An Open Letter to Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel

I read with great interest the interview that you granted while attending the Davos Conference. You eloquently explained the position of your government and where it stands in regard to the problems of the Middle East, especially in regard to the security situation in Israel and the many dangers it faces from within and without.

What caught my eye is the statement you gave at the end of this discussion. You were asked what you would want to be the legacy for which you will be remembered. Your response was “as the protector of Israel.”

I read this sentence with utter disbelief. You had just mentioned to the interviewer that your father was a well-known historian, and it is common knowledge that you are well acquainted with the fundamentals of our People’s past. Indeed, you often quote the Tanach as proof of the historical right of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel. As such, I presume that you might appreciate that the Jewish People’s survival of 2000 years of brutal conditions in the Diaspora — without the privilege of self-defense — is nothing less than a miracle.

So, too, as someone who has been involved in the leadership of the State of Israel for over 20 years, you have reliable information about the dangers that the Jews living in Israel are exposed to, from the first day of the State’s inception. Especially of late, the limitations of the State in dealing with the increasing daily threats to the lives of its citizens are all too obvious. It seems that the dilemma of the government on how to deal with this latest spate of violence is not even about the ability of the government to use its resources effectively, but how to deal with the possible power struggle in the territories that might come in its wake. This might — G-d forbid — spiral into a dangerous situation that even the strength of a well-trained and -equipped army will not suffice to control.

I am not familiar with your level of religious belief, but it is not far-fetched to assume that you would prefer a Navi by your side to guide you.

We have heard this tone from you in the past when you have spoken before the United Nations. In this forum as well, you skillfully defended the position of the State of Israel and emphatically stated that you will ensure that the Jewish People will not come to destruction. It seems that you are convinced that this is in your hands. Really? Even David Ben Gurion, in a moment of frustration, said “someone who does not believe in miracles is not a realist.”

Tell me honestly, do you truly think that there is any mortal who can assert to be “the protector of Israel”? I trust your common sense to appreciate that “If Hashem does not guard the city, the watchman is useless.”

The greatest strength of a person is his faith. If one places his belief in his own powers, his capability is limited to the extent of human power. But the belief in the power of the Creator is to connect to the limitless. The ideology and hypothesis of a Jabotinsky might strike a chord with the persecuted, but I doubt that those ideas gave the spiritual strength to endure the endless tribulations of our nation. Only the profound belief in the One Who is limitless gave us the spiritual resources to survive it.

As we discuss the continuity of our people, permit me to comment on a related issue.

It seems that you are poised to welcome movements which excelled as catalysts for assimilation. Is this the way to ensure the future of the Jewish People? History proved that loyalty to Torah and mitzvos in accordance with the mesorah is the only method of achieving this goal. Neither will the State of Israel succeed in being a “Jewish State” while publicly abandoning the traditional tenets of Judaism. To use the Tanach as a proof of our right to settle in Eretz Yisrael, and of our privilege to pray at the Kosel Hamaaravi is merely due to those who believe in the sanctity of those, and practice it boker va’erev.

The Navi says: “Until when will you skip on two sides?” The time has come to recognize the Hand that watches over all of us: Tzur Yisrael V’go’alo, the Guardian and Redeemer of the Jewish People.