With the Almighty’s mercy, compassion, and help, I am happy to say that I am back. I personally want to thank the Jewish people and so many of our friends for the massive outpouring of support. As a physician, one might think one is prepared for any eventuality. It is just not the case.
I went through a harrowing ordeal. I feel a little like Rip Van Winkle, waking up to a completely different and more unstable world than the one I remember just a mere eight months ago.
Back then, Netanyahu was looking at his fourth election in two years. Despite the roller coaster ride of one election after another, he remained in power and Israel was in good hands. Hamas acted up once again, for the fifth time since they took over Gaza in 2007. Just to refresh the memory of the Israel critics, Hamas started hostilities and a rocket barrage on December 19, 2008. Israel launched a ground campaign that lasted three weeks and probably would have gone on longer and done more had incoming President Obama (not yet sworn in) not shut it down. On November 14, 2012, Hamas again attacked Israel with rockets requiring Israel to use air strikes to quiet down the area. On June 12, 2014, three Jewish boys were abducted and murdered by Hamas, precipitating another ground assault by Israel lasting into August 2014. On May 14, 2018, 40,000 Hamas-affiliated “protesters” attempted to cross the border at one time. Israel responded with force. The fifth time Hamas declared war on Israel was this past May. Hamas struck Israel with 4,000 more advanced rockets. Israel refrained from another ground invasion to minimize losses. Hamas was once again allowed to live another day. No other nation in the world would tolerate Hamas and its rockets on its doorstep. One might think that the world might finally see Hamas for what it is – a group of terrorist thugs aligned with Iran whose sole purpose is to create havoc in the world and destroy the State of Israel. Unfortunately, the anti-Semites in the world and in Congress (there is a growing number albeit still small) have gained ground and, instead of blaming Hamas, blamed Israel.
The unrestrained hatred of Israel (by a few) was in full display this past week in Congress, when a purely defensive weapon like Iron Dome, which was pushed and heralded even by President Obama, was denied funds. The New York Times put it this way: “Progressives revolted at the inclusion of Iron Dome funding in an emergency spending bill effectively threatening to shut down the government rather than support the money.” Congress then set the record straight the next day, 420 to 9, in support of Iron Dome.
However, the damage had been done. This was a shot across the bow by the “progressives.” The small percentage of anti-Semites in Congress have many more tricks up their sleeves. Not only does Israel suffer but so does America. The anti-Semites in Congress don’t seem to realize, or more likely they don’t care, that by strengthening Hamas and weakening Israel, they weaken America. The United States needs Israel as a stabilizing force and influence in the Middle East. President Biden’s surrender to the Taliban in Afghanistan highlights just how important Israel is to keep the tinderbox that is the Middle East in check.
Destabilization in the Middle East occurs rapidly, unexpectedly, shockingly, and mercilessly. Look how fast the Shah of Iran fell in 1979.
Afghanistan was Biden’s Waterloo. His poll numbers have continued to fall ever since. But Afghanistan will be a mere black eye for Biden compared to allowing a nuclear Iran. If the President soft-gloves Iran as he did the Taliban, and Iran goes nuclear, it will be a knockout punch.
If the United States can’t take care of business, then let Israel do it. President Trump gave Israel the green light. Did Biden give Bennett a green light, too? No one has given me a straight answer to that question. If Bennett can pull off a “Begin” (Begin bombed the Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981) and bomb the nuclear reactors in Iran, he will make his mark in history.
I must say, “waking up” to all of this has not been easy. I am glad to be back in the “trenches” with all of you. We have overcome so much. We will fix the problems again as tough and unsettling as they have gotten. Have faith.
Dr. Joe Frager is Chairman of the Israel Advocacy Commission for the Rabbinical Alliance of America; Chairman of the Executive Committee of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim; Dean at Kollel Ayshel Avraham; Executive Vice President of the Israel Heritage Foundation; and a physician in practice for 41 years.