The Lessons of War

(A little late in posting, I know, but better late than never...)


Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kroizer SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

25 Av, 5766/18-19 August, 2006


As the dust settles over northern Israel and Lebanon, we ask: Who came out the real winner? Was it Nasrallah's Hizbullah terrorists, who certainly gave Israel a bloody nose and opened the door for a war somewhere down the road? Or was it Olmert and the IDF, who somehow were not able to really get a grip on the war and finish off the bad guys? No, I would say that in this war, the real winner was... the printing press in Tel Aviv.

Yes, while most of Israel was under fire, with tens of thousands of Israelis out of work, the printing press was working overtime and raking it in, printing up flyers that were dropped by the IAF. Oh, all types of flyers were printed during the 40-day war: First, the IAF dropped flyers warning the South Lebanese population not to run; then later, they told them to go; then they told them - if you support Hizbullah we will attack; then they told them to leave, to come back, to go here, there and everywhere. Even after the ceasefire, more flyers came down in a daring IAF flyer raid, the likes that have not been seen in the history of modern warfare, telling the S. Lebanese population that if they let Hizbullah back, then the IAF will also come back, this time stronger than ever before. Why the IAF, which had 40 days to fight, needs to re-warn them is beyond me...

All kidding aside, it should be clear to all that one cannot win a war with Western values: being the nice guy, while the enemy is out for blood. And what would I do, you ask, if I was the Defense Minister? Well, for one thing, every village or town that fired off a rocket to Israel would be leveled, the entire village would be sent back to the stone age. Believe me, if you do this two or three times they will finally get the picture. What did Harry Truman do, when he knew that to win the war against a very fierce enemy he would have to sacrifice tens of thousands of men? He simply did not go on that path, but rather, ended the war quickly with the two big A-bombs. When you are fighting an enemy that’s out for blood and will stop at nothing - that is what you must do.

This is what our parsha teaches us, when it says: "These are the decrees and the ordinances that you shall observe to perform in the Land that Hashem the G-d of your forefathers has given you, to possess it all the days that you live on the Land. Destroy, you shall destroy all the places where the nations from whom you shall take possession worshiped their gods. You shall break apart their altars, you shall smash their pillars."

This is the Jewish way, this is the only answer to have peace in our time.

With love of Israel,
Levi Chazen

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