Ronn Torossian
Ronn TorossianCorutesy

These are historic times in Israel. As we face world pressure and criticism to surrender to an enemy devoted to our destruction, we are facing an imminent war in the North. While Hamas leaders live in Qatar freely, Hezbollah’s rockets fire at the north of Israel daily and residents are refugees in the rest of Israel. Hamas continues alive and well, the people of Gaza receive humanitarian aid but we don’t even get basic information on our hostages. Not only have our hostages not been returned, we have no idea whether they are alive or not.

We watch the news with Hamas repeatedly rejecting offer after offer and wonder is this the policy of strength? This is the “right-wing” government offering an enemy a ceasefire? Did America offer Japan or Germany aid or a ceasefire in World War Two?

Netanyahu’s government seemingly again and again and again asks Hamas for a deal, without remembering the Revisionist Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky who in so many other situations had prophetic words.

In “The Ethics of The Iron Wall,” a timeless document from over 100 years ago, Jabotinsky noted, “It is incredible what political simpletons Jews are. They shut their eyes to one of the most elementary rules of life, that you must not "meet halfway" those who do not want to meet you.”

Economy Minister Nir Barkat on MSNBC the other day was challenged by host Joe Scarborough about why Israel encouraged the funding of Hamas via Qatar in the days prior to October 7. As reported, “Scarborough noted that Barkat had just said that Netanyahu saw Hamas as Nazis, questioning again why, if this was the perception, Netanyahu sent the head of the Mossad to Qatar to urge them to continue funding Hamas.” And Israel continues negotiating with Qatar as a “US Ally.”

While in Israel a lot doesn’t make sense, Diaspora Jews who criticize Israel should read more of Jabotinsky’s timeless words on Jews who displayed an ambivalent attitude to their people, “The bitter root of our shame and our suffering is that we do not give our own people the full love of a patriot. It would be better if we did not love our people at all, if we were unconcerned as to whether it existed or had disappeared, rather than that we should love it halfway, which means to despise it. The Jewish character has some negative qualities; yet it is not because they are negative that we despise them, but because they are Jewish. As for those qualities of our race which are morally or esthetically irrelevant, they awaken our disgust because they remind us of our Jewishness.”

“The Arab name Israil carries a beautiful and poetic sound to our ears, but those among us called Yisrael are never happy with their “ugly” name. We readily accept the fact that the Spaniard’s name is Jaime, but turn up our noses when we have to pronounce the name Chaim. The gestures made by an Italian we find captivating; they annoy us when a Jew makes them. The specifically Jewish intonation in our speech is not pleasant. The southern Germans and the Swiss articulate exactly the same jarring singsong and we do not complain; but the same sound from a Jew seems intolerably tasteless to us…”

These “friends” criticize us as our army fights a brutal war against an evil enemy, as all our people want the hostages back yet they sit and criticize us.

As Jabotinsky’s Iron wall noted, “Human society is based on reciprocity. If you remove reciprocity, justice becomes a lie. A person walking somewhere on a street has the right to live only because and only to the extent that he acknowledges my right to live. But, if he wishes to kill me, to my mind he forfeits his right to exist – and this also applies to nations. Otherwise, the world would become a racing area for vicious predators, where not only the weakest would be devoured, but the best” As Jabotinsky asked in a speech to a Polish Jewish audience: “Is a situation moral in which one side can commit any crime or murder and the other is forbidden to react?”

Today, we must heed the words of Jabotinsky, "We were not created in order to teach morals and manners to our enemies. Let them learn these things for themselves. We want to hit back at anybody who harms us. Whoever does not repay a blow by a blow is also incapable of repaying a good deed in kind. The Latin proverb says 'of two evils choose the lesser.' When we are in a position where – through no fault of our own – physical force dominates, only one question can be asked: what is worse? To continue watching Jews being killed and the conviction grows that our lives our cheap, and among the whole world that we are spineless?...the blackest of all characteristics is the tradition of the cheapness of Jewish blood, on the shedding of which there is no prohibition and for which you do not pay."

"It is always aimed at us, and we must respond. We must end this abuse of ourselves, at all costs. And it is very easy. They spit in our faces without fear, 'in passing', for no reason – not because our insulters are blessed with courage and want to pick a fight with us, but because this pleasure is so cheap for them: they will spit at us and go on their way, and nothing will happen. We must accustom them to the thought that from now on this pleasure will come at a hefty cost.

"A new commandment must enter our hearts: that even where there is only one Jew, the word 'Zhid' must not be heard without response. Wise people will come and try to dissuade us - But it is not our purpose to win in every single incident. Our objective – to create about us the belief that a slur on our national feelings is no longer what it once was, a small diversion free of cost – but will rather, with an absolute certainty and a mathematical precision, result in a sharp and unpleasant confrontation.”

There must be a hefty cost to anyone who harms Jews. Let us continue to hope and pray that this government remembers that Jewish blood isn’t cheap, whether America, or Britain or France likes it or not. Ze’ev Jabotinsky said: “We hold that Zionism is moral and just. And since it is moral and just, justice must be done, no matter whether Joseph or Simon or Ivan or Achmed agree with it or not.”

Ronn Torossian is an American-Israeli Public Relations executive, author and philanthropist.