Elie, like many young people his age, is confident of so much about who he is and what he believes. Having served two years in the army, having studied not just the weapons of war, but the reasons behind it, Elie understands much of the realities in the Middle East. He can explain that which is believed in Syria – their history, their strategy, their military beliefs and training. Knowledge is power, someone said long ago and so the Israeli army invests in its soldiers, teaches them.
Gaza is different than Lebanon; Hamas different from Hezbollah. Syria is different from Jordan; all different from Egypt. Each time Elie is ordered to a border, he and his soldiers are first taught what that means, who stands against them. Elie is 21 years old; soon enough, he’ll be 22. Thirty years ago, a young Benjamin Netanyahu was interviewed and asked to explain the situation in the Middle East. Like Elie, he was young and handsome. Like Elie, he was strong and determined and like Elie, the ways of politics had yet to poison his opinions and so a young Bibi, our next Prime Minister, spoke the truth of what we face here – then and now.
The situation has not changed; our enemies have not changed. What has changed, sadly, is that the political animal in this young man has silenced a tongue that once spoke truth.
This is Benjamin Netanyahu at 28 years old, explaining clearly the situation in the Middle East. This was more than 30 years ago and perhaps the saddest thing is that nothing has really changed.