While Israeli politicians are zigzagging between a unity government and mutual smearing, and while tycoons are scrambling to exploit the offshore gas troves, the rest of the Israelis must suppress their concerns over the implications of the nuclear deal with Iran. On this Ninth of Av, the parallels between the period preceding the ruin of the ancient Temple and our current situation are alarming.
The problem is that we have no time to play King of the Hill. The world is staring at us with menacing eyes and puts us on a drumhead court-martial. Few countries, if any, will shed a tear if the red button is pushed on us, but our leadership cannot turn the tide. Instead of installing unity in the nation, rather than trying to do so in the government, our politicians are busy bickering like children in a sandbox, oblivious to the danger before us.
The core problem is here, in our own murky relationships, and not between Israel and the Arabs, or the Iranians or the Americans. The latter are but symptoms of the key issue—the rift among us.
The basis of our nation is unity and brotherly love. As soon as we divert from this path and turn to mutual dislike, detrimental elements begin to surface, which then push us to regroup in shelters, reminding us that we’re a people. This is what happened during the Protective Edge campaign (in Gaza last summer) and during every campaign prior to it. But a minute after the danger has been lifted, we put on our intransigence once more and refuse to take preventive measures to avert the next blow by collaborating. Instead, we wait for Iran, Hamas or whomever to force us into unity.
The Ninth of Av is a special day, as it describes a period in our past when we had lost our spirit of togetherness. Today it seems that history is repeating itself, as Israeli society becomes increasingly fragmented into sects that accuse and fight one another. In the War of Independence, Jews burned food warehouses in Jerusalem and caused fellow Jews to go hungry during the siege on the city. Like then, the evil now is coming from within.
The only solution to antisemitism and anti-Zionism, which are justly interlinked, is the unity of the people of Israel. Political or diplomatic maneuvers cannot solve a thing. We have to find the strength and the sense of urgency to unite above all differences, as this is the only remedy that can raise Israeli society from its ruins.
We became a nation at the foot of Mt. Sinai once we had pledged to be as one man with one heart, united at the core of our souls. Today, in order to rebuild our national strength and vigor, we must rekindle that unity. And the sooner we begin, the better and easier it will be for all of us.
This article was originally posted on Algemeiner.com.
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