In recent weeks, we once again received a painful reminder that Israel’s enemies are waiting for every opportunity to attack us. We do not have the privilege of neglecting our security for even one second.
Our military and economic power must deter our enemies and should not show a single moment of weakness.
This is especially true due to the geopolitical changes taking place in front of our eyes. The old regional allies of the United States have been forced to look for other partners and are finding them in China, which is pushing for cooperation between former adversaries.
This presents a challenge that Israel has not faced for many years.
Moreover, Israeli unity has been damaged, and this unity—not just our advanced weapons—has always helped Israel win its wars. None of us have the privilege of refusing an order. Not a single one of us, for any reason—political, economic or otherwise—however justified it may seem.
We see again and again that those who rise up to destroy us, including in this generation, do not accept our victory in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence for one simple reason: We did not fully win it.
We are at war. Not again. Still. We always were.
This war, which began more than 100 years ago as a military campaign to prevent the rise of a Jewish state in its indigenous and ancestral homeland, is about seeking to undo what was reestablished 75 years ago.
There is no “campaign between the wars,” because there is no “between the wars.” There is war all the time. We should not forget that and release our steely fist for one second.
The Israeli government cannot afford to ignore security at any moment. It cannot keep a defense minister on probation. It must pay maximum attention to security challenges at all times, even at the cost of neglecting other issues, however important they may seem.
Those who thought that the world was busy with Ukraine and Iran and forgot about the Palestinians should remember that, in a joint statement issued in Brussels a few days ago, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell did not mention Iran but did mention a Palestinian state.
Around the seder table, where we sat a few days ago, we remembered that we were slaves in Egypt, and in every generation, our enemies rise up to destroy us. We should not delude ourselves that this is a story about the past.
The world has not changed.
There is nothing new since Egypt or the destruction of the Temple or the Inquisition or Auschwitz.
When we read the Haggadah, we remember that we came out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, following the terrible plagues imposed on Pharaoh. We did not escape bondage following negotiations or elucidation of the concept of justice, and the reasoning of Moses and Aaron.
True, there are important issues in the fields of law, identity and economics that should be addressed, but we can only deal with them with one hand, while the other hand continues to hold the sword.
Anyone who thinks otherwise is living in a dream world.
Alex Selsky previously served as an advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a member of the board of governors of the Jewish Agency, a member of the board of the World Zionist Organization and the CEO of the International Israel Beitenu movement. He is a lecturer in the Department of Politics and Communication at Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem and a member of the Israel Victory Project.