OpinionIsrael at War

I hear Joshua calling

We must have the determination to overcome those who out of their own political, religious, financial or ideological interests call on Israel to stop a war it did not start.

A military helicopter flies at sunset near the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip, March 11, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
A military helicopter flies at sunset near the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip, March 11, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Howard Teich. Credit: Courtesy.
Howard Teich
Howard Teich is a practicing attorney, has held multiple leadership positions in the Jewish community and is the author of HEAR OUR VOICE: One Israel: Standing Up for Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

After the death of Moses, Joshua was called upon by God to lead our people into the Promised Land. He knew he faced potential resistance ahead. Yet having come from slavery in Egypt, he had the determination and confidence to lead his people and win the battles. Joshua saw the war through to its conclusion when the enemies were defeated, and the land of Canaan was under Israel’s control.

For thousands of years, the Jewish people have faced real and potential catastrophes, as well as monstrous enemies. Each time, we pushed forward on our journey as a people. Clearly, the Jewish people have a purpose on Earth. Today’s trials, which not only include the struggle against our enemies in battle but against unrelenting worldwide criticism, are once again forcing us to reflect on our past and future.

We are carrying the spirit and life efforts of all those generations that came before us, and preserving the hopes, dreams and possibilities of our descendant generations that will follow us.

Too often, our fellow Jews are ignorant of our history. They do not know about our contributions to secular cultures over the centuries or our scholarly and religious genius. They are unfamiliar with the Torah that has sustained us as other civilizations rose and fell into oblivion. Numerous non-Jewish nations are equally unaware of or unwilling to learn about the great lessons and wisdom of our Jewish people.

We cannot, must not and will not be stopped. We must have the determination and vision to overcome those who out of their own political, religious, financial or ideological interests call on Israel to end a war it did not start. “Never again” means we will never be victims like we were in the 1940s when the world turned its back on us. As a people, we have always stood our ground and won out in the end. With the re-establishment of the State of Israel, we need not bow to anyone.

So, despite all the calls for a ceasefire with Hamas while the hostages remain in captivity and Iran directly attacks Israel, we must enter Rafah and destroy the tunnels and the cowardly Hamas remnants who continue to hide behind their people. And bring our hostages home.

Even after Hamas is destroyed, the war will continue. Iran’s proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon has fired multitudes of missiles into Israel, forcing the evacuation of northern cities and towns. Israel must respond in kind.

We Jews must be secure wherever we want to live. So, the world has a choice to make: It can enforce U.N. Resolution 1701 and remove Hezbollah or not. If it does not, Lebanon and Hezbollah will face terrible destruction at the hands of a superior Israeli military.

The endgame of this war will be the elimination of the Iranian threat, especially its nuclear program. The goal of such an operation is to usher in a Middle East at peace, with all like-minded countries cooperating to realize the enormous potential of the region.

The two-state solution, however, is off the table. Oct. 7 and Iran’s attack only confirmed the obvious: Israel cannot give up control of Judea and Samaria. Before this war ends, Israel must declare sovereignty over Judea and Samaria for security reasons and to complete the biblical journey of our people. This time, we don’t need spies to survey the land. We have already built a thriving new Jewish civilization with a united Jerusalem as the symbol of our modern-day miracle.

What a time for all this to take place, just as we move into the Passover season. This season marks the moment when our Jewish people gained their freedom to establish a religion and a people. We today are part of a people and a nation that recognizes the profound determination, will and principles that have been a model for a multitude of religions, including Christianity and Islam.

So, world, we cannot bow to your attempts to deny us victory. We have faced that before and we are not afraid to face it again. Whether in Israel or the Diaspora, we will hold to our belief that there will come a day when, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks and nation shall not lift sword against nation; nor shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4).

We have enemies today who must face what Egypt faced with the 10 plagues. They can have no role in the future we can and will build. There is no doubt we will have a Joshua for our time. Israel will be victorious and our Diaspora will grow in strength and spirituality, developing a true warrior class to lead our people.

In the years to come, our unified Jewish people will bring new light to the world. The memories of those who were slaughtered on Oct. 7 will become the stars of the dawn. The grit, courage and bravery of the hostages will be the centerpiece of this noble age. The warriors of Israel will foster a new spirit of peace in the world.

Am Yisrael Chai!

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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