OpinionIsrael at War

Hats off to the heroes and heroines in Israel’s existential battle

As “Keepers of the Book,” we remember our friends for thousands of years. We also don’t forget our foes.

British journalist and author Douglas Murray. Credit: Courtesy.
British journalist and author Douglas Murray. Credit: Courtesy.
Joseph Frager
Dr. Joseph Frager is a lifelong activist and physician. He is chairman of Israel advocacy for the Rabbinical Alliance of America, chairman of the executive committee of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim and executive vice president of the Israel Heritage Foundation.

This year’s Academy Awards was marred by “The Zone of Interest” filmmaker Jonathan Glazer’s libelous tirade against Israel. Hollywood does not reflect reality. Even its so-called “reality shows” are manufactured and contrived. The real Academy Awards should be handed out to those heroes who have brought truth to the current world of lies and misinformation.

Since the savagery perpetrated by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, both the enemies and friends of Israel and the Jewish people have been defined more clearly and precisely. Although it appears that Israel and the Jews have more enemies than friends right now, I believe the reality is quite the opposite.

Yes, anti-Semitism has grown immensely. Yes, the pro-Hamas violent protests have shaken America. Yes, the Democratic Party’s left flank has put a stranglehold on the White House. This all may be true, but there have been many great lights that have shone through the fog of war. I mention just a few. They all deserve more than just an Academy Award. The Jewish people have very long memories. As “Keepers of the Book,” we remember our friends for thousands of years. We also don’t forget our foes.

On April 10, one of the greatest advocates of the Jewish state these past six months was awarded the Israel Prize by President Isaac Herzog and Minister of Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli: Conservative British writer Douglas Murray. In an interview with Arutz Sheva, he made the most powerful statement to date: “One truth can puncture a thousand lies.” That says it all. Douglas Murray has done his fair share in overcoming the pervasive lies and distortions that have inundated the world.

One of the greatest surprises was the rise of Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) as one of Israel’s fiercest advocates. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is Jewish, may call himself a shomer (“guardian”) of Israel; however, this title more fittingly belongs to the non-Jewish junior senator of the Keystone State.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) has also become a huge friend of Israel. He will be remembered for his remarks at the Nov. 14 “March for Israel” on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He received great applause when he said, “These calls for a ceasefire are outrageous.” He further stated that the “U.S. stands unequivocally with Israel. This morning, we watched the horrific film that was produced by Hamas from their own cameras as they committed the assault. It is unspeakable.”

Across the aisle, Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) has been phenomenal in his support for Israel and even more so since he has been the main bulwark and firewall against the progressive “Squad” in the U.S. House of Representatives. Among other members in Congress—and there are too many to highlight—Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) stands out as exceptional. Her bill that properly described the “heartland” of Israel as “Judea and Samaria” was vital and seismic.

In the radio world, Sid Rosenberg stands heads and shoulders above anyone else in their support of Israel (he is the Jewish version of Rush Limbaugh). Among athletes, no one has been more outspoken in their support of Israel and the Jewish people than former undefeated super featherweight to light middleweight champion, Floyd Mayweather. After Oct. 7, he sent his own jet full of supplies to Israel. While visiting Israel, he said, “I stand with Israel against the Hamas terrorists.”

Among military personnel, two names stand out. John Spencer is one; he is the chair of urban warfare studies at West Point and is considered the world’s leading expert on the subject. He has said, “Israel has taken more steps to avoid harming civilians in comparison to all other wars.” He has also called the war against Hamas “the single most challenging battlefield.” The second is Col. Richard Kemp, a former British Army commander, who was on Al-Qaeda’s kill list in 2013. He has said, “Based on my observations the Israel Defense Force, the IDF does more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.”

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also deserves praise and thanks; he has probably been the most reliable friend that Israel has had in the Biden White House. I refer to the warm and meaningful meetings that he’s had with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Among media personalities, the award goes to my friend and Israel’s friend, Pete Hegseth. His recent interview with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was off the charts. And his 24-hour coverage of Oct. 7 in real time was one for the record books.

Last but not least is none other than Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has amazed the entire pro-Israel community with his incredible devotion and support during these most difficult times. We are a long way from “finishing the job,” and I am sure that others will come forward. To those new heroes and heroines in Israel’s existential battle—and its war to preserve morality and justice for the whole world—we, the Jewish people, will remember you for eternity.

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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