By Schmoel Yitzhak
Some things you never forget.
Some things should never be forgotten such as the Jewish survival theme -- Never again!
I had those two words in mind not long after Israel's disengagement from Gaza. My younger son and I were visiting a sage woman who once smuggled arms for Betar in pre-Israel Palestine. She knows what war and Jewish survival are all about.
Because her Israeli roots go much deeper than mine, I often have relied on her for advice and insights when it comes to the world of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Sderot.
As we dug through her excellent egg salad, I still was puzzling over Ariel Sharon and his bold decision to pull out of Gaza. I asked myself why, why, why?
The way I figured it, the Prime Minister's motive -- peace! -- was pure except for the impurity of the other side. Arik believed that because he would hand over a chunk of land to Arabs that the Palestinians in turn gladly would reciprocate by suddenly turning friendly to the Jewish State.
Even some big-shot American Jews such as New York Daily News publisher Morton Zuckerman were suckered into the Sharon camp. Zuckerman and rich American friends even doled out a few million bucks so that the Arabs could continue the fine agricultural work Israelis had been doing in Gaza for years. But -- as I feared -- the Hamas-PA leaders adopted the W.C. Fields' philosophy, "Never Give A Sucker An Even Break."
In this case Israel was the sucker and the Arabs were dishing out no breaks at all. Quite the opposite.
The Arabs destroyed everything Jewish in Gaza including the productive hothouses and assorted industry. Figuratively, they threw mud in the face of Sharon and his naive supporters. And with that in mind, I asked my sage lady friend how she could explain the Israeli blunder.
Not a problem, she said. "Sharon got old and out of touch," she shot back. "Furthermore, he probably was even a bit senile when he made that decision. That's the only way to explain it."
How could a seasoned warrior-politician as Sharon be so naive, short-sighted and factually ignorant, if you will? Who did Arik believe that Israel was dealing with, St. Francis of Assisi?
"Death to Jews" has been part of the woof and warp of Arab thinking for centuries and nothing was going to change that; not a chunk of Gaza as a present, nor the Oslo Accords nor anything else for that matter. Giving the Palestinians something for nothing immediately signals to them the weakness of Jews. With that comes bold anti-Israeli moves such as the latest bid for United Nations recognition.
Benjamin Netanyahu must stand up to the world-wide anti-Israel sentiment which, translated, is unadulterated Jew-hatred.
It's there, patently evident in France, Great Britain and throughout the rest of the European Union not to mention assorted other points on the globe. This Palestinian UN gambit already has demonstrated that Israel's friends are essentially limited to the Dominion of Canada and, to a lesser extent, Australia. When it comes to the Jew-hating world, no matter what Israel does, the Jewish State comes out of any scenario as the bad guy.
Contrast that with Syria where ten Arab children were killed the other day by cluster bombs delivered by other Arabs in a Damascus playground. Israel Hayom columnist Dror Eydar has that in mind with the question:
"Why is it that when Arabs slaughter Arabs," asks Eydar, "the world gives a polite shudder and does nothing more? We have all but forgotten the hundreds of people massacred in Syria just recently. Yet when Jews rise to defend
their lives and strike at those who seek to kill them, the world howls in protest."
The aforementioned statement will not come as breaking news for Bibi. Nor has the Prime Minister forgotten the awful mistake that Sharon made when he chose to unilaterally pull Israelis out of Gaza.
That lesson -- never again free gifts to the Arabs -- must be deeply ingrained in every responsible Israeli leader's head. Not a single Jew should ever have to leave Judea nor Samaria. Period!
Challenging as the obstacles are ahead, Netanyahu must bear these lessons in mind as he steers Israel through the political shoals ahead.
Never again must be placed front and center as the Israeli theme -- now more than ever!