Israel’s Lost Generation
Jerusalem—During the period between Israel’s fight for survival against Arab incursion in 1948 and the battling nation’s hour of glory in the Six Day War of 1967, the tough, tanned, hardworking youth of the Jewish nation became a source of legend. This was the generation that became known as the sabras, named after the cactus that thrives in the Judean hills.
Pioneering the kibbutzim, laboring to recover the land from swamp and desert, the work-hard, play-hard, fight-hard young generation of mid-20th-century Israel formed a vital link between the constant threat of annihilation and survival as this tiny embattled country fought for its very existence against the surrounding enemy and even the very elements themselves.
The sabras were either the children of the refugee camps that followed in the wake of World War ii, or the children of migrant parents who fled their former lands of persecution to found a new, modern nation on the ancient foundations of the old. They were celebrated in the massively popular bestseller of the time, Leon Uris’s Exodus.
In this, my first visit to Israel, my eyes and ears have been geared to sounding out the youth in the city of Jerusalem. I had wanted to confirm that which research had already indicated was a growing phenomenon within Israeli society, that the legend of the sabras is no more, at least in terms of Israel’s current generation of youth.
Sadly, my observations have to date confirmed the worst.
On more than one occasion, inquiring of the bright, attractive waitresses who have served us in local restaurants, I have been shocked at the degree of contempt they show for the ways of their forefathers. Young men and women who by day dress in khaki and tote automatic weapons as part of the Israel Defense Forces (idf), by night seemingly throw off any thought of vigilance against their enemy and party on into the wee hours of the morning. Their religion, once a glue that bound the Jewish culture together, is now a compromise between the worship of celebrity and pop culture and some little degree, if any, of condescension to the ways of their parents and grandparents. This is a youth gone soft, just wanting the ongoing war with the Palestinian enemy to go away so they can get on with the good life.
The contrast with the children of their prime enemy is stark.
“We have all seen the pictures of children dressed as suicide bombers,” wrote Lance Fairchok in American Thinker earlier this year, “the toddlers holding Kalashnikovs, the grade school students happily reciting poems glorifying genocide. The masked gunmen strutting for the cameras are teenagers, the fighters who launch rockets are in their early 20s. Whole generations have come of age without education, indoctrinated in an ideology of Islamic fanaticism and blind hatred, kept destitute and embittered, the most efficient way to breed terrorists. With the help of Syria and Iran, funding from Islamic nations and charities, and aid from the ever-gullible West, the perpetual ‘refugees’ never build schools and hospitals, but arsenals that become ever more sophisticated” (July 22).
These are Hezbollah’s children—trained from birth to be sacrificial lambs with a fanatical anti-Jew, anti-West mindset, brainwashed to destroy the enemy at all costs. The glory dream of too many is to blow themselves sky high, taking as many Jews with them as they can.
Fairchok continued, “There can never be peace when the children of Hezbollah and Hamas and Muslim children all over the world learn: ‘The hour of resurrection will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews, and kill them. And the Jews will hide behind the rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, this is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!’ (The Hadith of the Prophet, Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177).”
The stark difference between the grandchildren of the Israeli sabras and the children of Islamist terrorists is extreme. It bespeaks the gulf that exists between a generation grown tired of war, becoming soft on the legacy of Western decadence, victims of the duplicity of Anglo-Saxon diplomacy, and on the other a generation of religious fanatics bent on the destruction of an entire people, the nation of Israel, at all costs.
“Train up a child in the way that he should go,” declares the ancient proverb, “and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). The sabras, children of a generation that suffered so greatly under constant persecution and the threat of the Holocaust, simply forgot this profound teaching from the very Scriptures that they declared were an integral part of their national heritage. The sad result is to see their legacy dying a rapid death within a generation rapidly divorcing itself from the history that once kindled a burning desire for national survival within the Jewish nation.
There can be but one result when such a glaring dichotomy exists between the youth of one nation fanatically brainwashed to destroy any vestige of Jewish existence and the youth of a nation gone soft on the idea of its own self-preservation at all costs. As Fairchok opines,
Caught in the moral relativism that is the scourge of the West, we no longer see the evil that confronts us; we obfuscate, we negotiate, we posture and we pander and we pretend. Forever losing ground, innocent lives and our vital moral strength, evil is rewarded and the whirlwind howls at our door. Yet Israel compromises with those who wish only to murder her children, those who will murder them in the years to come.
If the current scenario was allowed to play itself out, the tiny embattled nation of Israel would soon be no more. Thank God that the very Being whom the Jewish peoples deny, the living Messiah, will soon return to put down all war, all insurrection, all terror, all youthful sacrifice on the altar of war!
This week I climbed to the top of the Mount of Olives with a small party of others who hold the grandest of prophetic visions in mind. It is the vision of which the Prophet Zechariah spoke, of the Messiah coming literally to this Earth, of the mount cleaving in two, of the destruction of the armies assembled to resist the power of their very own Creator, and of the establishment of the government of peace by the very King of peace, in the city of peace, Jerusalem!
Read about the wonder of this soon-coming reality in our booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy.