The Corner

Masada Shall Not Fall Again, Unless Obama Says So

As 18-year-old Marines in the first Gulf War, we joked that “Onward, Christian Soldiers” was the Kuwaiti, Bahraini, and Saudi national anthem. Today it would be ’N Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye.”

It was just a few years after that first war where the U.S. liberated Muslims from other Muslims that I was in Israel training as a young Sniper. The antiquity, the resolve, and the true grit of the place had always fascinated me. The Israeli people have a kind of cultural toughness that only comes when entire limbs of your family tree have been sawed off. When parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles have been exterminated before your eyes, you have a deeper appreciation for security than the average Joe. The sense of history and mission is reinforced by the swearing-in ceremony of IDF soldiers who, after climbing to the top of Masada, declare before God that it “shall never fall again.”

I have stood at the top of Masada, and looked out to see the desolate landscape where the Romans once laid siege to the Jews. Today, after Obama’s infamous Middle East speech, all of Israel stands there, alone and abandoned.

At best, Obama has established a framework for dismantling the Jewish state as we know it. At worst, Obama has accelerated the likelihood of a regional war, which may or may not have been inevitable, by forcing Israel into a display of force to Iran.

America has definitively demonstrated that we are not serious about protecting our tiny ally. And like the others that this administration has betrayed, from the Saudis to the Poles, the Israelis will be forced to make their own “arrangements.” As 200 North Korean nuclear engineers are busy developing Iran’s missile and nuclear-warhead capabilities, Israeli commanders are reviewing maps and plans. First to go would be the recently activated Bushehr facility, which the Russians just put the finishing touches on this month. Then there are at least eleven other sites that would need to be hit, including Natanz. That figure does not include other Iranian missile-launch facilities such as those being built in Venezuela. I pray we are not counting on the Israelis to hit those, too.

We can hope that it stops with airstrikes, but some of us know that once you let slip the dogs of war, there is just no telling what will happen — especially when hot war with Israel might be the only glue to help the mullahs maintain power in Iran as the gale of the “Arab Spring” continues to blow.

The biggest disappointment for me personally is that none of this comes as a surprise. Of course there was no mention of Israeli natural-gas shipments being turned off by the new Egyptian government, which we will supposedly subsidize. Naturally there was no outrage that Hamas, when not busy pursuing “peace” with Israel or calling Israel’s creation a “catastrophe,” is busy calling Osama bin Laden a “hero.” While none of Obama’s speech bears repeating, this statement from Hamas does: “We regard this [killing of Bin Laden] as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood. We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We ask God to offer him mercy with the true believers and the martyrs.” The Left might want you to forget that this is the same Hamas that Israelis are supposed to trust with their lives, but I won’t.#more#

I’m not surprised by the silence, spelled C-O-W-A-R-D-I-C-E, from the likes of Rep. Anthony Wiener, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. They have made their bed. Eric Golub nailed the point in the Washington Times: “It is time for Jewish liberals to realize that they can no longer be both. Either their religion is Judaism or liberalism. Either thousands of years of religious tradition means something or it doesn’t. The days when Jewish liberal women care more about abortion than Israel needs to end. The days when liberal Jews consider global warming to be the real Holocaust needs to stop. The Democratic Party of old is dead.”

Where is the Church? Where are the defenders of the faith, now? What has happened to their tongue?

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,

for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,

till her vindication shines out like the dawn,

her salvation like a blazing torch.

Isaiah 62.1

What does it mean for a society when we can quote more lines from Charlie Sheen and Arnold Schwarzenegger than we can from the scriptures? Has the relentless anti-Christian, anti-faith messaging of the mainstream media finally broken the backs of Main Street? Have we grazed on the moral equivalency offered up by our sitcoms and our gossip magazines to the point where we are so bloated we don’t even have the strength to push away from the table?

Are we, the believers, satisfied to be beaten into submission when the Left calls defending traditional marriage “hate speech”? Is it okay with you when defenders of the unborn are mocked and called extremists in the same breath as the Taliban? “Tolerance” has become the new code word for intolerance. The purveyors of political correctness have made standing for nothing more honorable than standing for something. Christ was nailed to a cross for us, but today we are afraid to step out of our comfort zone to tell the truth. Is that what it means to be a practicing Christian or Jew in the 21st century?

It is not enough that we have allowed God to be chased out of the classroom, the courtroom, and the fox hole. Now, with the surrender of Jerusalem, we are allowing God to be chased out of the Holy Land. Don’t just sit there shaking your head. A Tunisian man doused himself with gasoline over his street cart. What will you do to defend your faith and our Holy Land? While you search deep to figure that out, make a commitment with me now that “Masada shall never fall again.”

— Ilario Pantano is author of Warlord: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.


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