It is difficult for Israelis not to be a little bit envious as we watch the early days of Barack Obama’s term as president. From the economy to foreign policy, America’s new president is taking bold actions aimed at addressing the formidable challenges facing his country and the world.
The conflict now known as the Second Lebanon War began two years ago, on July 12, 2006, and ended 34 days later, on August 14. On September 17, following weeks of intense public anger over the war’s inconclusive ending, the Israeli Cabinet appointed a five-member government commission of inquiry into the war’s conduct, known, after the name of its chairman, as the Winograd Commission.
There is little disagreement that every Jewish leader, organization, community and individual has a duty to help ensure the continuity of the Jewish people. But in a world where the long-term existence of the Jewish state is far from certain, the imperative to exist inevitably gives rise to difficult questions, foremost among them this: When the survival of the Jewish people conflicts with the morals of the Jewish people, is existence worthwhile, or even possible?