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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Of Comas, Mild And Serious


Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently suggested that Israelis are in a “coma” and unless “unilateral disengagement” is implemented now from Judea and Samaria, it will be too late for a peace agreement once they awaken.

The Palestinian Authority rejected Barak’s suggestion unless it would include all the territories conquered in the Six-Day War, which means all of East Jerusalem – even Gilo, Ramot, and of course the Kotel.

But Barak knows that, right? He’s saying that a reprise of the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, which has brought a rain of Kassam missiles down on Israel, is not only proper, it’s absolutely the correct thing to do.

And he calls us comatose? You know, I really wish former prime minister Ariel Sharon a refuah sheleimah. When we in Israel think of a coma we think of Sharon, six years in a deep comatose state. I’d love to hear his reaction on seeing, with his own eyes, what his unilateral withdrawal from Gaza led to.

He should see how nearly 10,000 Jews still suffer from being expelled from their homes. He should read about how many divorces have occurred and how many children have fallen away from their faith and into drugs and alcohol, all due to the horrific trauma that followed the expulsion.

He should know that the Hamas terror organization rules Gaza and that his unilateral withdrawal caused the Sinai to become a terrorist haven that Jews can no longer safely visit.

And yet our defense minister, the person we entrust our safety to, doesn’t see anything. He says we are in a coma, but of course if anyone is in a coma it is he.

I Googled the word “coma,” and here’s just a little of what I got:

Coma – a state of unconsciousness, lasting more than six hours, in which a person cannot be awakened, fails to respond normally to painful stimuli, light, sound, lacks a normal sleep-wake cycle and does not initiate voluntary actions. A person in a state of coma is described as comatose. Although, according to the Glasgow Coma Scale, a person with confusion is considered to be in the mildest coma.

I like the Glasgow Coma Scale. According to it, we are all in a coma. Yes, the nation as a whole is confused about how to achieve a true and lasting peace with no true partner.

I think my readers will agree that if a mild coma is a state of confusion, then Israelis indeed are in a mild coma. But there are levels of a coma, and Barak’s coma is far more serious than ours.

When Barak was prime minister he begged Arafat to take half the country. He was ready to give Arafat even the Muslim quarter of Yerushalayim, which would certainly have led to Arafat’s police or soldiers eventually shooting down at Jews from the top of the Old City walls.

We have to thank God for Arafat’s own “coma”; instead of grabbing the offer, and continuing the Palestinian war against Israel from that point of territory gained, he started the Second Intifada, which saved the nation from the coma of Barak.

The Palestinians got nothing but war and more suffering, and many Jews were killed in terrorist attacks, but our land was still safely in our hands.

Then came the “mild coma” of Arik Sharon – the confusion and shortsightedness that led to the surrender of Gaza, the expulsion of nearly 10,000 Jews and the destruction of the communities they built there.

Sharon’s “mild coma” was followed by two strokes and the complete comatose state that has continued for six years now.

I think this is the place to tell you that my uncle, Rav Aaron Soloveichik, zt”l, said, as related to me by his son Rav Yoseph, that the punishment for giving away parts of Eretz Yisrael is a stroke. This is alluded to in the famous verse “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may I forget my right arm, may my tongue cleave to my palate if I don’t remember thee.”

Sadly enough, Sharon suffered his two strokes and became comatose.

And now Barak tells his nation that we are in a coma. Thank you. We do need healing before a more serious coma occurs. We need to understand that there is no peace partner, that the land was given to us by Hashem, and that it will remain ours forever.

About the Author: Dov Shurin is a popular radio personality and the composer and producer of several albums. He lives with his family in Israel and can be contacted at dovshurin@yahoo.com. His Jewish Press column appears the third issue of each month.


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