Operation Breaking Dawn, in which the IDF decapitated the leadership of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, coincided with the Fast of Tisha b’Av, which marks the end of an annual three-week period of mourning. Noting the significance of the timing, Daniel Gordis observes:
The “Three Weeks” begin on the date that, as tradition has it, Jerusalem’s walls were first breached after months of siege (in 586 BCE by the Babylonians with the First Temple and in 70 CE by the Romans with the Second), and they culminate with the 9th of Av, when the invaders reached the Temple (each time) and burned it.
Those ancient sieges spelled disaster for the Jewish people. The destruction of the First Temple led almost immediately to a massive exile of the Jews from the Land of Israel. . . . These Three Weeks are therefore, for me, a reminder of Israel’s fundamental purpose. There were many reasons that the Jews got into the state-making business of course, but key among them was the rejection of Jewish victimhood. We would not fall again to the Babylonians. We would not fall to the Greeks. Or the Romans. Or whatever venomous hatred Europe and the West would cook up next.
Those days were gone. Jewish victimhood would be replaced by Jewish triumph. . . . That rejection of defeat and embrace of flourishing, though, does not wash in today’s culture of reverence for victimhood. In a world in which people view life only through the prisms of power versus weakness, and white versus brown, Israel (which is more brown than white, but what do facts really matter anymore?) knows what the reaction will be abroad, even among Jews.