Tag Archives: IDF

Who am I to advocate Force?

idfI often feel guilty when I come out in favor of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) taking the harshest of approaches.  After all, who am I to say this?  I live in New York.  I do not live in Israel, I do not live in Judea, Samaria, or Southern Israel.  I do not have children being called up to fight and risking their life to do the things I comfortably encourage from a safe air-conditioned home in the United States.

Who am I?  I am a human being, I am a Jew, and I am the son of Holocaust survivors.  I have made every attempt in my life, both in practicality and in theory to learn lessons from the past.  Sometimes successfully, sometimes not.  If there is one lesson I have learned, and I truly believe it may be the most important lesson of our time, one that could mean the difference between the death or survival of modern civilization, it’s that we can not apply rational standards to irrationally thinking people.  Do I believe the answer is to wipe out anyone who lives by those irrational standards?  Of course not.  Do I believe re-education of the greatest kind is needed. I do.  I also believe that sometimes the only way to begin that re-education is by a show of force of the most enormous proportions.

Two of the most civilized nations today, and strong American allies, are Germany and Japan.  Go back 70 years ago to the year 1944 and no one would have thought that to be realistic.  Yet the world was saved, at least temporarily by the drastic change in direction initiated by the allied forces basically pounding the two nations into submission.   Many people who wanted nothing more but to live a decent life died in the process, on both sides, but the fact remains that with the strong force brought on to both of these nations, history was changed for the better.

We face a similar threat today, at least as far as its potential danger, even if the landscape is very different.  Many people such as myself, who believe a powerful approach is needed against our enemies, are getting criticized for our viewpoints.  “Jews don’t act like that, the enemies do”, is one of the things I have heard.  To that I reply, yes, in the past we did not.  But we also say Never Again.

I find the murder of any innocent person to be tragic.  But I also believe in the phrase coined by our ancient Rabbis in Ethics of our Fathers, “im ain ani li mi li”, which translated into English means, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me.”   As a Jew, my sad assumption is that as a collective, there will be no one. There are many righteous people who have and would sacrifice their lives to protect innocent people, Jew and non-Jew alike, but there are no nations or groups who will look after the Jewish people any better than their fellow Jews will.

So although I feel somewhat guilty for sitting in comfort and speaking in favor of force by the IDF, as a Jew who has learned from history I would feel more guilty if I did not.

There’s a voice….by Hesh Meister

spacerspacer candlesApparently, according to some friends of mine, my voice is needed now.

What else can I add that has not already been expressed thousands of times?

Grief is beyond words. I cannot imagine the pain and loss that the families are going through. Or, perhaps I can imagine, having lost my brother at age 21 (albeit to Israel’s “other national curse”), and also because I am a father to two daughters and I worry about their health and safety constantly. But take that imagining and multiply it by millions. Those numbers boggle the mind.

Rage is abundant. I want the IDF and/or other security apparati to find the murderers, shoot them on sight without arrest or trial, and cremate the bodies. Neither they nor their families deserve the dignity. They deserve the Eichmann treatment. Or at the very least, the Bin Laden burial. I want to see the terrorist infrastructure – which at this point means any putatively “governing” Palestinian body – dismantled, destroyed, disintegrated, and deported. I want to see all the enablers of terror deported to Syria or Iraq – and those in the West to be struck down by all sorts of debilitating illnesses to ensure they will never open their mouths again. I want Israeli sovereignty to be proclaimed throughout all of Judea and Samaria and all residents who don’t declare and demonstrate unwavering allegiance to the State of Israel deported. I want to see Gaza retaken and Gush Katif reestablished. I want to see an Israel that does not bend over to Western overlords or cower at the sound of specious “world opinion.” Let Israel dictate the opinion the way it should have done and almost did in 1967 – not vice versa. Because then – AND ONLY THEN – will there be peace.

Frustration is intense. I want to see all these things happen and wish for them fervently – but feel powerless to do anything about it beyond posting here – which, in the scheme of things, does not mean a whole lot. I am no longer an IDF soldier and have no voice in Israeli politics. I am just a Jew and a human being currently in New York, trying to make a living and maybe pursue a few artistic endeavors. And even if I were in Israel, what else could I do but feel exactly the same?



Holland’s Heroes would like to thank Hesh Meister for joining as a contributor. He will provide his own fresh and clear perspective within the mission of the site, which is to combat attacks against the Jewish people and Israel and to discredit those who try to claim the Holocaust never happened.

How Ariel Sharon’s life tells the truth about Israel

sharon_arielWhen I think of Ariel Sharon and what kind of leader he was and the person he appeared to be, I realize that his legacy tells the real truth about Israel, its leadership and its approach towards its enemies.

Let me begin by saying that I have always lived by the basic premise that when a man or woman who has devoted their life to the betterment or safety of the Jewish people passes on, I as a Jew will mourn their loss.  With our history, both ancient and modern filled with persecution and murder, we as a people need to appreciate those whose lives were focused around what at least appeared to be, the protection of the Jewish people and or the security of the modern Jewish State of Israel.  With that in mind I speak from my heart when I say Rest in Peace Ariel Sharon.

When one examines Ariel Sharon’s life, it is clear that this was a man who was strong and forceful, unafraid, and at times one might say brutal.  If we look at the list of Israeli Prime Ministers starting with David ben Gurion in 1948, it is very clear that the two most militant were Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon.  It should therefore come as no surprise that Ariel Sharon served under Begin as Secretary of Defense.   To me however there is a very clear difference between the two men.  Menachem Begin, my personal political hero, was so militant leading up to the establishment of the State of Israel that some described him as a terrorist.  However as Prime Minister, an argument could be made that Begin was more moderate than Sharon.  To someone without a vested interest in Israel and the Jewish people, Menachem Begin’s greatest legacy was the peace treaty with Anwar Sadat and Egypt.  Ariel Sharon on the other hand was seen as far more controversial, even to the point of being called a war criminal by his enemies.  As someone who tries to be fair and equitable in my opinions I contemplated his legacy and in doing so realized that Ariel Sharon’s behavior as a leader in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Prime Minister of Israel, actually tells the truth about Israeli leadership and its approach towards Arabs and the Palestinian issue.

Consider this fact.  Mohammed Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority,  by most accounts a moderate, was quoted as saying,  “We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it.”  Abbas  was the leader of the element within the PLO responsible for the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in October 1985.  It was during this hijacking that Abbas’s people, shot a 69 year old Jewish wheelchair bound man named Leon Klinghoffer in the head and threw his body overboard.  I use Abbas as an example to compare the Palestinian’s most “moderate” leader to Israel’s most extreme leader, Sharon.

The incident that causes some people to brand Sharon as a war criminal was the massacre in Sabra and Shatila.  Under his command as Secretary of Defense for the IDF, Sharon did nothing to prevent the massacres of Palestinians in these southern Lebanon refugee camps.  The massacres were perpetuated by Lebanese militants with connections to the Syrian government, which incidentally was then run by the father of Syria’s existing dictator, Bashar al-Assad.  Therefore, if we choose to look at this with brutal and objective honesty, we might say that Sharon was guilty of being complicit in someone else’s crime.   

Sharon also would lead the charge for more settlements in what the world likes to refer to as the “Occupied Territories”.  For the sake of this discussion I will go along with the term.  Subsequently, if we are to accept this logic, Ariel Sharon, the Israeli “war criminal” was primarily most notorious for two things, not preventing the citizens of another country from murdering each other, and for accelerating the building of homes for his residents in the occupied territories.  

If we were to take the side against Ariel Sharon we would say that he was cold and callous with no consideration for the well-being of Arabs, particularly Palestinians within Israel and its surrounding nations.  As a Jew and a Zionist I can confidently make this statement.  We would dance in the streets of every city we reside in worldwide if the most militant of our enemies would be most guilty of not caring if we kill each other and for building homes on the land they occupy.  What Ariel Sharon’s life shows us is that even the “worst” of Israel’s leaders still live by a higher moral and ethical standard and are less likely to murder their enemy in cold blood than the majority, if not all of the most moderate of Arab leaders.  The world will likely not see it this way because anti-Israel sentiment is becoming a popular fad, but for those who analyze this honestly the truth will be glaringly apparent.  Ariel Sharon’s life as an Israeli leader proves this better than anything else ever could.


The Danger to us All

The most important thing any Jew can learn from the lessons of the past is to recognize those who wish to duplicate it.  This past month has seen my blog become my mechanism for discussing current issues that have serious consequences and are far more important than the sale of a book.  In speaking of my book I discuss a time when the Jewish people faced an enemy unlike any other they had ever faced in their history.  This enemy’s goal was to annihilate the Jewish people entirely.  It is with great sadness and extreme concern that with my  posts these days I recognize that current events have become increasingly more connected to the origins of my book and blog.

I live in New York City.  Missiles are not being fired upon Jewish neighborhoods anywhere near where I live.  Thousands of miles away, in the State of Israel, Jews are under attack.  What I urge all Jews to recognize is that these attacks are indeed an attack on all of us.  Do not rest on the concept of it being a political attack on a government that happens to be Jewish and far away.  What this enemy has in common with Hitler’s Germany is that its ultimate goal is the same.  The annihilation of the Jewish people.

I am not a sensationalist.  I try to not see similarities.  I try to see a situation where compromise leads to peace.  But when hope takes the place of realism, good people die, innocent people die, and throughout history, Jews get murdered.  I hope all good and decent people out there realize how their world is in danger as well, and I urge all Jews to recognize the danger we are all in and to not only show solidarity and support for Israel and its Defense Forces, but to realize that they are not only fighting for the residents of Israel, they are fighting for you as well.

What is Iran up to?

When Nazi Germany rose to power in 1933 very few, if any, knew what type of horrors they would be capable of inflicting on Europe.  Even with the strong anti-Semitic rhetoric no one predicted they would put their “Final Solution” which would lead to the murder of 6 million Jews.  Even with Kristallnacht, “Night of Broken Glass”, German Jews knew living in Germany would no longer be comfortable, but most did not predict the gas chambers and death camps.  The Nazi strategy was one of gradual progression.  They did not hide their disdain for the Jewish people, but what they did was start by taking away their rights, turning public sentiment against them, removing their basic dignity, and finally taking away their life.  Their strategy was so successful in Holland that many did not realize how bad it was going to be until it was too late.

Any Jew who believes that anti-Israel sentiment is not the same as anti-Semitism has chosen to turn a blind eye very similar to the blind eyes turned by so many during the reign of Nazi Germany.  Israel, the Jewish state, has been a willing partner in peace and a nation that has given up land in the name of peace.  We have the nation of Iran committed to its destruction.  Its leadership has consistently denied the Holocaust ever happened, as I discuss in my article, “Holocaust Denial: Deceptive hatred”, and it continues a campaign of political manipulation designed to lull the world to sleep while it gains enough strength to attempt its ultimate goal, the destruction of the Jewish state.  At this point in time close to 6 million Jewish people now live in Israel.  Iran recently instructed Hezbollah not to attack Israel or to fire its missiles into it cities.  Their reasoning is that they do not want to make Israel seem like the victim and create more worldwide support.

Their strategy is to progressively build their army, manipulate public opinion, and when they think the time is right attack in devastating fashion.  The major difference between now and the 1930s is that today there is a strong and organized Jewish Army known as the IDF, Israel Defense Forces, and the response and or preemptive strike will be with the might of a nation committed to survival.  Hopefully it never comes to that, but if the world and a comfortable Jewish populous turns a blind eye similar to that of the 1930s, the conflict and loss of life will be inevitable.