The Times of Israel published my new article “From Rockets to European Labeling of Israeli Products”
When Will Threats Against Israel Stop?
Around 450 rockets have been fired at Israel in the last few days and still counting, despite the announcement of a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Beyond the headlines, residents in the south and center of the country, the areas directly under attack, are paying a heavy price, living in constant fear and uncertainty about the future.
Are we on the road to an escalation or is the current menace one that will die out soon? Either way, we have not solved the root of the problem, nor does it seem that a solution looms on the horizon. Our fate depends only on us, the people of Israel, on our unity.
Mounting Pressure Against Israel
Life in Israel is similar to living in a fortress, always on the alert against enemy attacks. However, we do not enjoy protection from any enemy: not Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the south, not Hezbollah in the north, or even from a Russian submarine that was recently located off the shores of the center of the country. If we widen our gaze, we will realize that the attacks come from all fronts. The European Court of Justice decided not to allow us time to even recover from the wounds of the current rocket attacks before inflicting a new blow. The EU’s highest legal court adopted a resolution stating that the European countries are obliged to mark any product originating in the Israeli settlements—territory that Israel captured, the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war, areas disputed by the Palestinians—so consumers could make “informed choices” when they shopped.
The court’s ruling has been considered anti-Semitic and discriminatory by Israeli authorities and producers, since Israel is the only country that has been singled out, despite the fact that there are over 200 territorial disputes around the world; the labeling measure only applies to Israeli goods.
How Should Israel React?
Wars in the field and in judiciary courts, ground attacks and psychological warfare, will be of no help. Nor will idleness. When the nations of the world rise against the people of Israel in one way or another, the only viable solution is to access our common arsenal: the power of unity. Therein lies a more supreme power, stronger than all our current forces. As the sages wrote:
“The prime defense against calamity is love and unity. When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come over them.” (Maor Vashemesh)
We ought to listen attentively to the message the world is screaming at us. We need to peel off our thick layers of stubbornness and absorb the essence of the demand coming at us, the reason an accusatory finger is pointed toward Israel. What is the world requesting? They are asking only for good and fulfillment.
Access to that good depends on the Jewish people. The key is in our hands. If we are united in one heart, we will be like a conduit of supreme power to the nations of the world. It will be through us that the good, the abundance, and the love for all will pass, without exception. In this way, without a lot of words and without noise, we will be recognized as “light unto the nations.” This is our unique virtue and role as the people of Israel. As the Kabbalist Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) wrote:
“The Israeli nation had been constructed as a sort of gateway by which the sparks of purity would shine upon the whole of the human race the world over.” (The Arvut – Mutual Guarantee)
Light on the Horizon
We do not need another day of rockets or more sorrow of children crying in shelters before we react. We must undertake an incisive analysis now in the spirit of the saying, “the end of the action lies in the initial thought.” And the final outcome should be to unite as one, above our origins, ideologies, and preferences, to foster unity as a nation showing a positive example to the world.
Repairing the world on all levels begins with our connection, the connection within the people of Israel. If we establish unity as a distinct trend, we will bear witness to a positive transformation throughout the world. As the wisdom of Kabbalah describes, the solution to our situation, whether negative or positive, belligerent or friendly, depends exclusively on us. The solution lies in our hearts, in our desire to either unite or not unite.
By virtue of our connection we will awaken great, unifying forces dwelling in nature that will affect our surrounding world in a harmonious way, and everything will calm down. Forces that currently oppose us will be reversed. Today’s enemies will approach us with love, and peace will reign.