About Ari Bussel
In the series "Postcards from Israel,” Ari
Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to
join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two
sets of eyes: Bussel’s on the ground, Zager’s counter-point from
home. Israel and the United States are inter-related - the two
countries we hold dearest to our hearts - and so is this "point
- counter-point” presentation that has, since 2008, become part
of our lives.
in a Snap: Will Israel Be Saved?
Audacity of Being
Ands & Buts
Middle East Mirage
Absurdity of Existence
War: Outside the Walls of the Temple Mount
Holy War: The Al Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount
Delegitimization from Within
Slaughter of Israel
Would Stand By Israel
Well Coordinated Attack
& Speak Out
Bunch These Jewish People
They Burned Books
Indicators of Our Time
Candles of Darkness
December 1, 2009
Palestine, Stand Proud Israel
for Israel, But Why?
Blaming the Messenger
for Our Country, Fighting for our Lives
Gone in a Snap: Will Israel Be Saved?
October 14, 2010
We are told to trust God, that everything will be OK. We will do what we want,
behave any way we see fit, expect no consequence for our actions and everything
will be forgiven, forgotten, passed over and ignored.
"If we do not live the moment, then we are victims,” was told to me by a person
who could not understand my focus on preparedness and fighting back. So let us
rejoice and celebrate, while our enemies attack and get ready to finish a job
began long ago, a task so hideous yet so acceptable of late – the elimination of
the Jewish people.
Why bother ourselves with an enemy that uses every moment of every day and night
to plan and execute our downfall, when we can go out, dine and party, travel and
vacation, shop, entertain and enjoy?
Israel does not have the luxury of time. We are at the very last moment of
sanity, when the world around us is reaching a boiling point. Tomorrow will
come, and with it horrors the likes we have not known will be unleashed. To the
might of our enemies will be added our own astonishment at how little we have
done, how unprepared we have become, how fragile our continued existence
But why worry? If the unimaginable arrives at our doorsteps, said my friend, we
will all join forces and stand with Israel. We will then show our enemies and
the world our true spirit, our ability to overcome. If the situation becomes
truly precarious, there is always the ability to nuke our enemies, and when all
else fails, God will not allow our ultimate destruction. He will stand and fight
for us, for His own glory, and He will prevail.
So, it is a win-win situation. Do nothing at the present; indulge in the
frivolities of life. Laugh, play and party. Entertain thyself. If tomorrow is
really bad, then retaliate, and if that fails for any reason, then we have the
winning ace in the deck of cards, the eternal promise and pre-condition that
Israel will survive.
How wrong is this train of thought. Who would want to experience and taste the
Holocaust "just to show” the world that the God of the Hebrews will not allow
their destruction? Is the fact that we have reemerged and achieved so much in
the last sixty-five years proof enough that we are indestructible? Besides, are
we absolutely sure that the Israelites have carte blanche to do everything and a
free pass to the eternal paradise?
The fault in the argument is that it presumes an end and thus negates any
pre-conditions. God loves the Hebrews as a parent loves a child. But
unconditional love does not mean the child is permitted to do anything and
everything – from indulging in wild sexual activity to experimenting with drugs,
to being abusive and cruel to others – weaker than him. On the contrary, the
child must be punished and guided to a corrected course of action to recovery.
When the child has gone too far, and is infected by AIDS, is addicted to heroin
and the body responds no longer to any counter action, even the parents’ love
cannot help. Even their promise for everlasting protection may suffice no
longer. All that will be left is the melody of lamentation for a beauty of an
innocent soul gone astray, a child who befell victim to the momentary illusions
of comfort, joy and satisfaction and who has thus succumbed and left this world,
never to return.
But – my friend would counter – God, the Almighty, is all-powerful. He will be
able to reverse the course, to undo what science and will cannot undo and to
restore normalcy, literally from the ashes of the concentration camps and the
crematoriums or the deathbed of the child. Would He want to? Did He not allow
six million to succumb?
Israel is too smart to ignore her past. The Jewish people remember the
Destruction of the First and Second Temples, the expulsion from Israel, the
Spanish Inquisition and the centuries-long hatred of the Catholic Church. The
Jewish People will forever know the Holocaust as the period that has decimated
as many of them as there are today in the Land of Israel by the most intelligent
and cultured people of the time. They know that "this cannot happen” is the
wrong phrase, for they experienced exactly that which could not have happened
and led to six million dead.
The Jewish People also know that God’s protection is not an obligation of God
but must be earned by deeds. Those deeds are so plainly absent today – from
respect to one’s elders to honesty and modesty, caring of others and putting not
the self ahead of everything. Thus, violence and corruption are rampant
throughout Israeli society, and excuses aplenty. It is always someone else’s
fault, not one’s own.
If one examines Israeli society today, those "deserving” to be permitted into
God’s shelter are those members of society so maligned by the vast majority of
Israelis. They are "earning” the possibility of enjoying God’s protection not by
working for that purpose, but as a byproduct of their way of life, that of
humbleness and family values, human values and care.
They have been labeled as outcasts, and many in the pro-Israel crowd treat them
as disposable, an obstacle to peace or a hardship that needs to be dealt with.
I remember years ago that a debate was raging in Israel whether or not it was
correct for so many soldiers to protect so few people in communities around the
Gaza Strip. An overwhelming majority of Israelis did not see the need, or the
logic, and objected to their sons and daughters serving to protect so few
It was some 15 years before Arik Sharon decided on and led the State of Israel
to execute a unilateral disengagement from Gaza. Little good did it do, other
than convincing the Israelis that such unilateral action should not be exercised
"Never again” did not really last, and Judea and Samaria, "Occupied West Bank,”
are next on the Disengagement block. It started earlier this year, when the
Prime Minister decided on yet another gesture, this time more meaningful than
all others: a freeze of all Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria (including
parts of Jerusalem), i.e. in lands that belong not to the Jews.
The Palestinians managed in the interim to reconcile most of the "differences”
between Fatah and Hamas and to engage the Arab League who pronounced that there
should be no further talks about "peace talks” until the
gesture-now-considered-a-must be reinstated.
What before was an Israeli initiative has become an obligation, something
expected of Israel without any return, in other words, a pre-condition. Israel
is now facing a unified front, both by its Muslim enemies and the world at
Israel has thus managed, unilaterally, to fix her borders as the pre-1967 war.
Judea and Samaria are no longer Israel’s and the world will not permit them to
be. There is no one else to fault, no one to blame but Israel’s "right wing”
Prime Minister Netanyahu and "right wing” Likud. Who said it is impossible to
work with "right wing extremists” to achieve far-reaching concessions?
Continue to dance and party, my Israeli friends. End the Occupation of the West
Bank for you do not even recognize it as your own. The three hundred some
thousand Jews living there, on Occupied Arab Land, will have to be dealt with,
but you have already amassed some experience during the past five years with the
Gush Katif evacuees.
Possibly the Turks can learn from Israel and unilaterally disengage from parts
of Turkey in favor of the legitimate owners of the land, the Kurds? Why is the
world standing silent to the plight of these freedom fighters? Why is the UN not
supporting these refugees as they struggle to regain their homeland?
Come world, teach Israel. She is not listening to anyone right now, and has lost
sight of right and wrong. As she is consumed with the joys of the moment, with
everlasting gratification and satisfaction, she is drowning deeper and deeper
into the abyss from which she will not return.
A mantra of "God will not let it happen” seems to have stuck in the Israeli and
Jewish collective mindset. Be assured that to earn such a great privilege one
must work to earn it, inheritance in this case will never be enough.