Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer
Rabbi Prof. Dov FischerCourtesy

Every so often, several “small things” about Israel pile up and drive me crazy. None of them seems enough to write about as a full article, but each of them disturbs my sleep. So, when enough accumulate, it is time to write, recite “krishma” (Yiddish slang for the Judaic “Kriat Sh’ma” bedtime prayer), get a good night’s sleep, and begin a new day dealing with my pulmonologist, cardiologist, or any other among a dozen other “-ologists” in my two-year-old lung’s inner circle. So here goes:

1. Taking a Casual Shabbat Day Walk in an Arab Village in Fatahland

What kind of Jewish fool goes for a walk in Qalqilya? Is it worth it to save on vegetables for your market stall and lose your life? These pointless deaths of foolish Jews have got to stop. Should all Arabs be expelled? That is another discussion for another time. But right now they are there, and some of them are nice and decent — really, there have been several reported cases of an Arab in Judea or Samaria seeing an injured Israeli and helping him or her to safety or to a hospital. But Jews gotta know there are very many Arab Muslims out there in places like Qalqilya who spend day and night waiting to find a Jew to murder.

It is like the thing in America, with all the Illegal Aliens that Biden allows in through his porous border. Many of them are decent lawbreakers. They just want to have a better life, and they begin by entering America illegally because, other than Trump, no American president the past 50 years has bothered to stop the Illegals and protect the southern border. Still, most of them are not murderers.

Yet, every two or three weeks, there is another story about some Illegal who finds an unaccompanied twelve-year-old girl, pulls her over, rapes her, and then murders her. Or an Illegal goes to a college campus, finds an unaccompanied female student, pulls her over, rapes her, and then murders her. Or he finds a mother of five jogging alone in a park during the early morning hours, so he pulls her over, rapes her, and then murders her. (Google: “Jocelyn Nungaray,” “Laken Riley,” and “Rachel Morin.”)

It is the same in Israel. There is a discrete population of Arab males in Qalqilya, and other green-garage-door communities like that, who have nothing to do but to murder Jews. When a schmendrick of a Jew gets it into his head that he is deeply beloved in a place like Qalqilya, that everyone there loves him, and he has so many friends there that he cannot even catch up with all of them every time he goes there to save 15 shekels on tomatoes and cucumbers, that Jew is a fool.

I am using strong words purposely regarding the recent murder victim because, while the latest murder is behind us, I hope my readers will be inspired here to tell anyone in their universe who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a Jew who frequents such places, where he has all these Arab friends who love him — love him to pieces — that this has to stop.

Remember Shay Silas Nigreker and his son, Aviad Nir, of Ashdod murdered ten months ago at a carwash in Huwara? “He would go to Hawara all the time. He was not afraid, and he would say, ‘Those are my friends there,'” recounted Shay’s wife, Rina, at the funeral on Sunday, according to Army Radio. “I still can’t believe it. Next week was supposed to be our 20th anniversary. He loved to help people.””

Are we expected to be shocked when someone lies down in the middle of the street and gets run over and killed by a car? When someone lies down on railroad tracks? When someone at a shooting range walks between the targets and the shooters taking target practice?

If the town is called “Qalqilya,” that itself is a hint. If it is called “Actuallywe’llkillyu,” hmmm.

2. The Foolish Naming of Wars Since 1982

It is a given that Israel will not get a break in media coverage during wartime. Not from the BBC. Not from the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the others. And, frankly, not from Ben Caspit, Gideon Levy, others of their ilk or their editors, nor from Kan 11 (“the public broadcaster . . .”), Keshet 12, Reshet 13, Veshet HaChodesh, etc. Nary a break.

The only Jews the world loves are dead Jews. As soon as Jews are murdered, all over Europe the leaders buy wreaths to lay at the Tomb of the Unknown Antisemite. They send out to buy skullcaps at the Vatican to wear at Yad Vashem memorials. They pull out their well-worn eulogies from the time of the 1972 Munich Olympics, fill in the new names as long as they are fewer than twenty, and weep.

And then they vote against Israel the next day at the United Nations. Other than the United States, not a single one of Israel’s “friends” ever vetoes a single Security Council resolution attacking Israel. The “best friends” abstain, as G-d Almig-ty perhaps will when, as their souls stand for judgment upon the conclusions of their respective lives, they petition Him for access to the Garden of Eden. Abstain.

Given that Israel needs every public relations trick in the book just to get an ounce, why doesn’t the government name each war with the key message of the war? Honestly, what is the point of “Charvot Barzel” (“Swords of Iron”)? What is the message — that Bibi, Gantz, Eisenkot, Bennett, Sa’ar, Liberman, and Lapid are leveraging the war like the “Game of Thrones”? And yet every day the media report that “It is day 68 of Operation Swords of Iron,” Day 134 of Swords of Iron, Day 219 of Swords of Iron. . . .

The name lacks the emotional power of “The War of Independence” (1948), “The Six-Day War” (1967), “The Yom Kippur War” (1973), “Operation Entebbe” (renamed “Operation Yonatan”) (1976), and the “War for Peace in Galilee” (1982). Those names reinforce Israel sympathetically forever. Just say the name, and we all know the year. Compare them to: “Operation Protective Edge,” “Operation Pillar of Defense,” and “Operation Cast Lead” (and now “Operation Swords of Iron”). Does the average Jew on the Israeli street even remember the order? Outside of Israel — absolutely no one: No. One. “Hey, wasn’t that the Bush thing in Kuwait? Oh, no, that was Desert Storm or Desert Shield or was it Desert Sand or Desert Oasis or something like that, right?”

Here is what this war should have been named from Day One, October 8: Mivtza Shichrur HaChatufim — “Operation Free the Hostages.” Every day the media report would have been “It is day 68 of Operation Free the Hostages,” Day 134 of Free the Hostages, Day 219 of Free the Hostages. . . . The message inadvertently repeated every day throughout the world. But instead, the Game of Thrones.

The war up north is impending. Please don’t name it “Operation Walls of Steel” or “Operation Missiles of Platinum.” Call it “Mivtza Shavim L’Bateinu” — Operation Returning to Our Homes.

Make sense?

3. English-Speaking Ethiopian Women

Israel will not only survive but flourish, no matter what “the world” thinks, does, or does not do. That is because G-d directs Jewish destiny. There is no other way to explain 1948, 1967, 1973, and so much more. Therefore, technically, Israel’s public image does not matter. Antisemitism is not changed by public relations, but Israel will outlast the ICC, the ICJ, Guterres, the ANC of South Africa, the jerk in Brazil, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, Bernie Sanders and Ocasio, and Haaretz’s Gideon Levy, Ehud Barak, and Shikma Bressler. Yet to the degree that one also should act with seichel (intelligence), I also cannot figure this next one out.

Right now, Israel does not need to appeal to American Republicans and independent conservatives. That may change someday, but not now. Israel needs to appeal to Democrats and independent liberals. (The Woke are hopeless but are few.) How attract the latter without repelling the former? This is so simple, I am embarrassed for Israel that I have to spell it out:

Joe Biden’s advisers wisely determined the five public government posts that stand out in the public consciousness and the daily public news (besides his own presidency): (i) Vice President, (ii) Chief White House spokesperson, (iii) Secretary of State, (iv) U.N. ambassador, and (v) Supreme Court justice. Except for designating Blinken, all the other four he appointed are Black women. Get it? Kamala Harris is an idiot (not insulting her, just is what it is). Karine Jean-Pierre (same). Ketanji Jackson (same — really). And Linda Thomas-Greenfield (seems smart and very qualified). As for the Secretary of State role, George W. Bush had Colin Powell followed by Condoleeza Rice (both very smart and qualified).

Look, Gil Erdan did as good a job as possible, often very creatively, in a hopeless role as U.N. ambassador. But few others in Israel’s cabinet ever have stood out. Michael Oren and Ron Dermer were excellent ambassadors. So was Bibi back in the Moshe Arens days. But, honestly, it has been 40 years since Operation Moses and Operation Joshua (great names, by the way!). Does Israel not have five English-speaking Ethiopian Jewish women, each with at least half a brain, in the whole country? One for U.N. ambassador to replace Ambassadors Erdan and Danny Danon when he moves on? What can go wrong? The U.N., Guttieres, that “Rapporteur,” etc. will hate us no matter what. But then we can accuse them of racism, leaving them apopleptic.

And replace dear well meaning Yisrael Katz as Foreign Minister with another English-speaking black woman, whether Ethiopian or Edot HaMizrach (from North African Sephardic heritage), or a proper convert. What can go wrong? Britain and France will not veto Security Council resolutions? They don’t anyway. David Cameron will be offended? He will be looking for a job in a month. Russia, Iran, and North Korea will turn on Israel?

And make another Anglophonic dark-skinned female the official media spokesperson for Bibi and the cabinet. What can go wrong? Shikma will be offended? Ehud Barak won’t talk about Jews dying in the streets?

And make one the Israeli ambassador to Washington, D.C. What can go wrong? The perfunctory Herzog #3 will no longer be there? Is he there now? Wait till Kamala Harris and Ilhan Omar try to process that one.

These are three of many things I never will understand about Israel. So simple.

Too simple?

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