The King's Son, The Gulf War and Obama
Along with millions of my countrymen, I have been appalled at Obama and Kerry's 11th hour abandonment of Israel, the US's loyal and stalwart democratic ally in the Middle East.
Seeking spiritual meaning in these macro-events, I recall the experience of living in Israel during the first Gulf War (1990-91).
Thirty-nine Scud Missiles were fired from Iraq into Israel during that war. With each rocket, the warning sirens blared and we Israelis ran for our 'sealed-rooms', put on our gas masks, and prayed.
According to reports, either 39 or 38 Scud Missiles hit Israel, with a total casualty toll of two deaths (one reportedly a heart attack), one severely wounded, ten seriously wounded and around 230 people lightly wounded.
According to reports, there was an additional Scud Alarm sounded in Israel at the end of the Gulf War, but that missile never hit Israel. Instead, that single Scud missile was fired at Saudi Arabia and hit a US barraks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 28 U.S. soldiers.
In a research paper published in Nature in 1993, examining the impact of the Scuds fired at Israel, and comparing the casualties with other conflicts involving ballistic missiles attacks on urban targets (London in the 2nd World War, and Tehran in the Iran/Iraq War), the authors conclude that the expected causalties from Scud Missiles would have been around 5 deaths per missile, with a total of between 150-200 fatalities.
The researches concluded, among other factors:
Coincidence. Substantial statistical fluctuations are expected in attacks involving only a small number of inaccurate ballistic missiles with small damage radii. Since only about ten warheads detonated in Israeli cities, luck must have played a crucial role in determining the overall casualty rate. Indeed, there is considerable anecdotal evidence that good fortune played an important role in reducing casualties in Israel. Of the warheads that detonated in Israeli cities, one hit the only empty lot in a densely populated neighborhood; two others hit a factory and a partially constructed shopping mall during the night. Several other Scuds landed near unoccupied buildings: an underground bomb shelter, a municipal center, and a school. Even when Scuds severely damaged occupied buildings, casualties were remarkably low: a missile that landed in an alleyway between several apartment buildings and caused one building to collapse killed only one person, and an attack that destroyed a two-storey house and severely damaged several others also killed only one person; two people reportedly survived only because they disobeyed government instructions and went to their basement bomb shelter.
At the time, a rabbi in Israel (I forget who) told a fascinating 'moshal' (illustrative story).
There was a king who wanted his son, the prince and future monarch, to understand the severity of sentencing subjects to be lashed.
The king therefore ordered his Chief Executioner to flog the prince with 39 lashes (the highest permissible number). This was in order to give the prince a sharp painful personal lesson about administering this punishment.
The Chief Executioner had a dilemma.
He was required to fulfil the King's instructions, of course, but he was also mindul that the prince would one day be the monarch, and his boss.
The executioner therefore took up his whip and lightly touched the prince's back 39 times. No blood, and no pain.
The king stood up angrily, and told the executioner to pass him the whip. The king then hit his son, the prince, with one mighty blow with the whip. The prince screamed, the whip spilled blood.
The King's message was delivered.
The rabbi who told the moshal said that the nimshal (meaning) of the story is that the thirty nine lashes which were light taps, were the thirty-nine scuds which hit Israel. The king's 'real' last lash, was the Scud which hit the US Barraks. The King, as is common in such stories, is God.
In other words, we Israelis needed to appreciate that we were protected (perhaps underservedly) by God from all the 39 Scud attacks by Iraq, each one of which could have been as devestating as the one attack in Saudi Arabia.
Our prayers had been answered, and God had been merciful.
And so we come to Obama and Kerry.
For eight years, Obama and Kerry have held power in the USA, and their anti-Israeli activities were limited and caused little damage. Indeed, US Aid continued to be awarded to Israel, and Israel was consistently protected by the US Veto, from the wolves pack, which is the UN. Although the administration attempted to broker "peace" between the Israelis and Palestinians, this was quietly abandonned as it became clear that there was no deal to be done.
Israel came out of the eight years, reasonably unscathed.
Now that Obama is a "lame duck", in his last days in office, in the process of handing the Government over to Donald Trump... Oabam's administration is launching the equivalent of the 40th Scud of the Gulf War, the 40th lash from the King.
Obama's power to turn the world against Israel, has been done with a flick of his wrist, an Abstain vote, instead of a Veto. Delivering a bloody thrashing, instead of a light tap.
We fear that Obama has more vicious diplomatic attacks planned against Israel, in Paris and perhaps again at the UN.
Regardless, the overall spiritual message is that we can now better appreciate God's blessing over Israel, who has protected us from exactly the same awesome powers which are in Obama's hands, and causing us so much damage in the past days, for the past eight years.