OpinionIsrael at War

A war over our home

The terror campaign that began on Simchat Torah reminded us that our enemies' real target is our home.

Israeli girls get ready for the Shavuot holiday in Moshav Yashresh in central Israel, May 15, 2021. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.
Israeli girls get ready for the Shavuot holiday in Moshav Yashresh in central Israel, May 15, 2021. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.
Omer Lachmanovitch

We will win. We will win not only because the IDF is strong, and not just because Israel is just. We will win because this is a war over our home, and when we fight for our survival, something awakens within us that reminds us who we are, why we are here, and what we are fighting for.

There will come a time to do some soul-searching, to take responsibility, to draw the necessary conclusions. That is imperative.

But for now, we are at war. A very real and existential one—and that is very Israeli. The fact that we are under threat simply means that we are fighting for our home, in our streets, among our cities, between our kibbutzim and moshavim, among them and within them. This is what makes it so Israeli.

And these streets and houses, from the television broadcasts—they represent what is quintessential Israeli. They are the very essence of our home.

Occasionally we get a reminder of the big things we are fighting for, the over-arching reason for our struggle. But even then, in many cases, we feel that the existential threat then diminishes, that the enemies only want to annoy, hurt and strike; we always believe that they could disabused of the notion that the home will crumble atop its residents.

The terror campaign that began on the morning of Simchat Torah 5784 will be remembered as one of those moments when reality knocked on our door and reminded us that our enemies’ real target is our home.

These are also the moments when the fighting spirit awakens within us. Yesterday’s grudges fade away, last night’s arguments subside. And then a strong, unparalleled urge arises, an indomitable will. It is even greater than the will to survive. The bravery of the soldiers, the bravery of the civilians—the people rise to defend their home, with all that the words “defend” and “home” entail.

In his famous speech on Mount Scopus after the victory of the 1967 Six-Day War, then-IDF Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin said, “Our soldiers prevailed not by their weapons but by their awareness of their supreme mission, by their awareness of the righteousness of their cause, by their deep love for their homeland and by their recognition of the difficult task laid upon them—to ensure the existence of our people in our homeland, to defend, even at the price of their own lives, the right of the Jewish people to live in their own state, free, independent and in peace.”

This sentiment is very much present today as well. This is what unity means. As the famous song says, “Our people may be divided all year long, but when they smell danger they step up to the plate.”

This unity was revealed yesterday and will be revealed in the coming days. Perhaps it’s better that it comes not only from below but also from above. That unity among the people meets unity in leadership: unity without conditions, unity for the sake of unity.

This will be the proper comprehensive response to the danger. This will be the leadership response suitable for the domestic strife. And this will also be the historic, Israeli response to the existential challenge that reappears in every generation.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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