In what is probably a record time, Israel has become a thriving country despite being surrounded by extremist countries that seek only its destruction. Yet, the entire enterprise is in jeopardy because it was not built on the right foundations: unity and mutual responsibility. Without these two, Israel’s future remains bleak.
On Thursday, May 5, another terrorist attack in the recent spate has left three people dead and four more seriously injured. Over the past two months, seventeen people have been murdered by terrorists, and many more were injured. For comparison, in all of 2021, only eighteen people were murdered by terrorist activity, twelve of whom were killed during operation Guardian of the Walls, when more than 4,000 rockets and mortar bombs were fired at Israeli civilian settlements.
What has changed? Have terrorists become more accurate in their attacks? Have they acquired new weapons? Has Israeli intelligence become less efficient? Has the Israeli army become less powerful? The answer to all the above questions is a resounding “No!” What has changed since last year is our social solidarity. As our division grows, so does our enemies’ audacity and success.
Israel has always depended, is dependent now, and will always be dependent on its unity. The absence of it is responsible for all our woes since the inception of our nation, and its presence stands behind all our achievements.
Throughout the ages, our sages have been warning that if we are not united, we will have no revival as a nation. “The primary defense against calamity is love and unity,” says the book Maor VaShemesh. “When there are love, unity, and friendship between one another in Israel, no calamity can befall them and by that, all the curses and suffering are banished.”
Similarly, the book Sefat Emet writes, “When the children of Israel become one bundle, Amalek has no control over them. Rather, only in Rephidim [from the Hebrew word Pirud (separation)]. This is why Haman slandered, ‘There is one nation, scattered and separated,’ since their whole power was in unity… This is why it was said, ‘Go gather all the Jews.’”
For Israel, peace with its enemies depends on peace within Israel. If we want to secure our future in this country, we will have to live by the principles of the ancient Hebrews and place unity, mutual responsibility, and love of others above all values. Military measures aside, our first and foremost effort must be to unite our ranks above all differences.
We must not forget that the fuel that emboldens and strengthens our enemies is not their determination, but our division. The more divided we are, the more determined they are to destroy us. If we take the initiative and strive to build a cohesive society here in Israel, we will have security and peace, since they depend above all on our unity.
Stabbing attack in an Orthodox Jewish town in Israel (Reuters)