Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thoughts and Prayers on Israeli Election Day

It is with a mixture of frustration, puzzlement and astonishment that I look at Israel on election day. It seems supernatural that the entire world is focused on the conflict in Gaza. The body count in conflicts elsewhere dwarfs that in Israel's wars, yet the Israeli conflict grabs all of the headlines. When I see five million dead in the Congo, three million dead in the North Korean man made famine and 200,000 dead in Algeria, the accidental death of a handful of Arab civilians at the hand of Israelis fighting by gentleman's rules seems thunderously trivial by comparison.

I do not see Israel ever being judged kindly by the Europeans or anyone else. It seems absurd to try to win over world opinion with more concessions to enemies that want to wipe us off the face of the earth.

The USSR had one party elections. Israelis elect an alphabet soup of parties that then form a "National Unity Government." In practical terms, the distinction between the two is academic. In the USSR, people knew that there was no choice. In Israel, we are deprived of choice in back room deals.

The same leaders who promised a united Jerusalem and other wonderful things get into office and make secret deals to give away territory and sell out. Religious parties sell out territory and endanger lives to get a money for their yeshivot. One can vote for fine words without knowing what is behind them.

In this election, very few things are certain. Likud is better than the communists. Olmert acts like someone in Damascus just put money away for him in a Swiss bank account. I can not say more than that with any certainty.

I pray for the welfare of the Holy Land. I find myself praying not only for deliverance from our enemies but from ourselves. It seems to me to be an open miracle how G-d rescues us from our own insanity, time and time again.

Whoever wins, I hope and pray that G-d grants them clarity of vision. During the sixty years of Israel's existence, one miracle after another has poured down on us like rain. Time and time again we pour this flood of blessings upon barren and thirsty sand that is wet in the morning and bone dry at noon. May G-d open the eyes of our people and of our leaders. May G-d continue to protect us and may Moshiach be revealed speedily. Until then, may G-d protect us from our enemies and our government.

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