For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Eydar - Code word 'messianic'
04 May '12..
Is the phenomenon of senior defense officials who lash out against the elected government after completing their terms a normal thing, or does it only happen to Likud governments? How else can the recent remarks by ex-Israel Security Agency Director Yuval Diskin and former Mossad chief Meir Dagan be described except with the words "friendly fire"? The only difference is that friendly fire usually happens accidentally. The same can't be said for the duo of Diskin and Dagan.
Let's recall Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first term as prime minister, after Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated and Israel's elites rose up against him. At the time, illustrator David Tartakover created slanderous posters that portrayed Netanyahu as fascist dictator Benito Mussolini against a backdrop bearing the colors of the Third Reich flag. The popular slogan that spread like wildfire at the time was, "Hast thou killed, and also taken possession?" (1 Kings 21:19).
Imagine a young Netanyahu sitting opposite Israel's security triumvirate: then-Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, then-Mossad chief Danny Yatom and then-Israel Security Agency Director Ami Ayalon. All three made it plain to Netanyahu that even if he wanted to, he couldn't reverse the Oslo blood pact or tell Arafat to go to hell.
I have heard people in the know describe what happened at the time as a "putsch," not a military overthrow so much as a serious blow to the workings of a democratically elected government. It was no coincidence that Lipkin-Shahak launch his failed election campaign for the centrist party of the time with the words "Netanyahu is a danger to Israel." Reminds you of Diskin, no?
There is a certain parallel between today's antagonistic threesome, Dagan, Diskin and former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi, and their predecessors during Netanyahu's first term. In both cases the security chiefs had been left over from a more left-leaning government that deeply despised its political rivals. In both cases, the threesome lashed out against Netanyahu in the harshest way.
Catastrophe or Utopia?
What does the former Israel Security Agency head know about the messiah? [Diskin criticized Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for being "messianic" in their perception of the Iranian threat]. Was he referring to Messiah son of Joseph, described by scholar Gershom Scholem as the Messiah of Catastrophe? Or was he referring to messiah son of David - the utopian messiah? We can safely assume Diskin wasn't trying to launch an eschatological (end of the world) or quasi-theological discussion. Even his clumsy quote from the book of Zechariah testifies to this.
(Diskin read a quote from the book of Zechariah to make his point that Netanyahu and Barak couldn't be the messiah because the messiah will be poor and the two men are wealthy. "Behold thy Messiah cometh unto thee, He is triumphant and victorious, lowly and riding upon a donkey, even upon a colt the foal of a donkey.")
In our nation's historic tradition, the word messiah is a code word for the longing for redemption and return to Zion. Not without reason did Barak respond to Diskin's remarks by pointing out that revered former prime minister David Ben-Gurion had called Zionism a messianic movement. In fact, Zionism is bound up with Messianic zeal, which was the engine that propelled our modern-day return to Zion. But who cares about such nuances? Diskin's goal was to make Israel's leaders look bad, to pile wood onto the bonfire of delegitimization by the Left and its cheerleaders in the media.
Diskin knew that if he cursed Netanyahu and Barak, he would get positive headlines both here and abroad. He did so in the code language that the Left uses to ostracize dissenters. Instead of saying "they've gone crazy," he called them "messianic." Anyone who doesn't adhere to the norms of Israel's leftist secular elite is tainted with this description: settlers, religious Jews, Revisionist Zionists, and so on.
The term messiah long ago lost its original meaning and became a mark of Cain. It is a code word for someone who is irrational, who is motivated not by the dictates of his own conscience or who exercises judgement based on facts, but someone who follows the orders of a higher divine authority outside themselves.
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"