Blue State Blues: Witnessing Miracles in the Holy Land

Sunrise over the Sea of Galilee, hours after the Iranian attack on Israel was defected, Ap
Joel Pollak / Breitbart News

The past few weeks had been, until last Saturday, among the most difficult for friends of Israel around the world.

The Biden administration refused to allow Israel to win its war against the Hamas terrorist organization, and even took up Hamas’s negotiating position — i.e. no hostage releases before a ceasefire.

Hezbollah continued firing from the north; the Houthis kept shooting from the south; and one wondered how this tiny nation had managed to survive this long.

And then on Thursday night, a day after I arrived in Israel, I found an answer of sorts, as I attended a concert in Jerusalem.

The theater was packed with Israelis, many of whom were off-duty soldiers or security personnel, and armed with automatic rifles. One young couple included a mother with a traditional Orthodox Jewish head covering and a baby in a sling, accompanied by her husband, who was carrying an M16 rifle. Date night in Israel in wartime.

Halfway through the concert, people began to stand up and dance, until the whole theater was rocking. It was no longer a performance, but something like a wedding, where the guests are themselves part of the show.

It dawned on me in. that moment: of course Israel will survive.

Israel’s survival has been a miracle since the day it declared Independence; it remains a miracle nearly 76 years later, a miracle that renews itself every generation, every day.

The late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said that Israel’s “secret weapon” was that Israelis “have nowhere else to go.” When President Joe Biden quoted her in October, in the wake of the Hamas terror attack, I thought that was a good way to show empathy.

But after Thursday, I realized that it was insufficient. Israel’s secret weapon is not fear of annihilation, but rather love — love of the country, love of God, love of life itself — against the hatred cultivated by its enemies.

On Saturday, in the Old City of Jerusalem — just hours before the Iranian missile attack — I visited the Christian holy sites, and found throngs of pilgrims and worshippers, undeterred by the dangers of war. It was deeply moving to see them connect to a place that meant to much to them.

I marveled at the courage of these humble Christians who defied travel warnings and Iranian threats to travel to the Holy Land and pour their hearts out to their Savior.

Perhaps those prayers worked, because what transpired later that evening was miraculous.

Iran launched over 300 drones and missiles at Israel — the largest-ever such attack in the history of the world — and the Israeli military was able to intercept almost all of them.

The sounds of fighter jets and explosions overhead filled the skies from the late evening until just before dawn the next morning. And when the sun rose, Israelis found themselves almost unharmed.

Many Israelis felt a sense of euphoria. They had just lived through the attack that they had long dreaded. Now the fear was gone.

It took me a few days to connect the scenes of fervent prayer earlier in the day, and the astonishing display of aerial defensive power that followed that night.

Perhaps the apparent connection was mere coincidence. Or perhaps it was another miracle.

Regardless, the love that brought those Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem was real, and powerful. It is the same love that unites Israelis and fuels their will to fight.

I had wondered, for weeks, whether love would defeat hate — whether the desire of Israelis to live in peace with their neighbors could overcome their enemies’ efforts to indoctrinate their own children with hate, and to export that hate around the world.

After witnessing, and living through, the incredible events in the Holy Land over the past week, I believe I know the answer: love will win in the end — given the weapons to fight, and the will to use them judiciously.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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