Culture, Israel, Politics


Not long after getting out of the army, a friend and I drove down to Eilat to relax for a couple of days. We were sitting in our hotel room after an amazing day of hiking and snorkeling, and there was the news. A suicide bombing. Twenty people were murdered, dozens more injured. It was the “Childrens’ Attack.” I stared helplessly at the TV screen, I prayed for the injured, and I prayed to see an image of the new prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, distraught, upset, denouncing the violence. As the night rolled on, more people died, the army made plans, but Abu Mazen never appeared. My friend and I were shooken up, we couldn’t stay and swim any longer. We packed our bags and headed home.
The next morning, on the drive back, we stopped by an army base where my old unit was stationed. There was a good friend of mine, now an officer. Roi was doing some work on a tank, and he was alone. I climbed up with him, and we sat down to talk. There, on that hulk of steel we cried. We were sorry for ourselves, we were sorry for our country, we were sorry for the victims, we were sorry for the Palestinians, and we were sorry for the world. Niether of us had ever wanted to fight, but we did. We did it because we needed to, because there was a war, because we had a responsibility to keep our friends and our families safe. But, every day, we prayed for peace. We prayed for an end. Every day that we fought in the territories, every day that we caused Palestinian suffering, we understood just how much we shared with them, and how hurtful it was for everyone for this all to go on. The past few weeks had been quiet. Roi’s company was able to leave the front. We thought it was ending, that perhaps things would change, but the night before had shattered everything once again. So, we sat, stared at the sun, and we cried. We were tired.
That was nearly five years ago. Since then, wow, things have changed, right? Arafat died, the Red Sox won the World Series, the disengagement hapenned, I went to school, Arik had a stroke, Facebook, the Lebanon war – and we’re still fighting the Palestinians, and terrorism keeps on going. You know what? I am tired.
I am tired of fighting, I am tired of death. Yes, I will go on. I will continue to support Israel, I will continue to fight for peace. I will continue to draw attention to the genuine suffering of the Palestinian people, and I will continue to serve in the reserves, and God forbid – in another war. But, I am tired of all of this i am tired of trying to fight my way through this horrible moral thicket, and I am tired that for every thought of doubt I have, someone is questioning my character. Blaming me for the holocaust, blaming me for the death of Palestinians, blaming me for the death of Jewish citizens, and blaming me for ignoring Torah. All of this is complicated, it is exhausting. My thoughts have grown so jumbled and confused, that the beginnings and ends of conversations and arguments are hidden beneath so many layers of rhetoric.
I am lost, I am confused, and I am tired.

4 thoughts on “Tired

  1. I am struggling to find peace this week. I wept into my tallit after the bloodshed in Gaza and in Mercaz HaRav. My grandfather died after a stroke. I had planned to visit him the next day. It seems there is no lesson, and no meaning. Are we merely the sum of our frailty and viciousness? I do not know.

  2. This week has been very tense for everyone — it’s easy to forget that these incidents used to be commonplace a few years ago. Hang in there, dude. We all feel it.

  3. Well said, Josh. We are all tired; left, right, secular, religious, Israeli, American. We are tired of bloodshed and reprisal, of talks being on, then off, of settlements and pullbacks, of endless ‘solutions’ that come to no fruition. Rockets and suicide bombers and remote drones and merkavas. No solutions, just sadness and the constant gnawing anxiety of a constant daily life at semi-war. Will peace ever stop being so elusive?

  4. You do not have peace because you are fighting for life against the Third Jihad (that is, the modern petrodollar-fuelled expansion of Islam, its third major historical push into the Dar al-Harb – region of war). Israel: you are David, facing the Goliath of the Ummah which is armed with money (for vast and fiendish propaganda campaign), fraud, weapons, & a mindset that permits Muslims to use deceit & treaty-breaking ad lib when dealing with non-Muslims, & does not teach the Golden Rule (proof: Quran 48: 29 – ‘those who follow him [Mohammad] are ruthless [or cruel, or harsh] to the Unbelievers [that’s you and me, Josh: Jew, Christian, and everybody who isn’t a Muslim and refuses to convert to Islam] but merciful [or gentle, or compassionate] to one another’). THAT’S why they howl ‘massacre’ when you shoot their jihadi gunmen; yet they party in the streets after they’ve murdered your Torah scholars.
    You are – to use J K Rowlings’ poetic image – the Order of the Phoenix confronting an army of Death Eaters for whom ‘good’ = ‘Islam Uber Alles’. Hassan al-Banna, theorist of the Muslim Brotherhood – ‘Islam is to dominate, and not be dominated’. The ‘Palestinian’ Arab Muslims hate you because you are ‘uppity Jews’ who have broken the dhimma & reclaimed Jewish sovereignty over Jewish land that was violently stolen by the invading Empire of Islam in 630s AD. The Empire of Islam HATES being forced to disgorge anything it has once eaten (India, Spain, Sicily, Malta, Greece, Bulgaria Balkans are all on the jihadis’ “punish & reconquer” to-do list too, for the ‘sin’ of throwing off the yoke of invading & occupying Muslims).
    Of course you are tired to death: for 60 years the Muslim masters of deceit have been messing with your heads (they’re brilliant at goodcop/ badcop – Fatah vs Hamas = Slow Jihad vs Fast Jihad); for 60 years you’ve tried to make ‘peace’ with people for whom ‘peace’ = ‘Muslims take all, kafirs die, or crawl to Muslims’; and whose Quran repeatedly forbids them to make friends (except feignedly, for Muslim advantage) with kafir.
    For clarity: see R Spencer, ‘Truth About Muhammad’ (esp sections on Khaybar, Qurayzah, Treaty of Hudaybiyya), and his ‘Onward Muslim Soldiers’ which analyses classic Muslim war theory & tactics in authors such as Majid Khadduri, ‘War & Peace in the Law of Islam’ and S K Malik, ‘the Quranic Concept of War’; also read Bat Yeor, The Dhimmi. Google Martha Gellhorn ‘the Arabs of Palestine’ 1961; if you read French, try Jacques Ellul, ‘Un Chretien Pour Israel’ (chapters on ‘Antisemitism and Antizionism’, on ‘the PLO’, and on ‘Propaganda’ – eye-opening).
    All I can say is: remember Orde Wingate; remember Purim; and Nehemiah. Pray: weep; bury the dead; keep on fighting; and in the name of G-d, do not believe a word the Muslims say, nor trust any treaty that they sign, it will be toilet paper the moment they feel strong enough to go for a kill.
    Am Yisroel chai. And may HaShem be a wall of fire round about you, and the glory in your midst.

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