They can devote years to squeezing testimony to hurt Binyamin Netanyahu, even publicly exposing marital infidelities to shame state witnesses to get testimony against Bibi.

But they cannot keep Jewish women prison guards from sexually entertaining Arab mass murderers? And they could not anticipate this massively coordinated assault? When the exterminating ends, those heads must roll.

The weak and politically correct Defense Minister and Chief of Staff who devote more effort to tearing down new Jewish communities in Juda and Samaria than to tearing down illegal Arab structures in Area C. There must be a reckoning.

15. American public opinion? It does not matter what any other country thinks when Israel is fighting for its life. Nevertheless, understand: America now is in full “Election 2024” mode. There already have been two Republican presidential debates. The election will be between Biden and Trump. Everyone in America knows it, and no one in America can believe it or swallow it.

Politicians on both sides now are covering up everything they have done so as to clean their records for the voters. It is like how Bibi promises before every election to annex the Jordan Valley, and Bennett promised before his election never to sit with Yair Lapid. They all lie, especially during Election Season.

For the next 13 months, almost all American politicians will be firmly with Israel. The anti-Israel wing among America’s Democrats does not yet influence policy making. Ocasio, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar make headlines but only represent, respectively, one small district of Bronx Puerto Ricans, one of Dearborn Arabs, and one of Minneapolis Somalians. They comprise less than one percent of the 435 Senators and Congressional representatives who make policy. Even with their cohort of lesser-public Zionist-Jew haters like Betty McCollum, Cori Bush, and Jaaal Bowman, they comprise three or four percent total. Biden is behind in many polls right now and cannot afford to criticize Israel.

America’s Christian voters read our Bible and will stand by Israel against Arab Muslims. Jews should, too. Know where to put faith: Only put faith in G-d. He guided Truman and Stalin to recognize Israel in 1948. He guided DeGaulle in 1956, Johnson in 1967, Nixon in 1973, and Trump. He will guide whom He will guide, and He will destroy whom he will destroy.

16.Finally: Netanyahu. He has been the mastermind of “Mowing the Grass.” Really, if not for (i) all the anti-Bibi protests outside Balfour when he last was prime minister, and (ii) the 40 weeks and 27 Million Shekels of disgusting civil insurrection and treasonous military refusals to report, and (iii) the despicably anti-democratic Supreme Court, and (iv) the viciously venomous years-long kangaroo charges aimed at forcing him out of office simply because he got cigars and champagne from a friend to feed his and his wife’s hedonistic side, and (v) all the Jew-hating Arabs and leftist Jews in Israel and American who hate Bibi, this should be his “Boris Johnson Moment.”

He deserves to be pressured right after the war to step down. He deserves it, but the thing is: his opponents do not deserve it. So he stays. For now.

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Rav Fischer’s recent hour-long interview on a range of pressing contemporary Jewish issues, ranging from the “Palestine” Fraud to incorrigible Jewish leftists and their like-minded reform rabbis to the weakness of pro-Israel campus Jews who root their advocacy in Victimology instead of Jewish strength, can be found here