OpinionIsrael News

Choosing Israel’s path forward

Israel can join the woke army or remember and cherish our traditions while respecting others.

Members of the Brothers in Arms protest group hold a press conference in Herzliya, July 22, 2023. Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90
Members of the Brothers in Arms protest group hold a press conference in Herzliya, July 22, 2023. Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90
Benjamin Sipzner
Benjamin Sipzner
Benjamin Sipzner is the director of international operations at Ad Kan and an adviser to the Israeli minister of Aliyah.

Over the past week, Israel was center stage in the world media and at the United Nations. Israel’s vision for the future was on display for hundreds of millions to see. The question is whether Israel will adopt mainstream “cancel culture” leftism or the Joe Rogan, Elon Musk, Tucker Carlson practicality driven trendsetting that is taking over the Western and Arab world.

Brothers in Arms

Last Sunday night, Lesley Stahl, the host of 60 Minutes, featured leaders of the Israeli radical-left protest organization Brothers in Arms, which is one of the prominent groups protesting the Israeli government’s judicial reform campaign. On the program, Brothers in Arms activists claimed, “The danger [to Israel] now is more from inside than from enemies on the outside. This is an existential threat to Israel.” They added, “People are afraid the government will receive full power without judicial review. … What happened in Poland and Hungary will not happen [in Israel].”

Shockingly, they also said, “If you want pilots to be able to fly and shoot bombs and missiles knowing they might be killing children, they must have the strongest confidence in the people making those decisions.”

When the Brothers in Arms members slandered Israel on national television, they spoke only for Israel’s radical left, which is proclaiming to the Western world, “We are like you. We don’t care about our country’s heritage or identity. We don’t care about the truth. All we want is to be liberal, inclusive and anti-racist.” They went all in on the woke agenda that is taking over the U.S. and many European countries.

Taking a stand at the U.N.

Last Monday, as one of the world’s most notorious dictators, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, took the stage at the U.N. General Assembly, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan walked towards the podium holding up a sign that read “Iranian women deserve freedom now.” It included a picture of Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody after being arrested for an alleged breach of the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code. 

Erdan was forcefully escorted out of the auditorium by security personnel. But his stand against Raisi, who has been dubbed “the butcher of Tehran,” was seen by tens of millions. He was interviewed by leading networks in the U.S. and around the world. Iranians and those who genuinely believe in human rights applauded Israel and Erdan for standing up to Raisi and voiced their outrage at the U.N.’s hypocrisy for welcoming Raisi as an honored guest.

Netanyahu dazzles

Also last Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with tech billionaire Elon Musk at Tesla headquarters in San Francisco. Netanyahu toured the Tesla factory with Musk and got a ride in Tesla’s soon to be released Cybertruck. The two then held a panel discussion on the future of artificial intelligence with other leaders in the field. The discussion, which was aired on X (formerly Twitter), was viewed by tens of millions.

Netanyahu then flew to New York to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden. His detractors hoped the meeting would be a trainwreck, but it went smoothly, without generating major headlines. This paved the way for Netanyahu’s speech at the U.N., where he shocked the world by outlining the road to peace with Saudi Arabia and a new world order.

Netanyahu made Israel look like a regional superpower that is leading the way to a brighter future for the world. This future is focused on pragmatism and peace based on mutual respect for culture, tradition and national identity. In this new future, one country will not try to educate another. Trade and alliances will be formed on the basis of shared interests, not forcing specific values on an ally.

Israel has a choice

Israel can choose to join the woke army, erasing our heritage and identity in the name of so-called “democracy,” or we can remember and cherish our traditions while respecting others. We can choose to align with a failed progressivism or build relationships based on shared interests while wearing our national identity as a badge of honor, just as Saudi Arabia, India, China and others do.

I hope we choose wisely.

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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