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What is the real crisis?

The international news media are having a field day describing the current protests in Israel as a foundational crisis threatening democracy. Internal strife that could lead to tyranny or even fascism, they say.

The fact that Israelis are marching either on behalf of, or in opposition to, judicial reform, is quite unique. In contrast, demonstrations are unheard of in other countries when Supreme Court reforms have been initiated.

In Israel, both sides carry the national flag proudly. No one is threatening to destroy the democratic institutions or create a new form of government. Violence has been negligible, even though name-calling is rampant. There is, rather, a wide divergence of opinion, which underscores every citizen’s right to free expression.

In fact, there is unity because all the participants are attesting that they care passionately, deeply about their country. It is the opposite of what the news media and meddling government leaders overseas are claiming. This is the view of Cambridge-educated engineer, British-Israeli Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and two daughters were murdered by Palestinian terrorists near their Israeli home during Passover week this year.

Regarding the demonstrations, “That’s called democracy,” he stated. “Let’s not fall into the trap of seeing this as a crisis. This is a sign of the greatest love and unity that a nation could show” (The Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2023).

The far greater concern remains Iran. US President Joe Biden wants a nuclear deal with the Iranians. Agreement violations by the Iranians are being ignored by the White House and sanctions are not being enforced. Iranian oil exports to China since Biden took office are up to $47 billion. Iran had 60 shipping tankers in 2021, but 338 as of July 2023 (@CarolineGlick, July 14, 2023).

This is fully at odds with the Israeli position. Iran’s nuclear ambitions are an existential threat to Israel, as the Iranians have stated often. Israel’s leadership, on the Left as much as on the Right, is united in wanting to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb.

Iran has the necessary technology. The only question is how soon it will be ready. Their delays are tactical: The longer the Iranians hold out in ongoing secret negotiations, the greater the financial concessions they will get from the increasingly desperate West.

Only Israel has the will to stop it. This is the true context of the tumultuous times we live in. A suitable old Jewish prayer is, “May the Lord grant His people strength; may He bless His people with peace” (Ps. 29:11).