The Faithful “Commenters”

I have a group of wonderful people who follow and comment on a regular basis (more are invited to…why should I be the only one talking here…even if it is my blog!). It’s always interesting to see my words in their comments, to see what they took away from my random thoughts and ramblings. There’s been a bit of discussion between two semi-regulars of mine and other than approving the comments (yes, I moderate becaus trust me, you don’t want to read half the comments I get), I want to promote dialog.

So, Alan a “US military officer” (don’t know more…but thank you for your messages) and Barbara (whose son lives in Israel and whom I would love to meet) have been talking about a recent post of mine (A Clock Ticking). Barbara wrote something, Alan responded…I don’t remember if there were more discussions, but then Barbara wrote in again and I found myself wondering about her words and if they were indeed a reflection of my thoughts.

Barbara’s son lives in Tel Aviv and she is quick to assure us that she is not part of the “national camp.” I’m pretty sure that by her definition, I am. But she actually makes my point as she does her own – Israel is too small a country to differentiate between camps when it comes to a nuclear attack. Tel Aviv, actually, is more likely a target than the settlements (most of which are closer to Jerusalem) and the Arabs do like to claim that Jerusalem is theirs. Ironically, in today’s news they are once again claiming the Kotel (Western Wall) as theirs, saying it is where Mohammed parked his donkey.

Barbara makes an impassioned plea for the world to take Iran seriously – I share in her words and thank her for them.

Nothing and no one has deterred them [the Iranians], only slowed them down a little. It is fatally stupid to underestimate their commitment or their power, or to ignore the lack of resolve to stop them. Have we still not learned the lessons of WWII? That wasn’t very long ago. What evidence do we have that this is all smoke and mirrors, none. I believe them.

There is no evidence that this is all “smoke and mirrors” and very clear evidence that this is quite real and the threat is not only for Israel, but all or most of Europe and likely the US as well. I believe them too, though I have to say I don’t want to agree with Barbara’s next conclusion…

The Israeli people cannot survive a nuclear war.

Not that I want there to be a nuclear war to prove her wrong, but actually I have heard estimates that Israel can survive a nuclear hit – obviously not a lot of them, but I’m not sure saying we can’t survive is completely accurate, though again, I don’t want to test this theory. And, the reports I saw referred to a nuclear attack, not a nuclear war, so maybe there’s a difference. Conventional wisdom suggests Israel has nuclear weapons. Common sense says if Iran launches a nuclear attack on Israel – we will blow them off the map. Sure, that’s what they say they’ll do with us and so while I’m not in a position to threaten (I’m a technical writer, for heaven’s sake, not a politician), I can say that there are red lines beyond which no one will push Israel. If Iran dares to fire nuclear weapons, I doubt there are more than 10 Israelis in this country who would not hesitate to fire back at them – 100 to each 1 they fire.

Paula is saying, we know we will die here if Iran attacks us with nuclear weapons, but no one is going to make us flee, we are done with that, this is our home.

 So now we get to the hard part of Barbara’s comments. It sounded fine when I said it, but reading back it sounds too…too scary, too heavy. What right do I have to put my children’s lives on this line. No, I don’t know that we will die here if Iran attacks us with nuclear weapons. I really don’t. I have this vision in my mind of the Prime Minister pressing a secret green button (it can be blue, I don’t care) and a special nuclear protection umbrella will cover the entire country – or missiles will fire and blow the bombs up over Syria – or well, anything other than their exploding here. Once in a while, I can close my eyes and imagine utter chaos, scenes of war and devastation and smoke…but most of the time, I can’t and won’t let my mind wonder that far. Barbara writes that “no one is going to make us flee, we are done with that, this is our home.” Oh yes, I do feel that way…but I’m kind of hoping to skip all that dying stuff – at least for another 80 years or so.

My son feels the same way and he lives in Tel Aviv, not in some little settlement over the Green Line. I respect that. You make a stand against the monsters of this world, even if it kills you.

 Well…um…I’m glad your son feels that way and I’m not sure what difference it makes where he lives or where I live and yes, you have to make a stand against the monsters of the world. Even if it kills you? Yes, perhaps even then…though again, I’m really kind of hoping to avoid that.

I don’t mean you sit around dithering with your head in the sand, making excuses to do nothing like the Jews of Germany in the 1930’s who had a chance to escape and didn’t take it.

 It took me many years and long hours of reading history to realize that this is too harsh a simplification. With perfect hindsight, we can understand that there was no option but to flee; but it wasn’t a given.Could any Jew who wanted to flee Germany in the 1930s have done so? Too long for this post, but I wouldn’t put myself in a place to judge them – however the Jews still in Iran, and other Arab countries cannot use the same excuse. If they can get out…now is the time.

I mean you make a stand, like Paula and her family and my son and so many others are doing. These are ordinary people who for every day of their lives stand up against evil no matter the cost.

Thank you, Barbara. I probably shouldn’t tell you that what we are doing is more about living a life full of happiness and beauty than conviction. Yes, we live here because we believe and know it is our home, but more, every day is a gift here, one in which we watch our children grow in sunshine and freedom as we were never free anywhere else, or at any time in history.

Dead people do not need passports. It’s meaningless to contemplate, unless you are getting out now.

Well…I guess the passport debate continues. I agree dead people do not need passports. I think I was kind of hoping that live people don’t need them either if they aren’t planning on leaving. No, we aren’t getting out now – but I think it’s more because we just don’t see the need. I’m not saying that we are making a stand unto the death here.

If there is one key difference between us and our enemies – it is best summed up by our enemies themselves. No one has yet expressed the difference between “us” and “them” more eloquently than Hassan Nasrallah:

“We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win because they love life and we love death.”  — Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. July 2006.

No, we do not love death and so we don’t think of battles to come as ways to achieve it; rather we dream of a time when life will be cherished by our neighbors and others will see that it is life that we love, life and peace.
(Thanks again to Barbara for posting a comment…that made me think!)

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