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Parashat Balak - 5774

My friends,

This Shabbat, we read about Balak, the king of Moab, who is afraid that the Israelites will conquer his land on the way to the Promised Land. He knows that he cannot defeat them militarily. He, therefore, turns to Balaam, who was known as a prophet with the power to bless or curse people. Balak promises him much wealth if he would come and curse the Israelites so that the Moabites can defeat them in battle. Balaam comes, but instead of curses, blessings come out of his mouth on three different occasions.

It would seem that the tactic used by the King of Moab to try to defeat the Israelites, namely curses, is used today by the Palesitinians. Unable to defeat Israel and not willing to make peace with Israel, the Palestinians have embarked (and it seems very effectively) on a propaganda campaign of slander and lies, accusing Israel of racism, apartheid and all kinds of crimes, in order to gain the sympathy of the world. The Palestinians' Balaam of today are Israel's critics in the liberal media, the United Nations, the European Union, college students and other groups, who never fail to criticize Israel at every turn.

Just as Balaam was unable to hurt the Israelites, we hope and pray that all those who are ganging up against Israel today will, at some point, see the light and realize that Israel lives in a very bad neighborhood, and needs to continue to protect its people from neighbors who, G-d forbid if they ever had the opportunity, would have no qualms massacring all the Jews, just like they are doing to anyone who differs with their views.

Let's hope that we can hear better news in the coming days and weeks.

Shabbat Shalom,

Avram