Among 10,000 friends and comrades, I stood and applauded, as the Prime Minister forcefully stood in the breach. The State of Israel would never accept borders that cannot be defended, or allow itself to be undone as a Jewish State through the return of generations of refugees, or negotiate with the cult of death that even now explicitly calls for Israel’s destruction. I stood and applauded for the Prime Minister.
And I did so, even as the faint scent of death began to enter the room. Even as the inescapable reality of deadlock, the unavoidable trajectory of conflict, the inevitable prospect of bloodshed, descended hard upon at least one more generation. It was difficult to fault the Prime Minister for then proceeding to hammer nails into the coffin of the search for peace. After all, the President of the PA had already nailed the coffin shut in deciding to partner with Hamas. So I kept on standing and applauding. The applause that would be the prelude to tears.
The day is over, and the dusk is deepening. The path of peace, if it was ever more than an illusion, is sunk beneath the sea, disintegrating into the undifferentiated bottom. The choices have been made, the die has been cast. Our tears will soon flow again. May it be God’s will that it not be so. If only God could be so kind as to shield us from the inevitable.
We applaud today, but will cry for the next Fogel family of Itamar, God forbid, tomorrow. We applaud today, but will cry, God forbid, for lost sons tomorrow. And then we will rally, and vow “Am Yisrael Chai!”, and then applaud again. And a month later, cry again. And this is the path.
Another generation at least. Applause as the prelude for tears. Applause. Tears. Repeat.