Friday, May 19, 2017

Victory is in the Brainpower

Here's is the great historian Barbara Tuchman in an article she published, "Israel's Swift Sword" in November 1967:

“A people considered for centuries nonfighters carried out in June against long odds the most nearly perfect military operation in modern history. Surrounded on three sides, facing vast superiority in numbers and amount of armament, fighting alone against enemies supported and equipped by a major power, and having lost the advantage of surprise, they accomplished the rarest of military feats, the attainment of exact objectives – in this case the shattering of the enemy’s forces and the securing of defensible lines – within a given time and with absence of blunder. The war, which taken as a whole was the greatest battle ever fought in this area, shook the world, leaving local and international balances in new focus, incidentally rescuing the United States from a critical position, and, not the least of effects, exposing a profound failure of Russian calculations and presumably of military intelligence.”
“What furnished capacity primarily was that the brain power with which this people was endowed was channeled for the first time since the Exile into the military art in defense of their own homeland,”

And now consider this parallel, excerpted from the speech Menachem Begin broadcast on Saturday night, May 15, 1948, having not been invited to sign Israel's Proclamation of Independence the previous Friday afternoon:

...even after emerging victorious from this campaign — and victorious we shall be — we shall still have to exert superhuman efforts in order to remain independent, in order to free our country. First of all, it will be necessary to increase and strengthen the fighting arm of Israel, without which there can be no freedom and no survival for our Homeland. Our Jewish army should be, and must be, one of the best trained and equipped of the world’s military forces. In modern warfare, it is not quantity that counts but brainpower and spirit are the determining factors. All of our youth proved that they possess this spirit – those of the Hagana, the Lehi, the Irgun, youth that no other nation has merited. Indeed, no generation since Bar-Kochba and until the Bilu pioneers has seen such spirit.

As for brainpower, after 120 generations, the creativity of the Hebrew mind is one of the most developed and unlimited. Our military science will be built up on the Jewish mind and will be the world’s best. We will yet achieve strength for we possess the power of the brain. In order to free our country and maintain our state, we shall need a wise foreign policy. We must turn our declaration of independence into a reality.  Secondly, we must establish and maintain the principle of reciprocity in our relations with the nations of the world. There must be no self-denigration.

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