Ron grew up in the South Bronx of New York, making Aliyah in 1980. Served for 25 years in the IDF as a Mental Health Field Officer in operational units. Prior to retiring was Commander of the Central Psychiatric Clinic for Reserve Solders at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring has been involved in strategic consultancy to NGO's and communities in the Gaza Envelope on resiliency projects to assist first responders and communities. Ron has written numerous articles for outlets in Israel and abroad focusing on Israel and the Jewish world.
With the 50th year commemoration of the Yom Kippur war in the coming weeks, the most important lesson of that traumatic war that caught Israel unprepared and on the verge of an existential threat to the State of Israel, has been to ensure that Israel will never again find herself unprepared for any external threat that can threaten the very existence of Israel. In recent months during the height of the anti-judicial reform demonstrations, reserve and retired military pilots of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) have played a major role and have publicly called for justifying insubordination and disobeying of orders when called up for active service or for training missions against the Iranian regime. The calls to disobey orders and refuse to serve have been made despite Iranian leaders publicly and repeatedly calling for the destruction of the state of Israel. Still resonating in the ears of military and security leaders responsible for defending and preparing Israel for that crucial moment is the shocking proclamation of an enigmatic reserve pilot-"If you don't stop the (judicial) legislation we won't attack Iran."
This small yet vocal group of reserve and retired military pilots have created a new strategic situation that questions the future role of military pilots in defending Israel and whether they can be counted on to man their cockpits when needed. Will they abandon their cockpits and cease to defend their county? Will they play chicken with Israel’s existential security preparedness? These pilots enjoying wide-spread support from leaders of the anti-judicial reform movement, mainstream media, and progressive political leaders have turned Israel’s security and defense needs into a political pawn. For those that have been entrusted and are responsible for defending and maintaining Israel’s strategic preparedness, the only logical conclusion is that Israel’s pilots can no longer be solely responsible for defending Israel against the Iranian threat. These pilots have crossed the fine line between democratic dissent and endangering Israel’s national security needs forcing Israel’s political and security leadership to adopt new defense technologies that are entirely reliable and unfailing while diminishing the need for and dependency on military pilots.
For most objective observers, the anti-judicial reform movement has shown over recent months that it is not necessarily against the government’s legislative agenda, but is against the very legitimacy of Israel’s democratically elected government itself. Protest leaders and their supporters from opposition political parties understand that they will not be able in the foreseeable future garner sufficient public support to topple Israel’s conservative government or win a national election. Protest leaders have resigned to the fact that at best they can subdue and prohibit the government from fulfilling its election platform of judicial reform by escalating tensions among the majority that voted in Israel’s current government and turn citizens against each other by sliding down the dangerous slippery slope toward anarchy. Israel’s reserve and retired military pilots have willingly taken a leading role in this political insurrection against a democratically elected government.
Alongside this realization, Israel has become in recent years, a world leader of technological innovation in military platform systems that enable defense and security leaders to responsibly adopt and integrate these new cutting edge technologies and systems. Military pilots will no longer hold the dominant role of manning Israel’s defense platforms. The release of information from open sources on these systems in recent months only strengthens the assessment that we are in a process of recalibrating Israel’s strategic defensive and offensive defense posture. The self-induced process of making military pilots obsolete has begun and will only accelerate.
Examples of these systems have been publicized in open sources most likely due to the need for enhancing Israel’s deterrence as a result of the military pilot’s vocal insubordination and refusal to serve. The most recent system to be shown publicly is the “Iron Beam”. This system uses a fiber laser to destroy any airborne target. Whether acting as a stand-alone system or with external cueing as part of an air-defense system. Hypersonic missiles is the latest strategic weapon in the evolution of arms designed to beat interception systems like Israel’s “Iron Dome.” Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, a leading Israeli defense technology company recently announced the development of an advanced missile interceptor dubbed “Sky Sonic,” described as a groundbreaking defensive response to the growing threat of hypersonic missiles. Rafael’s “Sky Sonic” interceptor represents a major technological leap in hypersonic missile defense. It is designed with exceptional maneuverability and high-speed capabilities, allowing it to effectively neutralize hypersonic missiles – which travel at ten times the speed of sound – with unmatched precision and stealth. Necessitating proactive measures to safeguard national security, Rafael is according to reports, at the forefront of developing an effective solution to counter hypersonic threats, already known for its pioneering contributions in the field of defense systems such as the renowned Iron Dome, David's Sling, and the cutting-edge "Iron Beam" laser-based system. The systems mentioned above according to reports are operational and undergoing integration into Israel’s strategic military preparedness. The role and need for pilots will continue its diminishing trajectory allowing Israel’s defense leaders to prepare Israel for the threats of tomorrow.
Israel’s reserve and retired pilots have played a pivotal role in their diminishing role within Israel’s strategic map. They have willingly and “triumphantly” tossed away the highly regarded role model that military pilots have enjoyed over the past 75 years since Israel’s establishment. The technological advancements expected in the coming years will only accelerate the trend that will give military pilots a secondary role making them obsolete sooner rather than later, as the Iranian threat becomes the single most existential threat for the State of Israel.
The Israeli Knesset passed a law this week labeled the “reasonableness standard” that regulates the authority of Israel’s legislative branch, the Knesset and Israeli’s judicial branch, the Supreme Court thereby strengthening the system of checks and balances between both branches of government. The Israeli public has been warned for the past 6 months by those opposing the legislation that the expected passage of the law would turn Israeli into a dictatorship, and that Israel will cease to be a Democratic nation.
Just after the law was passed by a clear democratic majority, nothing happened that could be construed as weakening the Democratic character of Israel. Leading the charge in falsely accusing Israel’s government of turning Israel into a dictatorship has been a vocal, and well-funded coalition of IDF reserve air force commanders, pilots, former senior security leaders from the Mossad, Shabak (comparable to the FBI), and IDF ground forces. They have claimed that economic ruin, war, massive immigration, lack of money, lack of water, will follow the passage of the law.
The Israeli mainstream media has given unlimited airtime supporting and encouraging these false claims creating a public atmosphere that the end of Israel as we know it is just around the corner should the “reasonableness standard” be legislated. It’s important to remember that the moment you say Israel has become a dictatorship yet nothing happens to you as is the case; that in itself should negate the claim that Israel has become a dictatorship, so much for simple logic.
Over the past six months, Israel has been subject to almost daily demonstrations led by these retired senior officers and security officials. To give you an idea of what the Israeli public has been subjected to, imagine that tens of thousands of Black Americans block the Van Wyck Expressway or the Long Island Expressway two or three times a week during rush hour as long as the Biden government doesn’t pay reparations of millions of dollars to Black Americans as compensation for their ancestors being slaves.. Imagine that the Van Wyck and LIE were not only blocked, but road infrastructure vandalized and destroyed, burning tires, obstacles, and garbage strewn on these major roads so that even after the demonstrations were ended by the police, safe passage is virtually impossible. These disruptions in Israel’s major transportation arteries has become a daily hindrance over the past months with no end in sight.
Leading the charge against Israel’s democratically elected government have been former IDF pilots, progressive politicians and retired security officials. They have publicly and repeated called for military insubordination and have publically encouraged pilots to refuse to fulfill their roles as reserve pilots thereby weakening Israel’s military preparedness against her enemies. If an outsider randomly opens the news from Israel in the morning following the demonstrations the previous evening, they would think that Israel is on the verge of being taken over by a “Military Junta”. The broadcasted mainstream news, social media, and newspapers are inundated with petitions and demands by reserve or retired military officers and soldiers claiming that if the government of Israel does not agree to the demands of these pilots, military officers and soldiers, than they will act as they see fit to bring about the collapse of Israel’s democratically government. In reality, only one single reserve soldier has been court martialed as of now for refusing to fulfil his reserve service.
Two of the vocal leaders of the anti-judicial demonstrators, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and retired IDF Chief of Staff, Major General Dan Halutz, have received unlimited airtime in Israel and with news outlets from abroad so that they can claim that the Israel’s current government and its leader are corrupt and cannot be trusted to advance legally sound reforms to the judicial system. They have publicly called for pilots and other IDF personnel to refuse to serve if called up to reserve duty, and have also repeatedly justified violent civil disobedience. Who are these leaders who are willing to justify military insubordination, weaken Israel’s deterrence, and bring the Israeli government down?
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: “In March 2015, Olmert was convicted in Jerusalem District Court of fraud, breach of trust, and tax evasion in his retrial on corruption charges over the Talansky case. The judges ruled that he had taken bribes and used the funds for personal reasons without reporting it”. Ehud Olmert, was jailed and served two-thirds of a 27-month prison sentence after resigning as a standing Prime Minister.
Aluf (General) Dan Halutz is the second vocal opponent of judicial reform. He is a former head of the IAF, and Chief of Staff of the IDF during the second Lebanese War. Just prior to handing down the order to the general staff of the IDF to invade Lebanon, he stepped out of his office and made a private call to his stock broker to sell his stock portfolio, in order to avoid losses and to return to the market after the market dropped significantly at the beginning of the war. Dan Halutz is also remembered for his dismal functioning as Chief of Staff of the IDF during the second Lebanese War, which has been depicted by numerous military experts as a war grossly mismanaged by Aluf Dan Halutz resulting in the deaths of scores of soldiers.
A third, a failed Prime Minister, a former IDF Chief of Staff Ehud Barak, ousted from the position after the shortest term of any Israeli prime minister, and remained a close friend of Jeffrey Epstein after Epstein's convictions as a sex offender. These are the leaders of the anti-Judicial demonstrators.
Israel is and will continue being a vibrant Democracy despite the mass demonstrations and attempt to hold the government of Israel hostage. There seems to be something else that is operating here, a kind of sub-text. This small yet powerful leadership who have led the demonstrations believe that they are the privileged elite of Israel, a kind of local version of “white privileged supremacists” who act as if the country belongs to them and allow themselves to violate the will of the people who gave the government a clear political mandate to reform the legal system. These self-styled old guard elites are unwilling to open up the ranks within the IDF’s top brass, or the coveted Pilots course in the IAF, or within the elite intelligence unit 8200 among the many centers of privilege for the next generation of our youngest and brightest. It’s a known fact that all of these prized professional military careers and post military careers have been unfairly dominated by privileged Ashkenazim and have denied eligibility to candidates of Mizrachi ancestry and those who are Religious Zionists.
What we are witnessing in Israel is an abrupt and chaotic changing of the guard; the old established elite privileged classes that have had total control over centers of power and influence since Israel’s establishment and are threatened by the judicial reform and that it might infringe on them maintaining their privileged status. Those that choose to refuse to serve and are willing to neglect the security of the State of Israel should be shown the door. There are more than enough capable, intelligent, and fearless candidates from the Religious Zionist ranks and the neighborhoods “beyond the train tracks” from Israel’s peripheral towns and communities who can easily replace these privileged classes.
As for the old guard who refuse to let the new socio-economically diversified generation take its deserved place in the front row I suggest we send the old guard packing and simply tell them “Thank you for your service”.
Since Benjamin Netanyahu’s electoral success this past November, his conservative political coalition has been challenged with a non-stop tsunami of judicial, political and mainstream media generated reports that have only one goal, it demonize and de-legitimize Netanyahu’s electoral success forcing him to abandon his role as the leader of the nation. Exposing this slanderous campaign has had negligible success in convincing the general public that as consumers of information, they are being forced fed a steady diet of conspiracy theories and fake news, chaos, all culminating in what has developed into a politics of rage.
What is oedipal rage? It's an emotion that can engulf ones entire sense of being—a red hot feeling that can dismiss all rational thought and genuine self-interest. For years we have had to endure a lynch atmosphere in which all of the media seem to be like an endless series of firing squads all aimed in the direction of Benjamin Netanyahu. What is it that has created this relentless politics of rage and hatred? What can explain this “kill the beast” atmosphere in our streets among demonstrators? How can one explain how regular upstanding citizens who normally exhibit normative behaviors have been transformed in a vicious mob who fan the flames of rage and hatred against a democratically elected leader, his wife, and his children? Political pundits have been unable to sufficiently explain this deep primal hatred that has permeated the public discourse trampling every accepted norm and the basic concept of fairness.
The Madison Ave. inspired campaign against Israel’s democratically elected government for the past six months has exposed the success of progressive forces and Israel’s “deep state”. A small yet vocal coalition of progressive and leftist organizations known pejoratively as the “anti-Bibi” coalition with the open support of the mainstream media, the Attorney General, and the Judicial system; have shouted and exposed their uninhibited rage, disgust and vulgar hatred against Benjamin Netanyahu. The actions by the “anti-Bibi” coalition have on a daily basis blocked major highways and transportation arteries, blocked the entrance to Israel’s central International airport, and have violently demonstrated at the entrance to the private homes of Ministers and Knesset members of the governing coalition. The “anti-Bibi” coalition have used the proposed judicial legislation as a backdrop to their unbridled vulgarity and rage using tactics that are inspired exclusively by gutter politics. Political pundits have failed in explaining in a coherent manner to the general public the roots of this primal hatred and rage. They have consistently failed to truly understand that the origins of this hatred that can only be explained within the realm of Freudian psychoanalytic thinking. Benjamin Netanyahu also known as “Bibi” has become the ultimate father figure who must be disposed of at all costs thereby saving the beloved “motherland”.
Oedipal rage according to Freud, represents a deep feeling of aggression and desire to dispose of a parental figure. In today’s politically charged atmosphere, rage and aggression have become acceptable forms for expressing opposition and the desire to replace the “head” of a nation. Little if any effort is made towards clarifying the destructive aspects of this mindset and the inevitable spillover into our daily routine. Not only do I want to dispose of the “head” of the nation, but this destructive primal rage also encompasses those that support him, those that represent ideas and values different than my own, and lastly those that are unlike myself. This rage, this hatred of “Bibi” permits us to keep alive the idea that everything is really much more simple, if only “Bibi” would go way either voluntarily or if necessary by force. This rage allows us to convince ourselves that if only we yell louder, exhibit even more vulgar and destructive behavior, and beat up on our head of state a little harder than everything will work out. All we have to do is break the political bones of “Bibi”, than everything would revert back to the falsely intoxicating effect of the period prior to “Bibi’s” repetitive electoral success beginning in 1996 making him Israel’s longest standing Prime Minister. This intoxicating taste had become nothing more than a drunken stupor blurring reality and the real successes of Israel under “Bibi’s” repetitive incumbencies having transformed Israel into a world leader in Hi-tech innovation, food and agriculture technology, water desalination, Military systems development, and the list goes on and on.
It is a well-known fact among jurists and leading politicians of both sides of the political isle that Israel’s judicial system is dysfunctional and broken. The most blatant example of this reality is that many if not most of international hi-tech companies that invest in Israel demand upfront that in the event of future contractual disagreement, any legal recourse and litigation be subservient to American or British law and not Israeli law. Major investors understand what the “anti-Bibi” coalition refuse to acknowledge. It is in Israel’s and the public’s interest to make the needed changes in Israel’s judicial system.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu understands that to succeed you must resonate strength, and defend your turf and principles. No level of oedipal and primal rage by the “anti-Bibi” coalition, the mainstream media, the “deep state”, and progressive opponents will change the direction of Israel’s legally elected and legitimate government. Those that continue to be immersed in a politics of hated and rage will slowly find themselves representing no one but themselves. They will cease to be relevant to the people of Israel.
The rationale behind the use of Jewish humor to combat explicit anti-Semitism is to convey a powerful message, exposing “the hypocrisy, irrationality, prejudice, and misinformation surrounding the current wave of antisemitism” and aims to “provide a roadmap toward a brighter future” in the words of the producer of “The Roast of Anti-Semitism”. Yet with anti-Semitism spiraling out of control in America, fighting anti-Semitism with Jewish humor by America’s top Jewish standup comedians seems to be an idea that only Hollywood could come up with. This past week, at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, a packed house roared with laughter as “The Roast of Anti-Semitism” dealt with the world’s oldest hatred. The promoters of the show evidently believe that Jewish humor will stop anti-Semites in their tracks. “There is a long, rich Jewish tradition of confronting anti-Semitism with direct humor and comedians have always been front-line fighters in the war against hatred,” and that “there are people that argue that making light of prejudice, or turning purveyors of it into absurdities, robs hatred of power. With today’s disturbing rise of anti-Semitism, comedians are ready to fight back.”
Now the stark reality; A recent American Jewish Committee survey found that more than a quarter of American Jews were a target of an anti-Semitic incident in 2022 and that not less than 38% changed their behavior out of fear of anti-Semitism. The Anti-Defamation League, in a study published in January of this year, found that 85% of Americans believe at least one anti-Jewish trope, as opposed to 61% found in 2019. Yet at the Saban theatre, a top comedian took on white supremacists who commonly chant “Jews will not replace us,” and fought back with punch lines: “We don’t want to replace you, we want to represent you…. we just want to put braces on you … we just want to manage your portfolio … we want to place you in a 30-year fixed low interest mortgage … we want to fit you for glasses, heal you, teach you, inspire you, make you laugh, represent you in a divorce and she replaces you.” The only punch line he forgot was explaining to the crowd how to define today’s new anti-Semitism; “someone who hates Jews more than is necessary”.
The normalization and trivialization of the Holocaust and Jew hatred might be a good starting point when attempting to unravel the Jewish inclination to actually believe that Jewish humor will deter or discourage anti-Semites. Trivializing Jew hatred and anti-Semitism seems to be a Hollywood tradition going back many years, written by, produced by, and directed by Jews. Over the years Jewish comedians have used the Holocaust as a source of Jewish humor. Liberal Jewish organizations have for many years vilified Israel and compared the Jewish state with Hitler’s Germany. However the entertainment industry and specifically Jewish celebrities have contributed more than their share in diluting and trivializing the significance of the Holocaust and delegating Jew hatred to a punch line, thereby empowering anti-Semitism.
Seinfeld” had a major role in invoking the Holocaust as a source for Jewish humor. “The Soup Nazi” was the sixth episode of the seventh season of Seinfeld. It first aired November 2, 1995. A new soup kitchen opens, but the owner is extremely strict: so strict that he is nicknamed "The Soup Nazi". The term "Nazi" is used as an exaggeration of the excessively strict regimentation he constantly demands of his patrons; its owner is referred to as the "Soup Nazi" due to his temperament and insistence on strict rules of behavior while ordering. The Soup Nazi yells out, “NO SOUP FOR YOU!” The producer, script writers, and Seinfeld himself were all Jews.
The movie “The Producers”, a classic, was a musical with the music and lyrics written by Mel Brooks. The story concerns two theatrical producers who scheme to get rich by fraudulently overselling interests in a Broadway flop about Nazi Germany. Complications arise when the show unexpectedly turns out to be successful. The humor of the show draws on caricatures of Nazis. An example of the lyrics in the movie;
Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race
Larry David, a producer and writer for Seinfeld during its successful run as a sit-com, did a monologue on Saturday Night Live. David’s monologue resonated with a message that should be entitled; Why it’s time for Jews to Get Over the Holocaust, or even; Now is the time that Jews move on and stop making the Holocaust the most pivotal event in Jewish history.
In that Saturday Night Live monologue he quipped: “I’ve always been obsessed with women, and I’ve always wondered: If I’d grown up in Poland when Hitler came to power and was sent to a concentration camp, would I still be checking out women in the camp? I think I would." And continuing, he said: "Of course, the problem is there are no good opening lines in a concentration camp. ‘How’s it going? They treating you OK? You know, if we ever get out of here, I’d love to take you out for some latkes.’” I was surprised that he didn’t conclude his monologue with “The Shoah must go on.”
Jewish humor will not deter, persuade, or diminish the ever growing Jew hatred that is sweeping the streets of Main St in America. To think otherwise is simply to live within a worldview of Jewish denial and cultural encapsulation. The Holocaust was preceded by years of mounting anti-Semitic attacks and the demonization of Jews. It didn’t come out of nowhere. Jewish standup comedians will certainly not cause anti-Semites to question their hatred of Jews.
“Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up until now? It is G-d who has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again. Who knows it might even be our religion from which the world and all peoples learn good, and for that reason and only that reason do we suffer. We can never become just Netherlanders, or just English or representatives of any country for that matter. We will always remain Jews.” From the diary of Anne Frank, April 11, 1944.