How does one measure leadership? I will let the reader ponder this question, as I point out a true leader is one who wields his will onto others rather than the one who submits to populace wishes. Leaders are often judged in retrospect, in much better light than when they were contemporaries. Such, for example, are Ronald Reagan, Menachem Begin, the Shah of Iran, Lech Walesa, Pope John Paul II and others.
To this short list, I would add President Mubarak of Egypt, who in 2011 stood up to the American President, and despite the tsunami sweeping the Arab world in a manner and magnitude never before seen, said to his people and the world: I am not leaving. This is my country and here I shall stay to my death. Here I will be buried.
The Egyptians were not happy. In fact, they went as far as to bring the ailing Mubarak on a bed into a cage to be humiliated before the entire world. The main humiliation was upon Egypt itself, once a proud nation from the emergence of civilization.
One who visits Egypt can witness pictorial and architectural depictions of the great Pharaohs. From the burial tombs to the great Pyramids, the Egyptians struggled with the great exodus of the Hebrews and the drowning of their eternal-Pharaoh and his powerful army. On a historical axis, add to this the recent self-inflicted humiliation.
Where were the other Arab countries? Where were the other Arab leaders? They should have stood as one and said: Every dollar the American President withholds or withdraws will be replaced three-fold or ten-fold (just to make the point)by us, and anyone who dares to tell any sovereign ruler to leave must look closer to home. The late Steve Jobs had the courage to tell President Obama straight forwardly, “You will be a one-term president”, but the all-powerful Arab rulers behaved like lapdogs with their tails between their legs.
These are the very same dogmatic “leaders” who lecture and blame Israel for any and all ills and overall behave like bullies in the Middle East. True leaders might have shifted the focus from pure hatred and demagogy against the Jews in their neighborhood, to better neighborly relations. So much benefit could have been derived for their own people, from agriculture to better utilization of scarce resources, protecting the environment to learning how to maximize yields for the greater good.
No, even selfish interests paled in comparison to a common enemy. How void of any substance, how shallow and pitiful it is now in light of the events that unfolded in 2011. One by one these “leaders” are gone, their billions unhelpful, their bodies at times dragged like garbage through the streets of their home towns.
SHAME. How can any people treat their leaders in such a manner? Do they not understand they are shaming themselves? Lynching and blood thirsting is the image forever stuck in our memories, along with a caged ruler or an ousted king forever barred.
Strange place the Middle East, and regrettably, its influence is spreading. Israel used to be fearless. It had no choice because to survive, it had to do whatever was necessary: from drying swamps and fighting malaria to making the desert bloom; fighting armies many times its size and overcoming unimaginable odds against its very existence.
The miracle called “Modern Israel” was replaced with the comforts of being. All is taken for granted, and Israel is now in too many ways like its neighbors. They are more interested in Israel’s destruction while Israel is busy initiating its own demise.
Israel stopped fighting and apparently lost its conviction and will. In fact, the same symptoms are displayed by much of the Western World, with a singular exception.
One true leader among all lost of their common sense and eyesight is Canada.
Canada refused to participate in the circus called “Durban III” where all the ills of the world were attributed to Israel, where Jews were called racists and Zionism was named the source of all worldly evils.
The USA that contributes upwards of 22% of the United Nations annual funding facilitates the organization’s continued existence. This clearly defies all logic.
President Ahmadinejad, the head of a sovereign country, calls for the annihilation of another member of the UN and is allowed to do so from the pulpit of the organization’s New York headquarters. Worse, he is given free passage into New York and has the audacity to expect to go to Ground Zero and to accuse the Zionists and the CIA of perpetrating crimes against humanity (i.e. 9/11 was all a scheme) in order to blame the Islamic Nation.
Today, Canada did something that Israeli media reported as follows: “It is quite doubtful if something like that would have happened in Israel.” Imagine the beginning of an article ascribing such little faith to Israel and attributing so much to CANADA.
The report continues: “Canada is expelling from its territory the Palestinian representative after she added to her Twitter account a link to a video in which a Palestinian girl is seen calling to a war in which the Jews be exterminated.
“According to the report, the Palestinian Representative Subach Ali was declared persona non-grata, was asked to leave the country and official elements were told to minimize any contact with her.
“In addition, Ali was called to be reprimanded, in addition to an official protest which was presented to the Palestinian Authority.
“In the referenced video linked from the Twitter account of the representative, a link that won the approval of that representative, a crying Palestinian girl can be seen reading a song in which she declared ‘I am Palestinian’ and subsequently calls for a ‘war that will defeat the injustice and the Occupation and will annihilate the Jews.'”
In Israel a debate would have erupted. No, in fact, nothing would have happened, so used are the Israelis to insane voices from within their own midst.
In the days following the release of Gilad Shalit after 1,940 days in captivity (for those who think the number is insignificant, it represents four months and five years without access to the International Red Cross), Muslim Israelis call for the kidnapping of other Israeli soldiers to force Israel to release more Palestinian terrorists. Sane? Not in Canada.
In Israel, Palestinians burn Israeli products, and Israel does what in return? Nothing.
In Israel, Palestinians name classrooms, school auditoriums, playgrounds and city squares after terrorists who murdered Israelis. What does Israel do? Again NOTHING.
Is Israel, foreign entities (individuals, foundations and governments) funnel money to elements whose sole mission is to destroy the Jewish State. They hide under the guise “human rights organizations,” but they are never truly concerned with human rights. It is the same hypocrisy as having Syria, Libya or Iran on the Human Rights Council. And Israel allows this unrestricted flow of money that hastens and will eventually bring its downfall.
Also in Israel, the intellectual elite fights Israel. The Gazans are bombing population centers in Israel, and the “elite” demonstrates against Israel. Leading newspapers call the Israeli operation to stop the smuggling of arms into Gaza and stop the bombardment of the south a “blood bath,” and Israelis then participate in the “Free Gaza” movement and the flotillas to “break the blockade” and “end the siege.”
Members of the Israeli Knesset, including one Deputy Speaker, met with the enemy, participated in the Turkish Terrorist Flotilla whose stated aim was to break both Israeli and international law, and they feel immune. Well, they are, the Knesset did nothing to expel him.
Even when the Knesset finally acts (like prohibiting participation of elements who oppose the state in elections), the Israeli Supreme Court engages in judicial activism and blurs the line between the Judiciary and the Legislative branches of government. In Israel this is proper and expected as long as the Supreme Court follows its (political) convictions that without exception are extreme and-left-leaning.
There are those who would say Israel is a Democracy and all the above are “signs of strength.” Learned readers would emit a bitter laugh. Strength? It sounds like a person about to commit suicide explaining why suicide is the noble and just way to go. A psychiatrist is what the patient needs, not encouragement. Unless, that is, the bystanders wish the suicide to occur.
Thus, as I look at Israel’s refusal to fight for its existence, when I see Israeli bureaucrats and elected officials doing anything other than actually lead, putting their benefits and comforts ahead of the common good and longevity of their office before country, it is refreshing to read one article about, and then witness another act and then another by Canada.
What do the Canadians see that Israelis do not? I am reminded of a talk by the founder of the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction Israel movement), when he stated, “Europe has already fallen; the US is next.” I am also reminded of an Israeli-American professor, head of a department at UCLA who said, in talking about Gilad Shalit, “it is perfectly legitimate to kidnap Israeli soldiers.” Then I read with admiration and utter disbelief the news item that starts off saying “It is doubtful if in Israel something like that would have happened.”
I salute you Canada, and I salute the People of Canada. You show leadership in the face of adversity. You exemplify what taking a stand and doing something highly unpopular (standing for Israel, acting sane and unwavering) is all about. In my dictionary your actions define true leadership. The pages of history will judge you, and I humbly add a footnote as things evolve before our very eyes: Take a lesson from the Canadians. They stand for Israel, thus they stand for themselves and all good men. Bravo.