Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gantz is the problem, not the religious

In 1999, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) approved the establishment of an ultra-orthodox army unit called Nahal Haredi. The purpose of this unit was to allow Israel’s most religious youth to serve in the IDF in an environment that would support their religious sensibilities. To accommodate these soldiers, certain agreements were made-- including limiting their interactions with women.

 Nahal Haredi began with thirty men. The IDF held true enough to its promise to protect religious sensibilities that, by 2010, the unit had 1,000 men. In May 2010, when the IDF Manpower Directorate announced that IDF recruitment had a shortfall of 10,000 men, they stated that efforts should be made to increase recruitment of Haredi youth. In January 2011, the Israeli Cabinet did exactly that: it authorized a plan to increase dramatically Haredi recruiting.

It may be possible to say that recruiting Haredi for the IDF had become government policy.

However, by the time this increase was authorized, it was already in trouble.  Yes, the Prime Minister and then-IDF Chief of General Staff (COS) Gabi Ashkenazi publicly praised both Haredi and other religious populations in the IDF; but there were some inside the IDF who were already working against them. First, Paratroopers Brigade Commander Colonel  Aharon Haliva had expressed ‘hatred’ for the Hesder Yeshiva program, a successful effort specifically designed to do what the army wanted to do--bring religious youth into the IDF. Haliva also denigrated the personal values of the religious in the army.  

Weeks later, Colonel Eran Niv, the newly appointed  commander of the IDF officer training program called Bahad 1, was characterized in an Haaretz story as one among several who worked to ‘return’ secular values to IDF field command,  because thousands of highly motivated religious soldiers (and hundreds of like-minded religious officers) had begun to 'change' the army. To help promote this secular re-focusing, groups were formed to create ‘secular Sabbaths’ that would not focus on ‘Sabbath’, but on secular values embedded in the topic, ‘the army in a democracy’. Colonel Niv was identified as one who recognized the specific need to ‘train’ Orthodox officers to learn secular values. All officer cadets in Bahad 1 would attend 10 ‘secular Sabbath’ programs as part of their training.

In the same month the government was committing itself to recruiting the ultra-religious, the army seemed to be committing to indoctrinate religious officer candidates with secular values, a decision that the religious could consider offensive. Was the army at odds with government policy?

Then, in September 2011, several officer cadets at Bahad 1, including at least one from Nahal Haredi, were expelled from Bahad 1 because they refused to remain at a remembrance ceremony to listen to a woman sing, something their religious sensibility did not allow. You may have your own opinion about this particular sensibility, but in the past, the IDF had in fact allowed soldiers to absent themselves when a woman sang. This time, however, for reasons still unclear, the soldiers were not granted that permission.  Despite the understanding that their religious beliefs (particularly regarding women) would be respected, these religious cadets were ordered to stay at the ceremony—and when they didn’t, they were expelled because, as General Niv later declared, their duty is to obey orders.

As if to emphasize this anti-religious animus, 19 retired Generals sent a letter in November 2011 to COS General Benny Gantz essentially denouncing the religious in the army.

If the point of the Cabinet decision in January 2011 (the month before Gantz’ appointment) was to enhance religious recruiting, this chain of events does not pass the smell test. Indeed, independent of the Cabinet’s pro-religious decision, the army’s behaviour suggests a certain hypocrisy: seculars in the army seemed to have no problem indoctrinating religious officer candidates with secular ideas; can you imagine how they would scream if the army required secular officer candidates to be indoctrinated into ‘religion’?

As a result of the expulsions--and the IDF’s apparent refusal to reinstate the agreement to honour religious sensibilities--more than one Rabbi has now offered disapproving comments of the IDF. With this expulsion, the IDF seems to have betrayed its promises to the religious; religious leaders now consider not recommending army service, for obvious reasons.

Curiously, on Nov 21, 2011, General Gantz declared with some anger that, ‘there’s no room for banning women singing’ in the IDF. This was a curious statement indeed because banning women singing was never the issue. The issue is the sensibilities of certain religious soldiers who, before General Gantz became COS, had not been expelled for leaving a ceremony when a woman sang.

Could there be a connection between General Gantz’ appointment as COS and this apparent sea change towards the religious in the IDF?

Gantz’ anger is misplaced—and dangerous. Enlistment rates among the non-religious are dropping while the religious are willing to enlist—if their sensibilities are protected. Some older programs (Hesder, for example) suggest that the army had understood this. But now, just as the IDF has a serious manpower shortfall, there appears to be an invigorated anti-religious cabal working to coerce, indoctrinate and expel the very soldiers the government has explicitly chosen to seek. If General Gantz allows the IDF to renege on its promises by allowing secularists to drive away (or expel) the religious, then he allows politicized seculars to undermine both IDF readiness and government authority.

  Gantz works for the government.  All in the chain of command are required to obey him—just as he is required to obey the government. He should recall the expelled cadets and discipline the secularists.  Perhaps those officers should be fired. Of course, if Gantz agrees with the secularists, then he should be fired himself—because his duty is to obey orders, not allow subordinates to subvert the Cabinet’s will.

Subverting the government is not how a democracy survives.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Left’s messianic vision: Judaism forbidden

When the modern State of Israel was created, our founding fathers understood that survival and land were linked. Fighting for land meant surviving as Jews.  For most of these founders, religion played no role in their struggle. The struggle for the land was their religion: lose land, die; keep land, live.  It was that simple. They fought with commitment not because they had G-d but because they had land—tangible and real in the palm of their hand.  The land gave them their purpose in life. Religion didn’t seem necessary.

The problem is, man craves something greater than the tangible. Since time immemorial, man has looked for meaning beyond the dirt that filters through his fingers. Land has only so much meaning; dirt becomes invisible when you discover the night sky.  Today, land has meaning only to the religious Jew and the Arab. Like all modern societies, we no longer live on land. Our world is tarmac and concrete, TV and internet.  But Israel is not like other lands. Israel is different:  as land fades from our consciousness it becomes ever more tangible to people of faith. Listen to people of faith and you learn what the secular Jew doesn’t understand: the key to Israel is the land and the key to the land is religion. Christians know this. Muslims know it.  Religious Jews know it. The secular Jew has no clue about this. So while non-religious and clueless Jews control the government and try to chart a course in a sea of hostility, people of faith announce that the land is holy. The Arab, in particular, understands the land because he knows intuitively that if he breaks the mystical bond between the Jew and the land, the land will be his.

In this endeavour, Israel’s Left is the Arab’s best friend.  The Left has no connection to religion and no interest in land. If the Arab wants land, let him have it. The land gives us a tranquil life; why deny the Arab his tranquillity?  The Left says democracy and the Arab are important; land and religion are meaningless. The Arab (and the religious Jew) knows otherwise.

And yet the Left, while clueless, still has faith. Like all mankind, the Left sees the night sky and is enthralled by it. To borrow from Ophir Haivry (‘On Zion: a reality that fashion imagination’, The Jewish State and Political Theory, edited by David Hazony et al, Shalem Press, Jerusalem,2007, pp 76ff), if the Left has freed itself from the moorings of Judaism, it is nonetheless infused with the magic of ‘destiny’. The Left envisions a world where the wolf dwells with the lamb and where Israel, finally extracted from its (abhorrent) Judaic past creates (with the Arab) a new, ennobling culture. Every messianic movement, Haivry suggests, seeks to cancel previously accepted identities on the grounds that the world has been transformed, making unnecessary former modes of behaviour and identity (ibid, p.77). This is precisely what lies beneath the surface of every Leftist attack against Jews, Jewish behaviour and Judaism. Jewishness is outmoded. Judaism keeps us from our destiny.

How curious. This is a mirror image but the exact opposite of what the religious Jew believes. It reminds one of John Milton’s Christian Paradise Lost, where the rebellious Satan is thrown out of Heaven; he  lands in Hell and creates for himself a kind of reverse mirror-image of the very Heaven he had rebelled against. It’s the same with Israel’s Left. They rebel against religion and all religious requirements for our future—and then promote their own vision that requires a messianic rejection of religion.  In this vision, there is no land. There is no religion. There is no G-d. There is no holy covenant. Instead, once old identities (especially our Jewishness) have been abandoned, we will be able to create—as Shimon Peres wrote in 1993 (ibid, 78)—an ‘ultranational personal identity’. In that messianic era, man’s personal consciousness and identity will be transformed and we will be freed from religion and identification with land. Our future will be ‘new’, our troubles over.

Modern Israel’s founders believed in land. That was their faith. But that faith is gone.  The Left has since taught us that faith without G-d disappears. Muslims know this. Christians know it. Religious Jews know it. Only the secular Left are clueless.  So the next time you hear Leftists declaim in public, think about the future they envision. They say, ‘choose our messianic era’. It’s newer. It’s quicker. It’s easier. Forget Jewishness. Give land. Discard religion. Follow us and you’ll get a new identity.  The wolf will lie down with the lamb. Who cares if the wolf is salivating?  When you lay with our friend the salivating wolf you will be transformed. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Three Act Play called ‘Israel’s Future’

The proverbial handwriting on the wall predicts the future. The handwriting on the wall today is for Israel’s future, and it appears, so far as we can tell, to be writ as a three-act play. Act one began  October, 2010 with a scene that featured Mahmoud Abbas and France’s UN ambassador. It ended during the second week of Nov, 2011 with a scene that featured, among other players, Mahmoud Abbas and France’s President.  Act two began the third week of Nov, 2011 and will end approximately the second week of May, 2013, a little more than a hundred days after the next US presidential inauguration. What’s so important about the first hundred days after a US president’s inauguration? For decades, political pundits in America have looked at those first hundred days the  way a fortune teller reads tea leaves; and as we know from following political discourse in America, reading tea leaves appears to be fundamental to that discourse.   The third Act begins  approximately mid-May 2013 and could last forty months, or until the US begins its next presidential election cycle in 2016. During these next five years we will see drama, betrayal and danger. It will be more exciting than a Hollywood cliff-hanger.  It will be better than Hollywood because we will not only watch it —we will be part of it. This will be an audience participation drama: we will have a say in determining if there will be an Act Four (or Five or Six), or if the play will end after Act three.

Your admission ticket will be the cost of a good siddur (prayer-book).

Act one began with a shocker. Three-act plays don’t usually start with a shock.  But this play is different. It began with two shocks. First, Mahmoud Abbas threatened to go unilaterally to the UN for statehood. That was a shock because no one expected a move like that. It sounded outrageous.  Then the UN ambassador from France announced, ‘the votes are there in the UN, right now’. That was the second shock: the UN, the French ambassador suggested, would support Abbas.

I don’t know if you noticed, but very few people left their seats to go to the bathroom during this first Act. It was full of surprises. The US supported Israel, then threatened to turn against her; the US rescued Israel (with the February 2011 UN veto of a call to brand West bank settlements ‘illegal’); then turned almost viciously against Israel (see America’s UN veto and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu,, March, 2011). Finally, to everyone’s surprise, newspapers began to announce, just before the curtain fell on Act one,  that Abbas did not appear to have the UN votes he needed for statehood.

 The US and Abbas weren’t the only actors to keep us at the edge of our seats. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had surprises for us, too: he was a victim (of Obama’s anger), then a hero (in the battle against the PA in the UN) and finally a villain (because of continuing demolition of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria). As Act one ended, Abbas and France surprised us with another duet: Abbas threatened violence and chaos if his bid failed at the UN and French president Sarkozy verbally spat upon Prime Minister Netanyahu-- as if two actors had held hands to open and then close Act one.

This was more thrilling than a Harry Potter movie.

 Act two is ready to start. Look at your playbill during intermission.  There will be additional actors on stage: can you guess their names? Israel’s religious right will appear. Israel’s Left will fight them. Israel’s Leftist courts and civil administration will come under fire. Attacks against Jews and Israelis will increase. We will see elections in multiple countries—and, possibly, Israel.  Jews in Judea and Samaria will feel harassed by the IDF and our civil administration. Arabs will attack Jews with a growing sense of impunity. How many surprises will we see?

We learned in Act one how unpredictable history is; who knew that, by mid-November 2011, Abbas would still be powerless? Only the Director-Writer knew. But we can affect the ultimate outcome because everyone in the audience has a  'participant's control device’.  If you have been to DisneyWorld, you know the process: as you enter a theatre, you receive a small box with buttons on it so you can vote (at the appropriate moment) to control the course of the drama you will be watching. Well, that’s what a siddur (prayer book) is—your  ‘participant’s control device’ to affect the direction of history.

Quick. Get back to your seat. The curtain is about to rise. Just remember to keep your  ‘participant control device’ nearby . You might wish to use it during Act two.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Democracy, Israel’s Left—and Hell?

On December 23, 1972, an American football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, won an important football game with a play that has become one of American football’s greatest plays —one that has been  dubbed (by a local Jewish sportscaster) ‘the Immaculate Reception’,  coined with reference to another improbable event that is said to have occurred 1,972 years earlier. For some, that football moment in Pittsburgh was impossibly improbable. For others it was improbably impossible. For still others (the losers) it was illegal (read Wikipedia, Immaculate Reception). That cold winter day, Pittsburgh’s stadium held its maximum number of attendees, perhaps 55,000 people. Within five years, as the legend of the ‘Immaculate Reception’ grew, at least 100,000 people swore they had been at the game; within ten years, that impossible number had grown to at least 250,000.

It’s the same with democracy. Lots of people claim they’ve got it; but as we know from great sports stories, few understand the truth (Wikipedia, ibid). Take the American protest group, Occupy Wall Street, for example. According to reports in the Weekend edition of Europe Wall Street Journal (October 28-30, 2011), real democracy—at least, on the streets of New York City-- doesn’t actually work.  As the New York City protest tent city grew, and as protesters protested against anyone telling them what to do, an informal democracy took shape. Some protesters proudly announced that they had created a real democracy—until it broke down. As one disappointed protester explained, their democracy didn’t work:  every decision—from trash to tents—required long, torturous and time-consuming debate, much of which was inane or irrelevant to the issue at hand. Nothing was getting accomplished. Then the protesters, trying their best to build their democracy, decided that a tax of 50% on tips to street musicians was fair; the irony of these protesters-against-the unfair ordering a 50% tax didn’t seem to occur to them.

The street musicians, however, complained that their new 50% tax was unfair. They talked about taxation without representation. The protesters didn’t catch the fact that they had just committed a taxation sin similar to the one that had sparked the original American Revolution. The protesters were just trying to be democratic; you know, to show grown-ups what a real democracy could do. The musicians were not amused.

In Israel, democracy isn’t much better. The greatest advocate for democracy in Israel is the Jewish Left. They love democracy.  They want to protect it—against other Jews.  Their commitment is impressive.  They help Arabs. They fight Jews. They hate Rabbis.  Israel’s ‘democracy’ advocates believe that democracy and religion are incompatible: for them,  no democracy can have religion and democracy at the same time in the same place—and if they were in charge they would get rid of religion. Of course, that’s not how life works in real democracies like America or England; in these older political systems, the State supports and protects religion. Israel’s Left seems to have missed this part of democracy.  Could their ‘democracy’ be flawed?

Israel’s Left sounds like Roger Maris. Remember him? He broke a long-standing American baseball record. But authorities put an asterisk beside his name because his new record wasn’t  ‘good’ enough. It was flawed.  It’s the same in Israel: the Left says that democracy means equality. But their actions tell a different story:  everyone is equal but some are more equal than others—and some –the religious--just aren’t good enough. They are too flawed to be included.

Democracy in America doesn’t work like that.  In America, there are no asterisks for religion. So what’s going on in Israel?  Simply this: the advocates for ‘democracy’ in Israel protect those who would destroy us; they attack those who would protect us; and in order to concentrate better on all of this ‘democracy’ , they reject their Jewish religion—you know, to show non-Jews how a real democracy works.

Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it looks.  As the Left sells its  ‘democracy’, it struggles: Leftists forget they’re Jewish, they act like they’re Arab and they encourage the world to hate us. For the sake of ‘democracy’, they cheer when the UN votes against Israel, they call for international sanctions against us and announce that anyone who opposes them is dragging the nation to Hell. Hell? What does Hell have to do with democracy? Look at Haaretz online: almost daily you’ll see a Leftist political column called, ‘On the Road to Hell’. Why is the Left talking about Hell? Are they that worried about their future?

Seems like the Left could use their own ‘Immaculate Reception’, some impossibly improbable event to prove they are right. This approach, however, could be flawed: once you reject religion, you’re really not in a position to look for miracles.

This is disturbing. There is no one in America I know who agrees that such behaviour fits the definition of  ‘good citizenship’, and I can’t find any intelligent American non-Jew who defines ‘democracy’ as attacking your religion and endorsing your enemy. Only Jews talk like this. The people I talk to call this type of behaviour ‘treason’, not democracy.

Well, maybe this is why the Left worries about Hell. It might also be why putting an asterisk next to their ‘democracy’ might be a good idea. At the very least, it might remind us again about that American baseball hero, Roger Maris; you know, to tell the world that some things—Maris’ record and the Left’s ‘democracy’-- just aren’t good enough.

Who knows? Maybe an asterisk is all the Left needs to stay out of Hell.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ex-Mossad Chief Ephraim Halevy and Israel’s Left: betraying democracy’s promise?

With the same breath that Israel’s Left promotes ‘democracy’ for Israel, it betrays democracy and threatens its survival. In case you have forgotten, democracy requires multiple basics, including—at its foundation--both an honest press and majority rule. One might well argue that the fastest way to destroy a democracy is through a dishonest press and leadership from self-appointed elite.  History has taught us repeatedly that democracy can fall when the press is more propaganda than truth or when a minority assaults the voice of the majority; and democracy completely fails when the press suppresses truth and leadership rejects the will of the people. Such is the case today here, right now, in Israel. The greatest threat to Israel’s democracy is a Leftist call to defend a fictitious ‘democracy’ using a viciousness that is closer to religious hatred than democratic tolerance. 

Recent statements of former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy illustrate this point. Halevy, in a speech to a reunion of military academy graduates, identified the haredi (ultra-religious Jews) as a greater threat to Israel than Iran. He seemed particularly angered that, among today’s religious in Israel, boys will not dance with girls and religious soldiers do not want to be required to listen to female singers. For some, it is laughable that anyone intelligent enough to become head of Mossad should believe that (non) dancing and (non) listening represent a greater threat to Israel’s survival than an Iranian nuclear weapon. But these remarks are serious because they reflect the mantra of Israel’s Left:  (1)  ‘democracy’  is synonymous with ‘no-religion’; and (2)  ‘democracy’ must be protected by attacking or denigrating religion and the religious--which exactly what Halevy did.  Haaretz, one of Israel’s leading newspapers,  makes its living by defining religion as the nemesis of democracy. Indeed, as if to remind us of this connection,  Halevy echoes a report (during the same week) that quotes Leftist journalist Gideon Levy declaring that religious Jews (he calls them ‘settlers’) have a mark of Cain on their foreheads—and we must stop them before they complete a ‘hostile takeover’; in the same week,  Ilan Ben Zion wrote that the ‘mullahs [rabbis] of Mea Shearim’ aim to take over all of Israel (notice the denigrating references).  The inference here is that the greatest threat to Israel’s democracy is the settler, the religious and the haredi. This is a truth for the Left because they define religion as fascism; and as Haaretz reminds us repeatedly, fascism is the enemy of democracy.  Of course, what these comments actually mean is that the anti-religious Left is terrified that the religious could actually be serving in the IDF or attending Israel’s schools, participating successfully and competitively in a modern world even with strongly held religious beliefs.  In America, these would be called inspiring examples of democracy’s freedom of religion. But in Israel it is called fascist and racist—and a threat to our survival that must be stopped. This is how the Left defends our ‘democracy’, by dismissing, demonizing or otherwise attacking the religious.

These attacks do not promote democracy.  They promote instead an intolerance towards religion, which is a betrayal of democracy’s promise. When you read Haaretz on a regular basis, you learn that the Left believes that  ‘democracy’ and religion are incompatible; therefore, the very existence of religion in Israel destroys (or threatens to destroy) our democracy. To an American raised on the notion that freedom of religion flourishes best in a democracy, this notion of an incompatibility between religion and democracy is a non-sequitor; but to the Israel Left, it is bedrock belief. This is why Halevy is so upset. His ‘democratic’ Israel is threatened by the religious just as our physical Israel is threatened by Iran—and the religious threat is indeed the greater of the two because the physical threat (Iran) can be dealt with (he knows this from Mossad); it’s the religious threat he cannot stop, and that’s why it is the greater threat.  

What has changed  for Israel today is that a high-ranking Israeli Leftist no longer gets a ‘pass’ when making public remarks that denigrate the religious in the name of a Leftist fiction called ‘democracy’. Today, despite his former rank, Halevy faces a significant backlash. He has been forced to apologize. He now backpedals, attempting to  ‘spin’ his initial statement (he really didn’t mean to offend anyone; he wasn’t speaking out against any group; he was just speaking out against radicalization). We have seen such back-pedalling before (recall the recent case of Larry Derfner’s apology for justifying Arabs killing Jews). We are destined to see more.

There is a reason for this: the religious are no longer the silent target they had once been. It is not so easy today to attack religion. Look at the facts:  a supermajority of Jews in Israel identify themselves with religion. The religious are a growing faction, not a shrinking one—and the Left knows this. The tragic irony for Israel is that so long as the Left treats the nation’s majority with such loathing, Israel’s democracy will suffocate. For any nation, democracy can never be protected when a powerful minority attacks the majority, calling that majority a greater threat than a sabre-rattling enemy. In fact, the cruel truth for Israel is unwittingly revealed by the Left’s behaviour: the fastest route to racism and fascism (what the Left says it fears)--and the quickest way to destroy this nation’s democracy-- is for the Leftist to be successful demonizing his own religion, his own people, his own historic culture and his nation’s majority.  The formula for destroying democracy in Israel is therefore simple: remove Judaism, deny G-d and destroy the Jewish character of Israel. Interestingly enough, these are the goals of the Left. If Hamas and Fatah could vote in our next election, the Left would achieve its goals—and our democracy would evaporate.

History is a wonderful teacher—if we listen.  History tells us that your enemy telegraphs his intentions with the language he uses to attack and demonize. The original blood libel against Jews in Europe,  Hitler’s propaganda machine and regional Arab media illustrate this. The behaviour of the Left is no exception: they would use the name of democracy to destroy our democracy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Look at your TV. Watch the internet.  Revolution seems everywhere: the Arab Spring, the Greek streets, the UK, the protests in America.  Now, there is a revolution coming to Israel.  We have seen pictures and stories. There will be change. Life will be different. But the change coming to Israel has nothing to do with lower rents or more free education, two-state solutions or ‘democracy’, national debt or financial abuses.  The Israeli revolution is so different that some who see it are afraid--and angry.

Gideon Levy sees it. Do you know Gideon Levy? He is an entrenched, Left-soaked journalist who feels nothing but loathing for the Religious Right. As quoted in a recent Arutz Sheva story (Haaretz Journalist fears ‘settler takeover’, by Tzvi  Gedalyahu, October 31, 2011), Levy feels that ‘settlers’ are taking over. They seem to be everywhere.  Religious soldiers are in the IDF. Religious Jews are in the West Bank. Religious Jews are in seats of power.  Religious Jews are aiming to join the judiciary.  Every one of these awful people ‘has this mark of Cain on their [sic] brow’, he asserts, and we must stop their hostile take-over before they change the character of the State.

 Ilan Ben Zion (The question of Israel as a Jewish democracy, Haaretz,  October 31, 2011) writes that rabbinic fiat threatens Israel’s democracy. The mullahs [sic] of Mea Shearim aim to ‘take over’ all of Israel. Both Levy and Ben Zion see the handwriting on the wall. Neither likes what he sees.

They have reason to fear. As Ben Zion suggests, there is an unstoppable religious movement here.  He—and all Leftists—want Israel to ‘divest itself of its religious trappings’ now, immediately, before it is too late. But it might already be too late. The demographics speak for themselves: a recent poll shows that 58% of Israelis today count themselves as mildly-strongly religious. Already, more than 50% of Israeli students are orthodox (Reb Akiva, Mysticalpaths.blogspot, May 12, 2010). Already, a growing number of IDF officers are ‘kippa sruga’.   For years, we have known that birth rates among religious nationalists are greater than the secular sector.

The religious are coming! The religious are coming!

For the Left, the prospect of yielding power is horrifying. They have controlled Israel—and, often, the lives of religious Jews in Israel—since the birth of the State. The problem for them now is, the tide has turned. They see it. They know it.  But we do not yet see it—and that’s the problem. We are fighting battles as if we are still the minority. We are not.

The Left is talking to us. They fear us. They fear our numbers. They fear our influence. They fear our Torah. They are telling us that they see the future and they will fight for what has passed. They will demonize us. They join with the enemies of this Jewish land because they can no longer compete with us. We outnumber them. They know they will lose ground against us. The only place they have to turn now is to our enemy. For the Left, the only chance to survive is to sleep with those who would kill us. This is an interesting concept. But it is not a healthy concept—for the Left or for Israel.

We, the religious, have yet to understand what the Left already sees: the future is ours. But while we still live in a ‘minority’ past, the Left understands their future. They will not yield quietly or courteously. They will fight.  So must we. We must assert ourselves. We must talk openly and often about Jewish land, Jewish heritage and Jewish leadership—because if we do not do that, the Left will take advantage of our negligence.

Each day, we grow stronger. Each day, we see yet another police officer, soldier or civil servant with a kippa.  Almost every day, the Left tells us we must defend democracy against the religious; so every day, we must defend our religion against the Left’s fictitious ‘democracy’.  Almost every day, we see social protesters ignoring religion for 'social justice'. Almost every day, we see the Left calling the religious ‘fascists’. What do we say?

The Left wants change. They want a social revolution. They want justice and they see religion as the source of injustice (see Ben Zion, ibid).  They talk of justice, democracy, solidarity and mutual responsibility. They seek an open society (The real reason Soviet immigrants are cynical about Israel, Dmitry Shumsky, Haaretz, October 31, 2011), and they are cynical indeed about Israel’s future.
We also want change. But the change we want is not dependent on man’s ideologies. We have seen those ideologies. We declare them to be bankrupt. We choose G-d--our HaShem. We choose G-d’s land. We choose His traditions.  What we still have to decide is, when do we declare that we are on the threshold of our own revolution—a religious revolution. We have seen crowds of thousands shouting, ‘we want reform in Government!’ Perhaps it is time now to see crowds of thousands shouting, ‘we want HaShem in Government!’