|Rav Menachem Brod, editor of Sichat HaShauva|
Once again, the following is my translation of the lead article in this past week’s “Sichat HaShavua (#1433),” a weekly Chabad newsletter that is distributed throughout Israel. Its message is simple and quite well-known, but we often forget some of the most basic things, and need to hear them over again…from Yitz of Jerusalem, via Shiloh Musings, to you:
The abduction of three young men, with all its pain, simultaneously revealed the wondrous beauty of Am Yisrael. Concern for the captives pulsed in every Jewish heart. Multitudes from all walks of life left everything, and gathered in a prayer. Stormy debates were set aside. For one awesome moment we returned to what we are - one Nation, with one heart beating inside us.
There is a lot of talk about the yetzer (evil inclination) towards controversy which consumes us, and Parshat Korach deals with this as well. But it turns out that the natural state of Am Yisrael is one of unity. Sometimes the yetzer succeeds in opening a crack, but one jolt us immediately returns us to the original state of unity and mutual responsibility.
How exciting it was to hear the words of the families of the captives. These are people from various locales and diverse backgrounds, but they all express themselves in one style: "Thanks to the People of Israel, continue to pray, we feel your embrace." The nobility of soul of these families, whose mouths voice neither complaints nor criticism, but rather infinite love - melts everyone's heart.
Deterrence and defense
Unfortunately, there are those that precisely at this difficult time are looking for blame, but instead of looking for the coin where it was lost, they are looking for it under the flashlight. We found the guilty party: Hitchhiking. If they fire on a vehicle, immediately there’s what to blame: the fact that the vehicle was not armored. If terrorists infiltrate a settlement, the fault lies on not constructing a wall around it.
This, in their view, is the meaning of being 'free with our country' – [free] to withdraw, defend, fortify and [live in] fear. Our enemies can walk freely everywhere, while we surround ourselves with barbed wire, watchtowers and guards, and are afraid to walk about in our Homeland or ask for a ride.
Certainly it [the situation] requires caution and we should also have defensive systems, but the mode of thought that is always looking for the answer in the defense arena, rather than in that of deterrence and offense, is the source of the problem. In last week's Parsha [Shlach] we learned that if the inhabitants live in fortified edifices, this is a sign that they are weak; while if they are in open cities (without walls), it's proof that they are strong and can rely on their strength.
Those with the same concept also claim that we cannot defeat terrorism. We remember this chorus during the bloody days of Oslo, how they scoffed at the demand to "let the IDF win." And behold, once we allowed the Security Forces to do the job, and they entered the cities of Judea and Samaria in Operation Defensive Shield - terrorism was almost completely eradicated. And if now it has begun to raise its head, it is only because we are again repeating the same mistake of 'a political opportunity on the horizon,' and other nonsense.
The abduction was predictable
When we succumbed to the Shalit deal, it was clear that the next kidnapping would only be a matter of time. Every poultry farmer knows that if the fox succeeds in infiltrating the coop and attacking the hens, he will try to do it again. Success is the most powerful incentive, and unfortunately the terrorists succeeded.
The only way to prevent kidnappings is by proving that it cannot succeed, and on the contrary, it will be hell for the terrorists and their dispatchers. Israel must respond with great power - just the opposite from the preaching of our friends around the world, who call upon us to respond proportionately. What is needed here is a response of full force, to leave the terrorists dazed in shock, beaten and crushed. And if the kidnapping was intended to release terrorists, the saga must be completed with more terrorist prisoners behind bars.
PS from Yitz: Not that our government is listening, but I'm sure if we REALLY wanted to, we could have our boys back already. The following must be considered:
* Why are we still supplying the Gaza Strip with electricity? They should be living in utter darkness! Perhaps the Arabs of Yehuda and Shomron as well - one city by one - first Shechem, then Jenin, then Ramallah, etc.
UPDATE: At least ONE MK agrees with me: the Deputy Defense Minister!
* Why are we still forwarding monies to them? Collecting their taxes? Crazy!
* If they were able to extricate approximately 1,000 prisoners for one kidnapped soldier, we should already put 3,000 [not just 350!] terrorists behind bars. If they touch ONE of our boys, 1,000 of them get the same treatment!
I can't imagine this situation would last too much longer if we were to do this!!!