Why Hindus should Memorise Chaim Herzog's 1976 Speech at the UN

Why Hindus should Memorise Chaim Herzog's 1976 Speech at the UN

Why and how Israel attracts global solidarity each time it's attacked and what Hindus can and should learn from it.

THE JIHAD-HUNGRY MONSTERS AT HAMAS have bombed Israel once again, causing perhaps the most extensive damage to the only official Jewish country in the world. The scale of destruction has been the worst in recent times.

But barely minutes after the attack, social media was abuzz with countries across the world unanimously standing in solidarity with Israel. Even an otherwise sloppy and inchoate Joe Biden offered to send military support.

And like all such other countries, as an Indian, even I stand in full solidarity with Israel. And as an Indian and a Hindu and an inheritor of the greatest civilisation that humankind has ever created, this episode has once again raised some questions that have both haunted and amazed me from an early age.

  1. Israel and India began roughly around the same time after the European colonization of the world ended. India became free in 1947. Israel was created in 1948.

  2. Thus, for about three fourths of a century, all the way till now, the world has always stood by Israel. Why?

  3. The simple and straightforward answer: Israel was not cursed with a Nawab Nehru. It has never forgotten or compromised with its core — that Israel was explicitly created as a home for the Jewish people and for safeguarding and preserving the Jewish religion. And it has accomplished both through a time-tested method: Strength. Building up strength constantly. And deploying it unapologetically. Strength commands respect like nothing else. Hindus have sadly forgotten a timeless wisdom lying in their own annals: Sarvaṁ balavatāṁ pathyam. The strong can digest anything. Not for Israel the wimpy drama of Nawab Nehru's red rose of peace. Strength in India’s case would have entailed a full population exchange in 1947. We missed that bus back then, and now, look what we have been saddled with for 75 years.

  4. Compared with Israel for the same period, India has suffered far too many Islamic terror attacks from Pakistan. Over the years, our successive Congress Governments have scampered off to various international forums “presenting evidence” instead of retaliating once with overwhelming force. Thus, each attack only emboldened the perpetrators precisely because of this Nehruvian pusillanimity.

  5. The global reaction to such weak responses from India was only natural. India's repeated suffering at the hands of bigoted Jihadis from Pakistan never made global headlines in these 75 YEARS. Not even the ghastly 26/11 Jihad carried out in Mumbai. That was the vilest hour of India's shame. It was an advertisement of cowardice helmed under the watch of former PM Manmohan Singh. But here, in less than 15 minutes after the Hamas bombed Israel, see how the news captured global support for Israel? This is what a country smaller than the full geographical area of say, Karnataka, commands on the international stage.

  6. To reiterate the moral of the story: Strength works. Always. In deterring, fighting, winning, retaliating and winning again. Dear Hindus: this is a primal truth which we as a civilisation have collectively forgotten. Use this lesson in your neighbourhood as well.

Blast from the Past: Chaim Herzog's 1976 Speech at the United Nations

I’M UNAWARE HOW MANY PEOPLE of the current generation are aware of an inspirational truth from the recent history of Israel. In 1975-76, the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lost his brother Yonathan who was fighting a battle against Islamic terrorists. Yonathan was trying to rescue a planeload of Israeli passengers kidnapped by the former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, who was acting in concert with the ubiquitous global Islamic terror network.

This was the heroic episode of the Entebbe Raid, codenamed Operation Thunderbolt by Israel. The passengers were ultimately rescued. In its aftermath, the matter came up for a debate in the United Nations Security Council Debate in July 1976. Speaking on behalf of Israel, its ambassador, Chaim Herzog thundered against Uganda. The speech is a recent example of what courage looks like in action.

Excerpts from the speech are given below. Emphases added.

Excerpts from Chaim Herzog’s UN Speech of 1976

“… let me make it quite clear that sitting here as the representative of the Government of Israel, as I have the honour to do, I am in no way sitting in the dock as the accused party. On the contrary, I stand here as an accuser on behalf of free and decent people in this world.

“I stand here as an accuser against the forces of evil which have unleashed a wave of piracy and terrorism which threatens the very foundations of human society.

“I stand here as an accuser of all those evil forces which in their inherent cowardice and abject craven attitude see blameless wayfarers and innocent women and children—yes, even babes in arms—a legitimate target for their evil intentions.

“I stand here as an accuser of the countries that, because of evil design or lack of moral backbone, have collaborated with these bloodthirsty terrorists.

“I stand here as an accuser of all those in authority throughout the world who for reasons of cynical expediency have collaborated with terrorism.

“I stand here as an accuser of this world Organization, the United Nations, which has been unable, because of the machinations of the Arab representatives and their supporters, to co-ordinate effective measures in order to combat the evil of world terrorism.

“I stand here as an accuser of those delegations to this Organization which for reasons of political expediency have remained silent on this issue… In so doing they have become themselves accomplices.

In the dock before us stand all those countries—they are all too numerous—that cry to the high heavens when they are affected by terrorists, that fulminate at this Security Council table when their citizens or diplomats are threatened, and that remain silent when the same happens to citizens of other countries.

[…]

Israel’s action at Entebbe in order to release its hostages has given rise to a worldwide wave of support and approval, such as has rarely been seen from every continent, including Africa; from every walk of life; from countries hostile, as well as friendly, to Israel. The ordinary man and woman in the street have risen behind us…

“In more ways than one, this Organization [UN] is in the accused stand today. Mankind will judge it by its behaviour on this occasion, because never has the issue been clearer; never has the issue been so clear-cut. There will be no excuse in history for this body, or for the constituent Members of this body, if it fails to condemn terrorism.

[…]

“If the [Security] Council will fail to seize this opportunity which has been granted it to eliminate the scourge of terrorists, kidnappers, hijackers and blackmailers from our midst, then it will plunge to the lowest depths in the eyes of mankind and will disappear in history as yet another great and tragic lost opportunity in history.

It has fallen to the lot of my small country, embattled as we are… to demonstrate to the world that there is an alternative to surrender to terrorism and blackmail.

It has fallen to our lot to prove to the world that this scourge of international terror can be dealt with. It is now for the nations of the world, regardless of political differences which may divide them, to unite against this common enemy which recognizes no authority, knows no borders, respects no sovereignty, ignores all basic human decencies, and places no limits on human bestiality.

“We come with a simple message to the Council: We are proud of what we have done, because we have demonstrated to the world that in a small country, in Israel’s circumstances, … the dignity of man, human life and human freedom constitute the highest values. We are proud not only because we have saved the lives of over 100 innocent people—men, women and children—but because of the significance of our act for the cause of human freedom.”

Postscript

THIS IS HOW you speak from a position of strength. This is known as unapologetic courage of conviction in action. This is what Hindus must internalise.

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