Tuesday 28 April 2009


Israel today remembers those that have lost their lives in wars and terror attacks in Israel's history. These heroes number 22,570 counted from 1860 when Jews first settled outside of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. This is an average of more than 150 lives needlessly lost each year. In these terms, the 133 new names added to this list over the past 12 months indicates that 2008/9 has been a relatively "quiet" year in the history of the State of Israel. And this, despite a war in Gaza during this period. In all, the number of those killed is equivalent to more than 3 per 1,000 citizens currently living in Israel.

Whilst it is true to acknowledge that more people have been killed on Israel's roads than in her wars, this does not diminish the significant number of lives that have been lost in the interests of defending the Jewish state and Jews around the world. Almost every family in the entire country is affected directly or indirectly by somebody who has been lost. And when we add the significantly more people who have been maimed and injured during wars and terror attacks, there can surely not be a family that is not impacted. Israel was brought to a standstill both last night and this morning when the sirens wailed in memory of those heroes who have fallen.

Some may conclude that these startling statistics are most likely to serve to demotivate people, to frighten them off the idea of living in Israel or serving to defend her borders. Whilst there is clearly a certain amount of trepidation on the part of those deciding to live in Israel, or those who are joining the IDF and their families, what is clear is that the statistics do not frighten anybody off. On the contrary, the conviction with which new immigrants arrive in Israel is remarkable. It should be borne in mind that most of these people are coming from developed countries which offer a very attractive alternative to living in Israel. And yet, each year, there are new immigrants making the decision to move to Israel.

The patriotism that is seen from the soldiers in the IDF continues to astonish me. The young men and women who are due to begin their service in the near future, are all looking forward to their opportunity to serve Israel and the Jewish nation despite the obvious dangers. During the recent operation Cast Lead in Gaza, commanders motivated soldiers entering Gaza by reminding them that their service is in the defence of the State of Israel. This was all that was required to bring out the best in our brave soldiers. At the gates of Gaza, each soldier passed and kissed a Torah scroll before embarking upon his or her mission. This was used as a reminder that the job at hand was in the defence of Jewish freedoms. These most basic and age-old symbolisms are the only requirements to motivate IDF soldiers to serve their country and their nation to the best of their ability. No statistics can detract them from this mission.

As surprising as it seems, the statistics of the dead and injured serve to spur the younger generation on to bigger and better things. They are more determined than ever to defend the rights of Israel and the Jews to a future existence. Those who die or are injured know of the danger beforehand, and are undeterred by this danger. To ensure that their deaths are not wasted, our young soldiers continue to battle in the most adverse conditions.

And as the sirens fall silent and the tears dry, remembrance turns to jubilation. We celebrate the anniversary of the birth of our beloved land. And the value of the sacrifice becomes clear. Nothing can be of more value to the Jewish people than their own land. And the defence of this land is what motivates the Jews to keep fighting.

Friday 24 April 2009

120 Years and Little Has Changed

In something of an ironic twist of fate, three significant events came together this week. The 120th anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler fell on 20th April. This was also the same day that the UN anti-racism conference (so-called Durban II conference) opened in Geneva, and was addressed by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The third event fell on 21st April, this being the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day which is marked across Israel and in some countries outside of Israel.

Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel is marked according to the Hebrew (lunar) calendar on the 27th day of the month of Nissan each year. Although the date does not have any significance in itself, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising took place over this period and it is a week before the celebration of Israel's Independence Day. This year, it has coincided with 21st April in the Gregorian calendar and the holding of the Durban II conference which lasted until 24th April.

As the sirens wailed across Israel for the 2 minute silence on the morning of Holocaust Remembrance Day in deference to the 6 million Jews who were mercilessly butchered, I could not prevent my mind from considering the coincidence and the absurdity of the events taking place this week. Adolf Hitler must surely rank as one of the most grotesque humans of all time. It was he who orchestrated the only genocide of its type in the history of mankind. This was a genocide that was perpetrated by creating a massive purpose-built national infrastructure with the sole objective of murdering innocent men, women and children who committed only one sin - that of belonging to the Jewish nation. Never before was such a horrendous crime seen, and we pray that it will never be seen again.

And yet, my mind was forced to connect this with the events of the day before, at the so-called anti-racism conference. Here, the platform was handed over to the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He proceeded to launch one of his now familiar tirades against the west, and against Israel in particular. Although his speech produced nothing less than could be expected from a racist bigot like Ahmadinejad, it was somewhat ironic that it was delivered at an anti-racism conference. It seems that the tone of the conference was clearly set when Libya was elected to chair the committee running the conference, with Iran and Cuba the other two main representatives on the committee. These countries can surely not be regarded as "beacons of anti-racism". And the fact that the conference was hijacked, as in the case of Durban I, to castigate Israel seems to hide the real problems of racism around the world. I suggest that the racist countries of the world have succeeded in getting together to direct insults against Israel in order to divert the attention away from themselves. The UN should be ashamed for allowing such an event to take place.

The fact that there was a mass walkout from Ahmadinejad's speech is a good thing. Unfortunately this is not enough. The walkout was, at least, a public sign of the growing revulsion of the enlightened world against the form of politics practiced by the Iranian leader. But public signs will never stop him. And where will this end? How can we trust Iran under his leadership, especially in light of the now well-developed nuclear industry that it is building? Surely, there can now be no doubt as to what Iran's nuclear plans are, despite their adamant assertions that this serves only a civilian purpose.

This situation is a stark reminder of the events that took place during the rise of the Nazi Party to power in Germany during the 1930s. Then as now, words of condemnation were not enough to stop the course of events. Then as now, we could not rely upon the "silent majority" to reverse the actions of the extremists. And like then, the international world, other than public signs of disagreement, is not taking any action to prevent the spread of unjustified hatred against targeted peoples. Fortunately, there is one difference in the current times. Now we have Israel and a Jewish army. It is not a coincidence that we mark Holocaust Remembrance Day a week before Independence Day. Not even Ahmadinejad will be able to repeat the evil actions of the holocaust.

It seems to me as if 120 years have not taught the world anything about preventing the spread of hatred and discrimination. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Thursday 16 April 2009

Egypt and Hezbollah

The recent military action by Egypt against Hezbollah cells in Egypt has come as something of a surprise to many people. This is especially true when considering the comments published by Cairo's official state media calling Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah a "monkey Sheik". There are those amongst us who view the Arab world as a single autonomous group. But, with a population numbering approximately 350 million and covering a region that includes the Gulf, the Middle East and North Africa, the Arab world is a highly fractured collection of people. The actions by Egypt against Hezbollah represent another chapter in an ongoing saga of Arab disunity stretching back many years.

The Arab world is considered to include those people who originate from the Arabian peninsula and who speak Arabic. This is distinct from the Islamic world (people who follow Islam as a religion), where Arabic is part of the people's culture rather than the vernacular. So, despite having a population of approximately 70 million Muslims and its geographical proximity to Arab countries, Iran is not part of the Arab world. Iran's population is largely of Persian ancestry, and the official language of the country is Farsi. Despite Iran not being part of the Arab world, it does have a significant influence on events in the Arab world.

Conflicts between Arab peoples and nations have traditionally been caused by cracks along religious, political, geographical and commercial lines. In religious terms, the Islamic world is divided between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Of the 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide, approximately 80-85% are Sunni Muslims. Large numbers of Shiite Muslims are found in Iraq and Iran. Iran's ruling Ayatollahs are Shiite Muslims, as are about 90% of the Muslims in Iran. The Sunni-Shiite divide is a conflict which dates back to the 7th century. Shiites believe that the Prophet Muhammad's daughter Fatima and son-in-law Ali were denied their divinely ordained leadership role to succeed her father. This injustice still forms the basis of their faith and writings. The focus of conflicts between the two sects has largely played itself out in Iraq and Lebanon, countries with significant populations of both Sunnis and Shiites. Iraq's population is 60-65% Shiite, but was under the rule of Sunni Muslims for significant periods of time. Lebanon has an almost equal split of Sunni, Shiite and Christians across its population with a resulting battle for supremacy. Conflicts have also arisen in Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia where Shiites were often treated as infidels.

There seems to be a growing fear amongst Sunni Muslims that there is a greater level of aggression arising from Shiites, which is perceived to be accompanied by an attempt to convert Sunnis to Shiism. This perception may be fuelled to some degree by changes in the political balance of power across the region. Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, was deposed by the USA, giving rise to a Shiite government in Iraq. Iran's political strength, together with the Shiite influence, is on the ascent. Hezbollah, a Shiite group backed by Iran also finds itself in a more prominent position following the successes of its 2006 war against Israel. So, the Shiite minority is gaining in prominence and political strength across the Islamic world.

Egypt is the Arab world's largest Sunni Muslim country. Approximately 90% of its 80 million inhabitants are Sunni Muslims. Egypt has enjoyed a precarious relationship with other countries in the Arab world following certain controversial political actions on its part. In particular, Egypt's decision to sign a peace agreement with Israel and its decision to host the Shah of Iran after he fled Tehran during the 1976 Iranian Revolution have brought it into conflict with its colleagues in the Arab world. It has also brought Egypt into conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran that arose following the overthrow of the Shah. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981 for his role in securing a peace agreement with Israel. The fact that only one Arab head of state (Sudan) attended his funeral, demonstrated the contempt with which he was regarded by the Arab world.

Hezbollah and Hamas, a Sunni Muslim organisation, appear unlikely friends except for their common enemy, Israel. The hate of this common enemy has been sufficient to create strong cooperation between the two organisations. This cooperation stretches to Iran by definition in its role as Hezbollah's benefactor, and this has created the imperative to open a route via Egypt to ship weapons into Hamas' Gaza stronghold. This has been done without any due consideration to Egypt on the part of Hezbollah and Iran. In fact, they would have no qualms in undermining Egyptian sovereignty where possible given the contempt with which Egypt is still generally regarded in the Arab world. This action has led to Egypt's military response to Hezbollah's activities on its soil. It is this contempt that has caused Hezbollah to admit openly to its operations on Egyptian soil in attempt to embarrass Egypt.

A number of articles have been written hailing the Egyptian actions as being "in the best interests of Israel". Whilst this may indeed be a by-product of Egypt's response to Hezbollah, let us not fool ourselves for one minute into believing that they were acting in Israel's defence. Each entity involved is acting in its own best interests only. Israel would be best advised, as always, to keep a careful watch on developments lest they give Egypt reason to act in a way that may not benefit Israel.

The above background is an attempt to put Egypt's response against Hezbollah into context, and to briefly touch upon the complex subject of inter-Arab relations. Continuing disunity in the Arab world was recently reinforced when Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi went on a tirade against the Saudi king at an Arab League meeting in Qatar. He was criticising the Saudi king's strong links to western countries. Although the two were reportedly later reconciled, the fractured nature of the Arab world is unlikely to be healed any time soon.

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Is This What Pesach is About?

Pesach (Passover) is the festival that we celebrate to recall and mark the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. A central part of Pesach is the prohibition of the eating or possession of any leaven. The reason that we eat no leaven, and we spend weeks purging our homes of every possible crumb of leaven before Pesach, is to mark the haste with which the Israelites left Egypt. They had no time to allow their bread to rise. In commemoration of this fact, we are commanded not to eat leaven for the duration of the festival of Passover. In the place of bread, we eat matza. In the Pesach seder, matza is also referred to as the "bread of our affliction".

From all of this, I have gained the impression that the festival of Pesach, with all the foods that are uniquely associated with it, is not designed to be a culinary extravaganza. I remember as a child growing up in rural South Africa that Pesach was a week of gastronomic hardship. Other than the overeating that occurred on the seder night in celebration of our freedom, there was little in the way of exciting food to eat for the rest of Pesach. We had to go without most of our usual every day foods. Kosher-for-Pesach tea, coffee, Coca Cola or chocolates were either not yet invented or not available in that part of the world. And it was our understanding that this hardship was part of the message of Pesach.

Wind forward a few decades to 2009 and Pesach in Israel. Things could not be more different. It would be fair to say that there are few, if any, every day foods that are not available with kosher-for-Pesach label attached. Many restaurants have kosher-for-Pesach bread rolls and pita breads. Burger King has its kosher-for-Pesach menu complete with rolls to go with its regular Whopper and Double Whopper burgers. I remember feeling shocked when visiting Israel for Pesach about 12 years ago, and being served kosher-for-Pesach filled rolls on the train ride to Haifa. These days, nobody would expect anything less. There was once a time when most coffee shops and patisseries in Israel closed for a well-earned break over Pesach. Not anymore. The Pesach week is now one of their busiest times of the year to go along with the glorious Spring weather. They have cleaned out the leaven well ahead of time and have baked up a veritable Pesach storm. Whilst in many cases, the Pesach version of the food is noticeably less good than its non-Pesach variety, this does not need to be the case at all. A short walk down the main road of any Israeli town or city, and a brief glance into any cake or coffee shop will convince you that Pesach can be as tasty as any other time of the year. A few years ago when this new approach to Pesach began to take hold in Israel, I was convinced each time I saw a cake shop that held a variety of delicious cakes that it was not kosher-for-Pesach. I now realise how wrong I probably was.

Admittedly, many of the most tasty items contain the dreaded kitniyot (legumes) which are still not eaten by many Ashkenazi Jews over Pesach. The issue of the eating of kitniyot remains a significant issue, particularly for those who choose to abstain from them during Pesach. There seems to be a universal view that kitniyot are not actually prohibited during Pesach. Many Ashkenazim do not eat them due to Rabbinical prohibitions on eating them, largely to avoid confusion or a mistaken belief that somebody may be transgressing the laws of Pesach. Having been adopted into general observance across significant parts of the Ashkenazi world, the removal of such a Rabbinical prohibition is complicated and will not be contemplated by many that adhere to it. Having said that, there are some Ashkenazi authorities who have decided the eating of kitniyot is not prohibited for Pesach, and is in common practice across the majority of Israel's residents. As such, they have accepted that kitniyot can be eaten and have decided that it is acceptable to lift the Rabbinical prohibition.

For those who do eat kitniyot, Pesach seems to be as exciting as any other time of the Jewish year, particularly as far as food goes. For those who do not eat kitniyot, the choices are significantly less, but still much greater than what they were only a few years ago.

Does this culinary indulgence contradict the reasons why we celebrate Pesach? I am not really quite sure. One thing, however, is clear. Even Pesach has joined the family of Jewish festivals where food has a central (and most delicious) role. And we don't have long to wait after Pesach for the next eating fest.

Saturday 11 April 2009

Why I am Proud of the IDF

I have written on numerous occasions that I believe that a Jewish army is essential for the survival of the Jewish people. The Israel Defence Force (IDF) is this Jewish army. Unfortunately the IDF has come under a great deal of international criticism recently. It stands accused of mistreating the Palestinians, of acting in an inhumane manner, of targeting civilians during its battle activities, of destroying civilian homes and property in an unnecessary way. Numerous of its commanders cannot travel to European countries for fear of being arrested under a variety of war crimes arraignments that have been authorised. Perhaps we might expect this reaction from certain members of the gentile community who have shown themselves to be anti-Jewish and anti-Israel at every opportunity. For me, what is more disappointing that this is the fact that there are so many Jews around the world who have been convinced to believe the anti-IDF propaganda, and who actively speak out against the IDF. I wish to try to create a little more balance by explaining why I am proud of the IDF.

Many will believe that I have a strong bias in favour of the IDF by virtue of living in Israel and, therefore, relying upon the Jewish army for my personal protection. This may indeed be true. I will try to present a more factual account of how I view the IDF. Inevitably, it will be difficult for me to remove my own emotions and personally-held views from my account.

Let me start by saying that the IDF is not a perfect organisation. It has many flaws. But this is to be expected in any organisation of this size. The IDF currently numbers approximately 175,000 soldiers and staff, most of whom are drafted conscripts and serve their compulsory 3 years for boys and 2 years for girls. In any organisation that numbers 175,000, it is clear that there will be individuals in this organisation who are less than fit for purpose. And this is where each person is handpicked according to strict recruitment criteria. Imagine the situation where an organisation is forced to recruit all-comers to fill jobs. This is the case with the IDF. Whilst certain recruits are rejected due to their lack of suitability to serve, it is inevitable that recruits to the IDF include petty thieves, drug addicts and drug dealers, people with psychological problems, people who are unable or unwilling to submit to authority and people who hold extreme political and religious views on or side or other of the spectrum. The IDF is required to take this mixed bag of recruits and mould them into a fighting unit that can operate under the most extreme battle conditions. All of this for the very survival of Israel and Jews around the world. As with any army or other organisations, such "rogues" can ruin the best-laid plans of the IDF.

Despite its almost impossible task, the IDF has succeeded in building a very effective fighting force. This is an army that designs, manufactures and uses much of its own military hardware and technology. This is an army that is forced to operate under the most testing and extreme of conditions where opposing soldiers masquerade as civilians in order to exploit the IDF policy of avoiding civilian casualties, almost at any price. It is forced to respond to enemy soldiers who operate from civilian neighbourhoods, who fire mortar shells from private apartments and who use women and children to shield themselves from IDF responsibilities. These are the same people who find it acceptable to strap suicide bombing belts to women, and to hide them in ambulances to transport them to their destinations. The targeted sites for such suicide bombs are frequently restaurants, shopping malls and buses which are used by non-military people trying to conduct their daily lives.

And yet, the IDF largely manages to conduct itself in a manner that is exemplary. When all the misinformation is removed from the reports of the Gaza operation Cast Lead, it becomes clear that no schools or civilian targets were hit by the IDF even though many were used as bases to attack them. It is now known that the number of casualties, and particularly the number of civilian casualties, were highly exaggerated. Ultimately, most of those killed in Cast Lead were enemy soldiers operating against the IDF. And the number of attacks that were halted at the last minute in order to avoid the possibility of civilian casualties will never be known to the general public.

In the year 2009, Israel should not be called upon to justify her continued existence in international community. Much more important, she should not have to battle every day to secure her existence against the forces that wish to see her destroyed. And yet, this is Israel's reality. Under these circumstances, the IDF is forced to fight a battle to secure Israel's existence. Inevitably, there will be episodes from the battlefield that do not show the IDF in a good light. For the most part, the work done by the IDF and the principles that the army adheres to are to its credit, and often beyond the call of duty.

This makes me feel proud of the IDF, and I call upon all Jews to support Jewish army and its soldiers as they undertake an important and enormously difficult job.

Wednesday 8 April 2009

Celebrating Freedom

The festival of Pesach (Passover) is celebrated this week, and Jews around the world are furiously cleaning their homes to rid them of all remnants of leaven in accordance with the traditions of Pesach. The theme of Pesach is freedom. We celebrate the exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt, which brought them to freedom by escaping the Egyptians who held the Israelites in slavery. The ultimate freedom came after 40 years of wandering in the desert when the Israelites eventually entered the promised land. The intervening 40 years ensured that the generation that left Egypt had passed on entirely, and it was the new generation that entered the land of Canaan.

Freedom is an enduring concept, and it seems as relevant today as it was at the time of the exodus from Egypt. Over the years, we have used Pesach as a reminder for those who were denied the right to practise their Judaism. This was a particular rallying moment during the years when Jews behind the iron curtain were not allowed to celebrate Pesach. These days, most Jews have the freedom to celebrate Pesach according to their wish and this must surely count as a significant achievement in the quest for Jewish freedom.

The Land of Israel is also a landmark on the road to Jewish freedom. This is the country where Jews are not only allowed to practise their religion as they see fit, but a country which is dedicated to making Jewish practice also the social default. Supermarkets are laden with Pesach goods of every shape and type, and the traditions and laws of Pesach are easy to adhere to. Watching people burn their remaining leavened products in secure fires set up by the local municipality this morning, brought this point home to me even more strongly.

Whilst I am not familiar with a particular country or regime that currently forbids Jews from practising their faith, I do know one Jew who will not be free to celebrate Pesach for the third year in a row. He is, of course, Gilad Shalit. I would like to encourage all Jews to set an empty place at their Pesach seder to remember Gilad and the other soldiers missing in action. It is our prayer that they will be free to celebrate Pesach with their families next year.

Whilst the freedom that we celebrate at Pesach is largely freedom in a physical sense, the modern world has created many forms of captivity which are different in their nature. We seem to be trapped in self-created cages of financial and social pressures inflicted upon us by the world in which we live. We have managed to create a society for ourselves which many find difficult to keep up with, and which creates a form of captivity that many people are unable to escape from. The number of people who are living in poverty and unable to feed their families is a frightening statistic. And the number of people requiring emotional support as a result of the damage done by the expectations of our society is continuously increasing. These are surely the new forms of slavery that we wish to free ourselves of at this time.

So, it is with this in mind that I wish everyone a Chag Sameach. May you have freedom to practice your religion in the way that you see fit. May you also have the freedom from our society's new illnesses. And may our captured soldiers be returned to freedom soon.

Saturday 4 April 2009

How Far Can Israel Reach?

The publication last week of the story surrounding the alleged Israeli attack on the Hamas arms convoy in Sudan has served to renew the discussion about how far Israel's reach goes. If the Sudan story has been accurately reported, Israel was able to track an arms convoy that originated in Iran bound for Gaza, and destroy it as it was travelling in Sudan before it crossed into Egypt. This act seems to have solicited a very muted response from the international community. Does this mean that the attack was justified? Does it mean that it is acceptable for a country to orchestrate an attack in another sovereign country? Is there some sort of exemption for Israel that allows it to carry out such attacks?

This is not the first time that Israel has conducted activities of this type on foreign soil. The list of Israel's foreign forays is as long as it is impressive. The list includes the rescue of Jews from Yemen in Operation Magic Carpet, the rescue of hijack hostages at Entebbe, the extraction of Jews from Ethiopia in Operation Solomon, the destruction of the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak, the demolition of the Syrian nuclear facility at al-Kibar not to mention the extended operation to transport a million Jews from the former Soviet Union to Israel after the collapse of the iron curtain. This is a partial list of those activities that are of public knowledge. I assume that a similarly significant list exists of activities that are not of public knowledge, or of attacks that were planned and never carried out.

The establishment of the State of Israel against the backdrop of the murder of 6 million Jews during the holocaust was a clear sign to Israel's founding fathers that the world would not act to protect the Jews. It was this fact that strengthened their resolve to act in whichever way they saw fit to protect the Jews of Israel and the Diaspora. It was also this fact that gave the imperative for the establishment of the Jewish army that would not only have the support of the government to do what is needed, but would also have the ability to do so. Plato's famous quote "necessity is the mother of invention" has proved itself to be absolutely true in this case. The Israeli army has built itself into a fighting force with an international reputation, and with a track record of being able to do whatever is required in the protection of Jews around the world. This involves not only the military muscle to carry out operations, but crucially the most sophisticated intelligence network that provides the necessary information.

Whilst cooperating closely with many military forces around the world, notably that of the USA, the IDF has developed itself into an effective and independent fighting unit. This independence has ensured its ability to act as it sees fit whenever and wherever required. Israeli military industries have ensured that Israel has been able to produce its own arms, equipment, tanks, vehicles, aircraft, satellites and almost anything else required for its protection. Israel does not rely on anybody for its military needs, and requires the approval of nobody except its own government to carry out military operations.

Although the world has moved on in many respects over the past 60 years, there is still evidence of the lack of international will or ability to prevent another holocaust from happening. Genocides continue to take place at an alarming rate, and the world seems unwilling or unable to prevent them. International War Crimes Tribunals after the event are not sufficient when people are dying unnecessarily as a result of racial prejudice. I have no doubt that, as Jews, we cannot rely on the international community for our protection in a time of need. It is for this reason that the State of Israel takes upon itself the protection of Jews, both in Israel and elsewhere. If this protection requires activity beyond its own borders, and sometimes in enemy countries, Israel is unafraid to exercise its muscle. And fortunately for Jews around the world, not only does the IDF have the ability to carry out such operations, the Israeli government is willing to sanction them wherever they may be required. All of this creates some level of expectation as to how Israel may choose to react to the Iranian nuclear weapon program.

There is no doubt that military action by one country on the sovereign soil of another goes against all the principles of international law, and upsets the balance of the world order. It is equally true that the threats against Israel and against Jews the world over go against all tenets of human rights and freedom. Whilst two wrongs do not make a right, the basic survival of the Jewish people is at stake. It is for this reason that Israel will never be dictated to in terms of where she can or will operate.

Whilst Israel has a strong army, Jews all over the world will have protection. This is nothing less than they deserve.