"He who removes from himself the yoke of Torah is given in its place the yoke of kingdom" (Avot 3)
It is an axiom that no rational Jew dare even contemplate questioning: Without the United States, Israel could not survive. It is an axiom that is repeated so often by Jewish shepherds and sheep alike, that it has succeeded brilliantly in inviting the worst kind of American pressure on the Jewish state and turning us if not into the 51st state, certainly into a pliant protectorate. The concept of the American savior has begun its inevitable metamorphosis into American extortionist — and enforcer.
And could it be different? It is only natural that an American President, hearing from the mouths of Jewish leaders that Israel is dependent on the Unites States, sees in it a tempting door to enter and to pressure and use the leverage that this shtetl [a small eastern Europe Jewish town or village.] mentality gives him. And so, littler wonder that a United States that sees in Israel more and more, a vassal that cannot say "no" leans heavily and more arrogantly on it than ever.
This year alone , there were a number of outrageous, insulting infringements of Israeli sovereignty by Washington and its High Commissioner (a.k.a. Ambassador) Thomas Pickering. Any normal country with a modicum of self-respect (say, Togo or Zimbabwe) would have given Mr. Pickering his walking Pickering papers and warned the United States never again to dare use either the tone or the substance in dealing with the Jewish State. But the State of Israel, the supposed last of the ghetto and first of the new, proud Hebrews, in reality, is merely the largest of the shtels, comprised of an entire host of leaders who would put the shtetl beggar and shtadlan [an intercessor who represented interests of the local Jewish community] to shame. No ghetto Jew ever absorbed more humiliations and desecrations with greater smiling countenance, with greater ability to turn all his cheeks. No ghetto Jew ever could have performed better than the Odd Couple government in absorbing humiliation without missing a fawning beat.
First there were the tourists. On the one hand Arab-Americans and on the other the Black Hebrews. Both shared little in common except for the fact that they were American citizens who hate Israel and the Jews. Both believe that the land does not belong to the Jews. Both worked assiduously to guarantee that it will be taken away from the Jews. Both are deadly enemies of the Jewish people and the state.
Little wonder that Israel looks upon every such tourist arriving in the country with deep suspicion. Little wonder that each is questioned at length and with greater care than the ordinary tourist. And so, they screamed, did these Jew-haters, screamed in protest to the American government. And Thomas Pickering's employers [US President Ronald Reagan/US Secretary of State George Shultz] ordered him to issue a stiff and outrageously arrogant protest to the Israeli government. Protest? Say, rather, an ultimatum. An affront to any government with a modicum of self-respect. Ah, but we are speaking of the Odd Couple... In a matter of days, the New Hebrews had properly groveled and announced a new set of regulations guaranteeing that Jewish enemies would no longer be harassed, would be allowed to enter the country as all others.
But then there was the question of drilling for water near Beit Lechem. Israel, whose existence depends on dwindling water resources, had planned to drill just outside Jerusalem in what the Americans, Alexander Schindler, the New Jewish Agenda, Yossi Sarid and Yasir Arafat called the "occupied territories." The Arabs set up a howl and could the Americans be far behind? Along came Pickering with yet another vigorous protest and down went Israel without even a parting shot at the High Commissioner. The drilling will not be. The cavity will continue to pain.
Forget all the "reasons" given. Forget the nonsense and lies. Israel gave up the finest plane in the world; gave up on a billion dollars that went down the drain; gave up on hundreds of engineers who will now leave the country to find work in Italy, South Africa and the West; gave up on military independence — only because it gave in to American pressure. Only because it showed how far it has gone down the road to being a vassal-state, a protectorate, a country that cannot, in its little secular and unfaithful mind, ever say "no" to the United States on any vital issue.
And the United States, which saw in the Lavi a dangerous competitor for its own aircraft industry, understood more clearly than ever before how dependent and suppliant the state of confusion and this is how the State of Israel sees itself. It is a lesson that, one may be assured has been learned well in Washington, and the conclusions will be rapidly drawn.
The scrapping of the Lavi by the hapless government of Israel is a tragedy for Israel in every way. It deepens the terrible dependency on the gentile; it opens Israel up to many worse pressure, and above all, it shows more clearly than every before the gentilization of the Jewish state. For only a state that lost its faith in G‑d and that ripped from its neck the yoke of Torah could ever have opened itself up to willingly accepting — like some dumb ox — the yoke of the gentile kingdom. A nation of faith, a government of deep belief in G-d, would have sent Pickering packing; would have turned to the Jewish people throughout the world for support and would have completed the finest plane in the world. And, of course, G‑d would have helped. He always helps those who turn to Him and say: I believe, I believe.
[ Rabbi Meir Kahane | Published: April 16, 2010 | Originally appeared in Kahane. Magazine of the Authentic Jewish Idea, September-October 1987 ]
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