Wednesday, July 6, 2016

There's Desperate and There's Stupid

I can't resist this anymore and so, being as this is sort of my place to express my inner most feelings, here goes. I think Israelis and Jews have been desperate many times in our history. There's desperate, and then there's stupid. Desperate is when you do everything you can to achieve your goal because, basically, you have nothing to lose. In 1948, I firmly believe that the Jews were victories against five well armed, well-trained armies because there really was no "back" button, no return, no option to lose. We had our backs to the wall and no one was going to step in and defeat our enemies...and so we did.

In 1948, desperate to save the besieged Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem, hundreds of men walked dozens of kilometers to smuggle in food and medicine and smuggle out the elderly and the young.

We were desperate to bring Jews home from all over the world who were in danger and so we flew to Yemen and brought them back; we flew to Ethiopia; we flew to Uganda. We bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq and a wannabe nuclear plant in Syria. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I fully believe that we are coming up on the desperation point in Iran as well. We will act - no, not desperately this time, but conclusively.

So, that's desperate. I'll put in here that the Palestinians are not desperate. Their quality of life in Israel is far above what it is in most Arab countries. They have access to better medical care, earn more, have longer average life spans and lower infant mortality rates here in Israel than elsewhere in the Middle East. They have access to shopping, plenty of food and water, sunshine, clothes, even schooling. In 1948, it was life or death for us, and we chose life. In each of the other cases, it was the same. This has never been a life and death struggle for the Palestinians.

No one is threatening their lives; no one is stealing their ability to work and lead productive lives and for the vast majority of Palestinians that I've spoken to, including Halil who works in the building where I do and with whom I talk on a weekly basis, at least, he is interested only in the quality of his life and that of his family. He wants to be able to get to work; he wants to be able to ride the train without worries.

He comes to me when there has been an attack and looks at me with the saddest eyes and when I cry, he tells me there will be peace...someday, though neither of us believes we will live to see it. Halil is not desperate, and he's not stupid.

Stupid is when you know going in to battle that the only outcome is death. We've been there too but not often and Israelis tend to be Captain Kirk playing Kobayashi Maru. When the rules say logically that we will be defeated, we change the rules and do the unexpected.

And so, from the jaws of defeat, we tend to grab victory, develop the undevelopable, create a weapon that knocks down missiles and, with the grace and blessings of God, beat even the best odds predicted.

Despite the illogical victories in 1948, 1967 and 1973, Israel still works hard to prepare and understand the dynamics of a fight, the possible outcomes, etc.

Stupid is when you don't do that. Stupid is when there is no possibility of victory, when defeat stares you in the face and you go for it...and really stupid is when you don't really even have desperation on your side...just stupidity.

I'll give you a few examples.

A couple of months ago, astounded guards watched as an Arab raised a knife, screamed "Allahu Akbar" and ran towards them. Gee, they fired. The Arab died.

Stupid. Knife versus gun - gun wins. Every time.

Yesterday, an Arab woman went at two armed soldiers with a knife. They aimed their rifles at her...and they pulled back...and she continued forward.

Almost in slow motion, they pulled back further, likely ordering her to stop and she moved forward, knife held ready for attack...and so, as one would expect...yup, they shot her.

Stupid. Knife versus gun - gun wins. Every time.

Today, an Arab man rammed his car into an army vehicle. Inside the army vehicle were three soldiers - all lightly hurt as ever so gently, the army vehicle rolled to its side.

The Arab in the car that smashed engine first into a massive, fortified jeep...didn't do so well. Like the Arab woman from yesterday, he's in critical condition.

And so a new dynamic to the equation. When you ram a fortified jeep with...oh, my boys are going to kill me...I'm so bad with cars. I'll tell them it's a silver car. They'll tell me make, model and year. I'm going to guess - I could be wrong but let's just go with my guess because it's the best I can do - so like...when you ram a fortified jeep with a Subaru...the Subaru is going to lose.


1 comment:

Wolfgang said...

"I fully believe that we are coming up on the desperation point in Iran as well. We will act - no, not desperately this time, but conclusively."

It will happen soon.
Maybe this year, if God wants.
GOD bless his israel.

Liebe Grüße - Wolfgang

Jeremia 49, 35-37

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