View from Netanya

It’s quite strange here at the moment. People don’t quite know what to make of the ceasefire, and whether Israel has actually won or has merely purchased a brief respite, and must be prepared to do it all over again in a couple of years.

The chorus of “victory” celebrations in Gaza was notable by its absence in Israel. There will be much soul-searching and investigation into what happened and why. Did Israel know about the tunnels from Gaza? Have all the tunnels been destroyed or is much of the network still intact? Was there a plan to infiltrate Israel on Rosh Hashanah and cause massive slaughter? And if so did Israel know about it, and if not, why not?

The loss of the PR battle, and the frightening resurgence of anti-Semitism all over the world as a result, is another issue. Israelis tend to discount the necessity to explain their motives, and we are living with the consequences all over the world. Why this has to be so is something that escapes me. Eloquence and the ability to teach facts were always great Jewish skills.

But life goes on and the future continues to be built. Last week I went to the wedding of two soldiers; the bride’s brother Eli wrote a good account of his time in tanks in last week’s Jewish News. The Chuppah took place in the Jerusalem hills just as the sun was setting. The groom’s family comes from Morocco, the bride’s from England. As the guests danced around with great ecstasy and happiness despite the hell some of them had recently been through, I knew that our future is still safe –“Am Yisrael Chai – The Jewish people is invincible”.