George Washington .
(photo credit: Courtesy: Gilbert Stuart))
This past week saw the triumphant annual celebration Americans call
On July 2, 1776, delegates of the colonies voted
unanimously in favor of freedom for the American colonies from British rule, and
on July 4 they adopted the Declaration of Independence.
were now faced with a difficult choice: join the revolution or maintain loyalty
to the Crown. For over five years, the American people fought for their
individual and collective rights in what became known as the Revolutionary War.
Often, members of the same family found themselves on opposing sides and facing
each other in battle.
It wasn’t until the British surrender at Yorktown
in 1781 that a triumphant George Washington, French generals and their troops
assembled to accept the sword of British General Charles Cornwallis as a sign of
Subsequent peace talks between the United States, Great
Britain, France and Spain during the year 1782 resulted in the signing of the
Treaty of Paris in 1783, confirming US independence and setting the boundaries
of the new nation.
The State of Israel was born under different
circumstances and for different reasons, but there are comparisons.
the US fought for existence for seven years from 1776 to 1783 – not counting
earlier years when the colonies began to organize against and resist Britain –
today Israel is still fighting for existence with no peaceful end in
A strong America gained respect in the world. A strong Israel can
too. And it has – every time its soldiers fought valiantly in wars and its
leaders stood up for the country’s interests.
But today, so large a
portion of the country’s population of nearly eight million citizens naively
believe that a capitulating Israel would be a stronger Israel. “If only we give
up some more land,” they say, “then we will have peace.”
“If only (fill
in the blank) then the nations of the world will accept us.”
leaders must not be distracted by this type of naive rhetoric, but rather should
do what is right for this country – not just what is acceptable to other
A LOOK back at America’s history offers a clear demonstration
of how unwavering resolve helps achieve the right goals. Protests against the
Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts and the Intolerable Acts did not occur in a
vacuum. Nor did the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of
Bunker Hill. These were moments in history that developed from complex issues,
deep resentment between the colonists and the British and were a direct result
of ever-increasing tension at the time.
The colonists did not put down
their weapons in defeat when faced with a power that sought to curb their
freedom and right of sovereignty. Rather, they stood strong and ultimately
Israelis need to learn from the colonist’s staunch, obstinate
belief that his way is the right way and nothing will stand in the
Israelis deserve to live in peace without fear of attack or even
discord stemming from neighboring countries.
Israelis deserve to be
treated equally among the nations.
The Constitution’s statement – “We
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they
are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these
are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” – rings true everywhere. This
single, perhaps most important, sentence in the entire English language
highlights the very ideal that Israel’s neighbors do not believe in.
so many nations around the world are naive and do not understand this. If they
do, they certainly don’t care. A short glance at the UN proves this.
around. The world is taking forever to clamp down on Iran. Russia still supports
Syria even though President Bashar Assad is responsible for the massacre of
thousands of civilians. Egypt is now under the dangerous influence of the Muslim
And yet it is Israel that is seen as the problem in the
Middle East. Doomsday fearmongers will insist that “the end of the two-state
solution is near,” but this is misguided.
Time is on Israel’s side and
there is no need to rush into a suicidal deal with a nation that wants to see
Israel pushed into the sea. Israel must make clear that it is ready to talk when
the Palestinians are ready to talk.
Until then, it will turn inward and
focus on its domestic issues. There exist intolerable levels of discord in
society and some of the Knesset members are responsible for creating problems
instead of resolving them.
It was George Washington who said, “What a
triumph for our enemies... to find that we are incapable of governing
There are plenty of issues in this country that require
immediate attention, whether it is about equal contribution to society by all of
society, social welfare concerns, housing, taxes or the rising cost of
Israel need not allow other nations to dictate what it should
The US is a strong nation because it is the sum of all its
parts – but also because it stands its ground and, for the most part, does not
allow other nations to tell it what to do.
While Israel cannot be
compared to the US, lessons can be learned from US history starting even from
before 1776 all the way to the present.
One of the main lessons this
country should walk away with is that it can never deviate from the ideals on
which it was founded.