Sunday, January 21, 2007

Taking Responsibility

So IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz resigned.

Is that good? Bad? Should he have done it sooner? Your opinions are welcome.
What is beyond argument though is that he took responsibility. And that is surely worthy of praise.

From the sixth day of Creation, humanity has had a problem taking personal
responsibility. Eve blames the snake - Adam blames Eve.

We are masters of excuses and explanations. We can always find a reason not to do something or blame someone else for our misdemeanors.
Remember! When you point a finger at someone or something else, three fingers remain pointing at you! (Try it)

As a wise man once said:
“You are the only problem you will ever have and you are the only solution. Change is inevitable. Personal growth is always a personal decision.”
Dan Halutz has reminded us of one of life’s inevitabilities.

Whether we lead an army, a nation or just our own daily lives...
If we can’t take responsibility for our thoughts, words and actions, can we expect to grow?
Can we expect respect from others?
Can we respect ourselves?

So say it out loud today:
“Sorry. I was wrong.”

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Real Thing

Today’s headline in The Jerusalem Post:
“IDF delighted with new head of UNIFIL”
Condoleezza’s here again to discuss roadmaps.
And Ehud’s deliberately holding back on attacking Gaza because he wants to show the world we’re serious about peace.
Hezbollah are regrouping after the summer... Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser
are still in captivity... And the Palestinians have fired over 100 Kassam
Rockets into Israel since the so-called ceasefire.

Israel is REAL!
I remember a Ministry of Tourism slogan some years back: Israel Is Real!

Yes, Israel is real.
But so are Hamas rockets, Hezbollah Katyushas and Ahmanijad.
When are we going to realize that we cannot rely on UNIFIL, Condoleezza or the world to get us out of this mess?

We have a strong army. We have a strong spirit.
But when are we going to get real? Before... or after it’s too late?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

One Soldier. One Army

I gave Chaim a ride today. Chaim’s a 20-year old soldier.
And he’s getting married in two months time.
Until that wonderful day, he’ll still have to carry out his routine army duties with his elite unit in Shechem.
Chaim and thousands of other young Israeli soldiers are putting their lives on the line every day.

All we hear are the headlines:
“The IDF arrested 11 Hamas activists in Shechem
last night.”

“The IDF captured the leader of Islamic Jihad
in Jenin yesterday.”

“IDF bombs Ramallah”

But let us remember that our IDF is made up of lots of Chaims and Davids and Jonathans...
They have mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters like you and me...
And they’re not reading this on their computer in the comfort of their warm and cozy homes.
They’re risking their lives so the people of Israel can live a normal life and so you can come visit in perfect safety...
Remember the IDF in your prayers today, think of those brave young men...
And spare a thought for Chaim’s bride...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Thoughts for the New Year

January 1. Not the Jewish New Year but nevertheless a good opportunity for reflection, resolution and hopes for a better 2007.

So how have we started 2007 in Israel?

The Iranian threat... More Lebanon War fallout... Will the IDF be able to recover and implement the expected reforms?

When will Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev come home?

And we’ve just given another 2,000 guns to the Palestinians, who continue to fire Kassam rockets at Sderot and Ashkelon.

Oh, and we haven’t had nearly enough rain yet...

But what’s new?

How did we start 1997?

Iraq expelled members of the U.S. nuclear inspection team... The IDF redeployed in Hebron... “New wave of terrorism feared”... And PM Netanyahu said this after an Israeli soldier opened fire at Palestinians in Hebron on January 1, 1997:

“I again call on all Palestinians and Israelis, inside and outside of Hebron, to act and demonstrate responsibility and restraint. We have to live side by side with each other. This has been ordained by history and by geography. We have to do so in security and coexistence. The way of peace is the only way to assure that we achieve these aims, it is our only alternative.”

Plus la change, plus la meme chose.

Or as King Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

On the other hand...

The number of new immigrants from the U.S. and U.K. reached a 20-year high in 2006... The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange rose 2% today... and Shachar Pe’er, our international tennis star (ranked 20th in the world), began the year with a win!

But let’s face it. In 2007, as in 1997, and really since 1948, there are seemingly no convincing military or political solutions on the horizon.

The solution is evidently beyond the bounds of natural courses or causes... yes, as we have learnt throughout our turbulent history, the people of Israel would be wise to look heavenwards for salvation.

Happy New Year! - Headlines