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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 24, 2003

You gotta have heart; miles and miles of heart. (Ted B)

If you will it, it will be.

Someone far cleverer than I, said that the Israelis are strong on power and weak on will, whereas the Palestinians are weak on power but strong on will. As a result, the Palestinians are going to win.

Not what you would expect but history proves the theory time and again. The Soviet Union collapsed because the leaders lost their passion for the cause or the will to survive. This was their death sentence. Sure, they were overwhelmed economically by the West but if they had the will they would have adjusted.

In revolutions, such as the overthrow of the Csar in Russia and the overthrow of the Shah in Iran, the fierce determination of the people overcame a far greater force. In the end, it is a test of wills.

Britain would not have survived the Battle for Britain in Second World War, but for the leadership of Winston Churchill. His fiery oratory gave the Brits the will and the courage to overcome all odds.

Theodor Herzel in his 1896 treatise on “The Jewish State”, emphasized the need for passion, to succeed, “Although I speak of reason, I am fully aware that reason alone will not suffice. Old prisoners do not willingly leave their cells. We shall see whether the youth whom we need are at our command--the youth, who irresistibly draw on the old, carry them forward on strong arms, and transform rational motives into enthusiasm.” and “Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews who wish for a State will have it.” One need only will it.

Dr Viktor Frankl in his famous book, Man's Search for Meaning, postulated that man's stongest life force was "the will to meaning". The stonger one's passion for a cause, the more likely he or she would survive.

In 1948 Israel had to fight for its life only months after coming into being. And they had only a ragtag assembly of Holocaust survivors barely out of the refugee camps, in some cases right off the boat, some pioneers and volunteers and few arms or friends. Opposing them were the armies of eight Arab countries. Yet their will to win, to survive, overcame all odds and they were victorious. Ein Brerah. There was no other way.

This courage and determination served us well until our energy was sapped in the aftermath of Lebanese War. In its wake, we lost our belief in ourselves and in the rightness of our cause and the Post Zionists and the secular rationalists rose to ascendancy. This failure of will on the part of Israeli society gave rise to the Oslo Accords and our retreat from Lebanon. We no longer joyously sang the tune, ”Give me the old time religion, its good enough for me.” Instead the passion for the religion of Zionism gave way to an acceptance of the religion of secularism and multiculturalism and the siren call of affluence and modernity.

Today once again we find ourselves in a fight for our existence. The forces arrayed against us include the Islamic world with its intense hatred, the EU with its renewed anti-Semitism, the Left with its desire to discredit Israel and America, and the UN and the NGOs who are partial to the Third World and anti-Israel. Only America stands at our side.

We know we have the might to survive but do we have the will. Throughout history, the more we were attacked, the more we banded together. The terrorism of the last two years has awakened the old time religion and we are moving to the right and are no longer willing to settle for a mess of pottage. Post-Zionism is dead as is the belief that we have a partner in peace to negotiate with.

In this regard, the Arabs have miscalculated. They thought their terrorism would break our backs whereas the opposite happened, it steeled our resolve. It gave us the will. As a result, it is they who are losing the will.

Oriana Fallaci, in her Sermon for the West, accused the West “of another crime; the loss of passion”. While acknowledging that the Arabs “have so much passion that they can die for it.”, she concludes by exclaiming, “Well I have not [lost it]. I boil with passion. I, too, am ready to die for my passion.”

So it is with Oriana, so it is with the Jews.