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Friday, August 18, 2006

What happened to “never again”?

At The American Thinker, Greg Richards asks a good question: What happened to "never again"? I wonder if he realizes whose motto this was....
Until this war, we all thought that the retribution for raining fire down on the homeland of the Jews would have been Biblical – in the German phrase nein stein auf einander: not one stone would have been left standing on another in the territory of the attacker. And this is not meant in some Rambo sense – that the IDF would have ripped off its collective shirt, flexed its well-toned muscles and run bare-chested at the guns of the enemy. That works better on film than in real life. That is not what we are talking about.

Rather a national effort, developed by military “artists” at the limits of their creative abilities, honed, tested, war-gamed, mistakes made and absorbed, hardware developed and proved, intelligence assembled – sweaty armpits, late nights, bad food, overweight analysts, all sacrificing themselves and their health to arm the nation for this existential battle. And then when the battle was joined, the mission executed by tigers, in the (former) concept of the IDF, exhausting the mission.

And the result – victory. Victory for the nation and the people of Israel. Casualties? Yes. Too high? Yes. But lifted up into the narrative of the Jewish people through the sublime, terrible motto, “never again.” When Moloch once again came for the Jewish people, it would be death or victory, what Winston Churchill called the British people to when they stared down the Nazi evil – “If this island story of ours is to end, let it end only when each of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.”

Instead, we have…..the announcement by a French general yesterday that it will take a year to assemble the 15,000 strong “robust force” that is going to …..do whatever it is going to do in south Lebanon. We have Israel waiting for the French army for its succor, a strategy that did not work even for France. A UN resolution – 1701 – that is a joke even before the ink has dried. This to deal with a force – Hezb’allah – which has as its only purpose the annihilation of Israel. Even Hamas has some claim to represent the Palestinians, but not Hezb’allah. It used to be said that the Jews contributed to history the idea that when someone says he is going to kill you and then takes steps to do so, you are well advised to take him seriously.
A couple of years ago when the Oslo madness was at its height, there was a joke going around among the right wingers in this country that Shimon Peres (whom many referred to as the country's first astronaut for his detachment from reality - until Ilan Ramon was killed in the Space Shuttle tragedy) really wanted to just turn the country into a web site, so that we wouldn't need any land to exist. Ehud Olmert and his cabinet seem to be stuck on the same idea. Pathetic, isn't it?


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