This past Shabbat, just two days after the conclusion of Tisha B’av, and the season of mourning for the loss of our glories of ancient Jerusalem, we read the promise of Isaiah for our redemption and his exhortation to be comforted. These words, in my opinion, could not be more timely.
It is easy to be demoralized now by the daily news from Israel and the usual claque of international hypocrites who demand a restraint and tolerance from Israel that they would not afford to their own perceived enemies for even a nanosecond. It is hard to watch when the Islamo-fascists, who sense victory in the fact that the civilian body count on both sides is piling up and the propaganda war always favors the insurgents (the dead civilians in Lebanon being only cannon fodder for them, while the Israeli dead satisfy their bloodlust). Israel, alas, (and to its eternal credit) has not used the weapons in her arsenal which could, in all likelihood, dispose of Hizbollah (among many others) in short order, because Israel, unlike its adversary, is guided by a sense of morality, even in such trying circumstances.
The Israeli public is, understandably, somewhat demoralized by the difficulty of fighting an invisible enemy, which is content to hide itself among women and children, having bought those lives (and the loyalty of their Arab victims) cheaply: for the cost of some electric bills, schooling and food. The morale problem in Israel (and among its friends and supporters worldwide) exists despite the near universal understanding in those quarters that this is a war which MUST be fought to its conclusion, for anything else will be deemed victory by the forces of evil—and make no mistake, these ARE the forces of evil.
To an extent, Israel is a victim of its own prior successes, most notably, in the 1967 Six-Day War, and the world has come to expect easy and quick victory by Israel against all its adversaries. Indeed, Israel’s advantage (other than military efficacy) is one of necessity. Israel cannot afford to lose even once. By contrast, its enemies can bring on the fight again and again, in the hope that one day, they can reverse their string of failures. On the other hand, this is a different kind of fight. It is the kind of fight that presented such frustration and yes, defeatism for the U. S.in Vietnam and now, in Iraq. The enemy is everywhere, yet nowhere, and it is hard to know where the front lies and how and where the battle should be joined. It has often been said that military leaders are always fighting the last war, instead of the current one. It may be that this is the wave of the future and the kind of war that will hereinafter forever be faced. If that is so, the military strategists will need to formulate new plans to engage an enemy who melts into the civilian population. If anyone at all can succeed in this difficult task, I trust that it will be the Israeli Defense Forces.
Such strategies will, of necessity, result in tragic loss of civilian life, but make no mistake about it: that blood is on the hands of the cowards who would hide amongst women and children, not on those who must oppose them. It goes without saying that, on our side, the loss of each petal of the flower of Israeli youth is nearly unbearable to all of us, but tragically, it represents the continuing price that must be paid by a Nation with its back perpetually to the wall (or, more accurately, to the sea).
I am neither a military strategist nor a policy-maker (except, like everyone else, as an amateur). But I do know that what is at stake today is very stark and apparent: Good vs. Evil, Right vs. Wrong, Gog vs. Magog (to use biblical imagery). We stand on the precipice of a war for civilization and the future of mankind. At some point, we will all have to step into the fray. Delay, alas, works for the benefit of the adversary. We have the tools, but the question continues to be: do we, the reluctant would-be defenders of Western Civilization have the will? The jury is very much out on this question.
But back to Israel, and its role in this world struggle. I, for one, have nearly boundless faith in two things: the Almighty and the IDF. Neither will let us down. Neither ever has. So, my brothers and sisters, believe and pray.
And in the words of the Prophet Isaiah, Nachamu, Nachamu, Ami. Be comforted, be comforted, my People. Good will prevail. Good MUST prevail!
Warren R. Graham
Warren R.Graham is a New York attorney with the Firm of Cohen Tauber Spievack & Wagner LLP. He is a frequent writer on a variety of topics, including legal matters, political and religious affairs. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of his firm or its members. Additional information on him may be found at either http://www.ctswlaw.com/templates/page3_attorney.asp?docid=667 or http://warrenrgrahamlegal.blogspot.com