With the Almighty’s mercy, compassion and help, I am happy to say I am back. I personally want to thank the Jewish people and so many of our friends for the massive outpouring of support. As a physician, I might have considered myself prepared for any eventuality. I wasn’t.
I went through a harrowing ordeal. I feel a little like Rip Van Winkle waking up to a completely different and more unstable world than the one I remember just a mere eight months ago.
Back then, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was looking at his fourth election in two years. Despite the roller coaster ride of one election after another, he remained in power and Israel was in good hands.
Hamas acted up once again for the fifth time since taking over Gaza in 2007. Just to refresh the memory of the Israel critics, Hamas started hostilities and a rocket barrage on Dec. 19, 2008. Israel launched a ground campaign that lasted three weeks and probably would have gone on longer and done more had incoming U.S. President Barack Obama (not yet sworn in) not shut it down.
On Nov. 14, 2012, Hamas again attacked Israel with rockets, requiring Israel to use airstrikes to quiet down the area. On June 12, 2014, three Jewish boys were abducted and murdered by Hamas, precipitating another ground assault by Israel lasting into Aug. 2014.
On May 14, 2018, 40,000 Hamas-affiliated “protesters” attempted to cross the border at one time. Israel responded with force.
The fifth time Hamas declared war on Israel was this past May. Hamas struck Israel with 4,000 more advanced rockets. Israel refrained from another ground invasion to minimize losses. Hamas was once again allowed to live another day.
No other nation in the world would tolerate Hamas and its rockets on its doorstep. One might think that the world would finally see Hamas for what it is—a group of terrorist thugs aligned with Iran whose sole purpose is to create havoc in the world and destroy the State of Israel. Unfortunately, the anti-Semites in the world and in the U.S. Congress (there is a growing number, albeit small) have gained ground, and instead of blaming Hamas, blamed Israel.
The unrestrained hatred of Israel (by a few) was in full display this past week in Congress, when a purely defensive weapon like the Iron Dome, which was pushed and heralded even by Obama, was denied funds. The New York Times put it this way: ”Progressives revolted at the inclusion of Iron Dome funding in an emergency spending bill effectively threatening to shut down the government rather than support the money.”
Congress then set the record straight the next day in a vote of 420 to 9 in support of Iron Dome.
However, the damage had been done. This was a shot across the bow by the “progressives.” The small percentage of anti-Semites in Congress has many more tricks up their sleeves.
Not only does Israel suffer, but so does America. The anti-Semites in Congress don’t seem to realize—or, more likely, don’t care—that by strengthening Hamas and weakening Israel, they weaken America.
America needs Israel as a stabilizing force and influence in the Middle East. President Joe Biden’s surrender to the Taliban in Afghanistan highlights just how important Israel is to keeping the tinderbox that is the Middle East in check.
Destabilization in the Middle East occurs rapidly, unexpectedly, shockingly and mercilessly. Look how fast the Shah of Iran fell in 1979.
Afghanistan was Biden’s Waterloo. His poll numbers have continued to fall ever since. But Afghanistan will be a mere black eye for Biden compared to his allowing a nuclear Iran. If he soft gloves Iran like he did the Taliban and Iran goes nuclear, it will be a knockout punch.
If America can’t take care of business, then let Israel do it. President Donald Trump gave Israel the green light. Did Biden give Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett a green light, too? No one has given me a straight answer to that question.
If Bennett can pull off a “Begin” (Menachem Begin bombed the Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981) and bomb the nuclear reactors in Iran, he will make his mark in history.
I must say, “waking up” to all of this has not been easy. I am glad to be back in the “trenches” with all of you. We have overcome so much. We will fix the problems again, as tough and unsettling as they have gotten. Have faith.
Dr. Joseph Frager is first vice president of the National Council of Young Israel.
Be a part of our community
JNS serves as the central hub for a thriving community of readers who appreciate the invaluable context our coverage offers on Israel and their Jewish world.
Please join our community and help support our unique brand of Jewish journalism that makes sense.