The Talmud references the first line of self defense:
"If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first."
I've just spent the past near couple of weeks pounding through the hefty 600+ page book: Rise and Kill First.
It's the type of book that's so intricate, you can't speed read it. It's impossible to skip a paragraph or sentence nor any word because it's not laid out in the typical, easy chapter format. Each chapter is absolutely loaded with facts, stats, data and history so all sentences interlink, irrelevant of the chapter's more vague title. Race through it and you'll miss critical hooks, especially the toothpaste section that totally threw me for a loop!
It was riveting and un-put-downable. I highly suggest it, if you want a serious blast-from-the-past lesson of what's transpired in Israel throughout the past 70 years that answers the what's, why's and how's. No stone is unturned, the name dropping of all parties involved and research (over the author's 7+ years in aggregating information) is quite astonishing. Israel's failures are blatant and there's no bias, so don't expect a warm fuzzy image of the country as the book's foundation. You won't get it. But you will see the psychology behind Israel's aggression towards enemies and the multitude of irritating mistakes they made, leading to today's success while still knee deep in attacks.
The biggest takeaway I got from this is seeing the phrase 'Never Again' in a whole new light. The Israelis were so (beyond) livid that Jews during WWII didn't (or couldn't) defend themselves, that 'Never Again' is not just a reminder about never repeating the atrocities of the Holocaust...but that going on the pure offensive is the default foundation of the country's survival tactic. It's not just to remind ourselves that the persecuted Jews failed to protect themselves during Nazi Germany, but that Israel will never, ever be in a situation where they are within one percent chance of another Holocaust. Even reaching half a percent is a pure abomination. Because that half sneaks up quickly to 100 percent and that's not an option. So serpents, cells and tentacles of terrorists need to be axed immediately, to slow them down and show them that Israel will never be messed with.
The book is riddled with citing errors that Israel has acknowledged as embarrassing and humiliating through their rocky years, even up to recently. As the, now, most powerful Intelligence system on the planet, those mistakes accelerated their Intelligence divisions to step it up faster and harder than any country has achieved in just a few decades: because they were being bombarded left and right from day one, so on-the-job-training took a whole new meaning.
Pre 9/11, the U.S. made it clear that Israel was overreacting to terrorism. Post 9/11, the U.S. and other civilized countries clambered to learn from the Mossad, Shin Bet, IAF and IDF who had nailed the formula of counter terrorism to staggeringly degrees.
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
BDS means nothing to them because for every ignorant person that refuses to buy cherry tomatoes, they are using Israel's technology, medicine and environmental inventions ALL THE TIME.
Hypocrisy goes a long way when it suits BDS'ers on picking and choosing what affects their easy lifestyle, while turning a blind eye to the fact that many Arabs happily live and work for Israeli companies so a boycott would affect their own Arab brothers and sisters income. Israel doesn't give a hoot because they have bigger terrorism fish to fry, while their innovations are integrated in our every being so you can continue tweeting, Facebooking, Googling, Intel'ing, banking, popping medicinal pills, Waze'ing, Wix'ing, flushing toilets, using voicemail...and that list just doesn't stop.
So the next time you want to bash Israel, read this book first and educate yourself. Because without knowledge, demanding answers or learning, you're just hating because someone told you to.
NB: Keshet & HBO are turning ‘Rise And Kill First’ into a limited TV series. Mazel tov to Ronen Bergman.