27 Feb 2023

When the World Doesn’t Make Sense

We’re living in it, aren’t we?

“It” being, well, madness. Stay with me on this.

In the documentary “Follow Me,” about the Entebbe hostage rescue and its leader, Jonathan Netanyahu, there are scores of riveting interviews with the commandos that went, the Netanyahu family, and various politicians that were in the Rabin cabinet in 1976. Several times, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak appears and his comments and memories about the raid are quite moving. I got the impression that, as is usually the case with tough combat soldiers (Barak served at one time as commander of the IDF’s elite counter-terrorism unit, Sayeret Matkal), he doesn’t show emotion often.

He did in the film.

Barak’s description of informing Yoni Netanyahu’s girlfriend of his death in Africa is gut-wrenching. What makes it even moreso is the fact that ever since, he has been something of a political foe of Benjamin Netanyahu, brother of the slain Unit commander at Entebbe. In fact, the two squared-off in 1999, with Barak ousting Netanyahu after a three-year term. Barak’s own premiership, which started with promise for those that backed the centrist, fell short of expectations and he found himself out only a couple years later. Netanyahu of course was out of office for a decade before returning in 2009.

I was intrigued that even though they don’t like each other, Barak agreed to appear in “Follow Me,” and his contribution was really great.

That was then.

Word came this week that Likud, Netanyahu’s political party in Israel that just won a significant majority to form a new government, is filing a police report against Ehud Barak, citing his alleged incitement to violence and even civil war with inflammatory language. Very sadly, this kind of environment has existed since Netanyahu returned to office after a year’s absence. The caretaker PM, Yair Lapid, went on a vicious attack against the Netanyahu government, even before it took office. Lapid’s fiery speeches were something to behold, and unprecedented. He basically called for the government to be overthrown.

One might expect just gutter politics from Lapid. But for Barak to follow the same plan is shocking.

Or is it?

Barak was a heavily decorated hero for the IDF. A battlefield warrior. Fearless. Innovative. He put his life on the line for his country countless times.

According to a report in the Jerusalem Post:

“The Likud party filed a police complaint against former prime minister Ehud Barak on Friday, claiming that he incited violence and called for civil unrest and insubordination.

“Barak said on Thursday that it is the duty of soldiers to refuse an order over which ‘a black flag flies’, against the background of the judicial reform promoted by the government.

“’Freedom of speech does not provide protection to a former elected official who uses it in a cynical way, who sees it as a weapon of wild incitement aimed at provoking a civil war, and a call for rebellion against the government, which won the trust of the people in the elections and the trust of the Knesset,’ the party wrote.”

Barak is using language that calls Netanyahu’s Knesset a “clearly illegitimate regime,” and warns that Netanyahu is on the verge of becoming a dictator.

“Historical experience has shown that when 3.5 percent of the population stubbornly persists in demonstrations and protests by all the means at its disposal, the government either collapses or falls. I don’t know what damages will be caused along the way, but I am sure that we will win because we are on the right side of history and we are not afraid of anything or anyone.”

Wow. Barak is calling for the overthrow of the government. He is calling for that because politically, he is a leftist. I won’t even begin to try and figure out why such a fierce combat soldier (you should read about his role in Operation Spring of Youth, the 1973 action that eliminated the terrorists involved in the Munich Massacre) would undermine his own government, but the implications are chilling.

Those of us that pray and look to God for support must continue keeping Israel enveloped in prayer.

We do not live in normal times.