The ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time for making decisions.
We have this period of time whereby we can either confirm the intentions we made during our prayers on the New Year or for those still struggling with indecision it is a grace period to finally resolve where we are heading in the year ahead. While the door to tshuva (returning) is never closed this particular period of the High Holyday season is particularly appropriate for us to examine our behaviour and resolve to do better.
If this is the right time to self appraise and act as individuals how much more relevant is it for communities and nations to also think seriously about the critical decisions which will influence our future?
Listening and reading the news again after two days of enforced and blessed silence one is starkly reminded of how many problems still face us and which remain unresolved. These ten days are a perfect opportunity for politicians, leaders and decision-makers to examine their past mistakes, misdeeds and misbehaviour in order to act and rectify the many obvious and glaring scandalous situations confronting us.
None of the past year’s threats, double standards and hypocritical performances has yet been resolved. Will they be this year or will it will be business as usual especially when it comes to Israel in particular and the Jewish People in general?
Has anyone wondered why the subject of the Iranian oil tanker impounded by Gibraltar and then released has dropped off the world’s radar? The answer, of course, is not difficult to ascertain. As predicted, this cargo of banned oil has quietly arrived at its intended destination in Syria despite sanctions imposed by the US. Thanks to craven surrender to Iranian vessel hostage-taking in the Gulf the collapse of any will to confront Iran was inevitable. The glaring silence which has thus ensued merely confirmed to the Iranians that they can literally get away with murder.
The indifference to the latest threats to annihilate Israel follows the same miserable pattern as has been evident in the recent past and bodes ill for any sort of future steps to make Iran accountable for its flagrant flouting of international norms.
Meanwhile at the annual theatre of the absurd billed as the General Assembly of the United Nations the acts of hypocritical speeches are on full display. Nothing which occurs there should surprise us anymore yet every year witnesses more surreal scenes. Take for example the fawning attention given to the Iranian President as he, on the one hand, portrayed his country as a paragon of peaceful intentions, victim of conspiracies conceived by the USA and the “Zionist entity” while at the same time issuing threats to eliminate all those conspirators who plot to expose his country’s deeds. Lead by France which has a rich history of appeasement and failure to stand up to lethal bullies as well as a solid track record of Jew targeting, the assembled delegates failed to challenge the transparent Iranian lies.
The same goes for the vintage performance of Abbas the PA President now in his fifteenth year of a four-year term. Anyone who has studied his annual address to the UN could have accurately predicted what he was going to say this year. True to form he launched another series of patently false, absurd and wild libels against Israel. Instead of robust rejection of his lies, he instead was accorded red carpet treatment and applause. Is it any wonder therefore that the esteem in which the UN is held in Israel is the lowest of any country in the world?
The best line in Abbas’s speech, however, came when he declared his firm intention to hold long-delayed (15 years) elections on his return to Ramallah. This flight of fancy which was swallowed hook, line and sinker by the adoring crowd is destined to end up in the same garbage can as all his previous pledges to hold free and fair elections. However, why should facts impede continuing international fantasies?
An interesting development occurred this week which I guarantee never hit the headlines in any of your local news outlets. It was announced that a brand new field hospital donated by an American non-profit organization and partially funded by Qatar is to be built in Gaza. Obviously, this facility will provide a much needed medical facility for the residents of this Hamas controlled territory. Logically we could have expected that this development would elicit enthusiastic support from Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. Logic, however, has never entered into the thinking of those who hate Israel as has been evident during the last 71 years and more. Lo and behold Abbas and his cohorts angrily condemned this development and instead accused Israel of conceiving this plot to destroy the PA. It takes a particularly sick mind to reject the building of a hospital and see it as some sort of Zionist conspiracy.
Abbas prefers instead to spend every dollar that donor nations pour into his bottomless coffers on paying terrorists and their families for murdering Israelis. The fact that the building of a hospital is opposed while payments to murderers are termed holy acts speaks volumes about reality here – a reality unfortunately deliberately ignored by all those united against the very existence of the Jewish State.
There are a lot of hard decisions which need to be made sooner rather than later. Will the USA act on its rhetoric against the terror sponsors? For how long will these terror facilitators be allowed to get away with planning genocide and undermining other countries? When will the UN wake up to the scam of the millennium as it continues to support UNRWA and the kleptocracy in Ramallah?
Only an eternal optimist would say that decisive action will occur this coming year. Based on past experience I am afraid that the cans will be kicked down the road in the vain hope that somehow they will be lost in the mists of amnesia.
As usual, it will be up to Israel to make the necessary decisions provided of course that we have a governing coalition which can take on the task. That must be the first priority during these ten days.
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.