12 April 2006

Chag Sameach & a Shout Out to the IDF!

Chag Sameach & wishes for a miraculous Pesach to my readers the world-over! I dropped by one of my favourite blogs, Beautiful Atrocities, to find this post re: the IDF. (And regarding Jeff's post, as I've said before, there isn't a single bad looking guy in the Israeli Defense Forces.)

Now, being pro-military is a part of any conservative's political makeup, and I am no exception. While I love the US forces and have a great respect for them, my heart really goes out to the men and women of the Zahal, who have the toughest job in the world: keeping the peace in a land constantly at war.

As if confronting the constant threat of Islamic terror hasn't been enough, the soldiers of the Zahal were ordered to pull their own people from their homes in Gush Katif, and may soon have to do it again in Judea and Samaria. Despite overwhelming personal objections, the majority of these soldiers followed their orders and will forever be scarred by those memories that didn't have to be. Some soldiers refused to follow their orders, and I love them, too; their boldness speaks volumes about the Israeli character and what it means to be Jewish in a world where everyone hates you.

The Zahal is the one military in the world that isn't afraid to fight Islamic terror the way it needs to be fought: to the death. With a history of miraculous victories under their belt, and the philosophy that viable threats must be wiped out before they can be acted upon, the Israeli Defense Forces are the last bastion of reasoned military thought on the face of this earth. To go from being a rag-tag group of settlers and Shoah survivors who hand-made bullets out of discarded lipstick cases in 1948 to one of the most high-tech and well-equipped fighting forces on the planet in less than 50 years is nothing short of a testimony to the fact that HaShem is working in the lives of His people-- even if, sometimes, they don't know or acknowledge it.

I had the honor of visiting an IDF base in the Golan in 1998. Right as Bill Clinton was issuing warnings to travellers to leave the mid-East region, I was sitting atop a hill with a group of soldiers who, in broken English, peppered me with questions about America and asked if I'd like to buy some ice cream, as they were doing a fundraiser to get some cash for a new TV for their break room. Saddam Hussein my ass, I thought as I munched away on an ice cream sandwich. Silly Americans, silly Arabs, they really have no clue. And they still don't, and maybe many of them never will. But there was a distinct peace on that base overlooking Lebanon. It is the gift of being Israel, that we can live in peace, side-by-side with our enemies, while remaining prepared for war.

Chag Sameach, IDF-ers. Happy Pesach wishes from someone who wishes they could do more than just pray for you, but who has full faith that HaShem is doing and will do everything to ensure your continued victory and the survival and success of the State of Israel.



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