Latest update: May 26th, 2013
I am still severely shocked in the aftermath of the heinous massacre that took place in Mumbai last week. Despicable Muslim terrorists carried out a well-planned, deadly assault on civilian targets, killing hundreds of innocent people.
Especially horrifying was the premeditated attack on the Chabad House established by Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg. This righteous couple created a warm, friendly atmosphere, welcoming Jewish travelers searching for their roots or just in need of Jewish companionship along with a tasty Shabbat meal, accommodations or a chance to pray with a minyan.
The Chabad House represented a bastion of Jewish faith and authentic Jewish values. The Holtzbergs’ horrifying murder, together with the killing of the other Jewish victims, is another reminder of the evil our enemies seek to perpetrate against the Jewish people and the Jewish state.
The motivation for such a horrendous attack upon Jews can be directly linked to the weakness of the Israeli government. When a Jewish government displays fear, acquiescence to terror and helplessness in its own country, terrorists the world over understand they are free to continue to kill Jews and humiliate leaders of the Jewish state, who claim responsibility for the entire Jewish nation.
It is inconceivable that daily rocket attacks on Jewish towns in Israel continue to be ignored and disregarded. Such indifference broadcasts weakness and inability to protect its citizens.
The Olmert/Barak/Livni government has not taken any serious measures to bring the missile attacks to an end. This government is willing to give up parts of its homeland to the rule of Arab terror. It uprooted Jews from their homes in Gush Katif and northern Shomron, fled from the Lebanese border in the middle of the night and allowed Hizbullah to reinforce its army and attack northern Israel in the Second Lebanon War.
The lack of sensitivity and respect for spilled Jewish blood was unbelievably expressed the day after the Mumbai massacre when Prime Minister Olmert announced the release of 250 convicted Jew-hating terrorists as a gesture of goodwill to his friend Mahmoud Abbas.
This is a desecration of the souls of the murdered victims and only invites more terrorist attacks on Jews.
In the past, Israeli governments understood the responsibility of providing protection for its people. In the 1970s, when plane hijackings were rampant, Western nations yielded to Arab blackmail while only Israel refused to surrender, fighting hijackers and displaying courage and responsibility that reached a peak in the July 4, 1976 Entebbe operation when Jewish commandos rescued a planeload of Jews held hostage in Uganda.
This operation served as an example for the world – i.e., that one should never yield to terror. Unfortunately the policy of fighting terror was abandoned by the leaders of Israel during the Oslo fiasco, when Arafat and his terrorist gang were invited to take control of parts of Judea and Samaria, thereby receiving honorable recognition and eventually even a Nobel Peace Prize.
The result of Oslo was a reign of terror, with suicide bombers blowing themselves up in Israeli buses, streets and cities, killing multitudes of innocent men, women and children. This was only stopped when Israeli forces renewed their control in Judea and Samaria.
The courage and determination to fight terror can only be derived from the roots of Jewish faith – recognizing the divine dimension of the Zionist process and the need to protect our basic rights in every part of our Jewish homeland in Eretz Yisrael.
Yielding our rights to Eretz Yisrael will only intensify the thirst of these terrorists for more Jewish blood. Yielding to foreign engineers of “road maps” weakens the morale of the Jewish people both here and abroad.
Yielding even one Jewish outpost or one building that was legally purchased in Hebron is a clear message of submissiveness and vulnerability to our enemies, all the more so the intention to evict Jewish families living in this house – Beit HaShalom – in front of the gleeful eyes of the surrounding Arabs.
The God of Israel has brought us home after 2,000 years of exile to strengthen the Jewish nation, build our homeland and renew Jewish life and culture in the independent Jewish state. We cannot allow desecration of God’s name by humiliation of His people through the endless massacre of Jews. The time has come to again activate the natural instinct of Jewish courage, to stand up and fight those who want to destroy us.
Only a leadership of faith can guide our nation along this path of Jewish pride, providing security and defense and ensuring our survival. The terrorists in India knew that a Chabad House is a bastion of Jewish faith and values. Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, the purest of souls, who devoted their lives with great sacrifice to ignite the Jewish spark inherent in every Jewish heart, were the target of Islamic terror whose goal is to destroy Jews, their faith and culture.
The power of faith and determination to rise up from the depths of pain and mourning are best expressed by King David: “I shall not die, but live to recount the deeds of the Lord” (Psalms 118:17).
We are all emissaries whose goal in life is to recount the deeds of the Lord, together with every Chabad House in all corners of the world. When a new Jewish leadership emerges in Israel in the near future, these words of Jewish royalty will reverberate in Israel and the Jewish world, serving as a guiding light, telling the eternal story of God’s Chosen People, and leading us to complete Redemption.
About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer Waldman is rosh yeshivaof Yeshivat Nir Kiryat Arba.
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