Refusal to Accept Reality

May 20, 2024, Schipol Airport Aspire Lounge, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

A trip is not over, until it is over. On the way to Amsterdam I am warned by a friend, be careful, you look obviously Jewish, and the sentiment today is very much anti-Jewish. All over Amsterdam there are the so called "Palestinian" flags, or the flag of terror against Jews and all decent people. 

I arrive at the airport early. As always, the El Al check-in is in a special place, far removed from the "regular" passengers. El Al is always at the end, in the corner, in the place easiest to defend. El Al is never in a central place. It must be challenging for the airport security and police to have to provide special security measures, and extra personal, to protect us, the chosen people. 

I approach the El Al area; unlike other check-in areas these police are armed to the teeth. And they are not friendly. Seems like their anger is misdirected at the people they are meant to protect. They start shouting orders at me; Stand here! Do not go past there! etc. But I do not need to be reminded by these people about safety and security. I have lived my entire life this way. I don't need an "outsider" to teach me about being safe. I find it very ironic that these non-Jewish people are here to protect and defend me. I keep my eyes open; I rely upon myself and my fellow Israeli passengers and the El Al security. We know what to look for. 

Just a few days ago I was at Westerbork, the last stop for 102,000 Dutch Jews on the way to the Death Camps. Just recently my cousin, a rabbi in Holland, was beaten in public. I do not forget. Where were the police then?

During my free time I catch up on the news from Israel. Again, the ridiculous suggestions to negotiate with the enemy. But for me the past is not in the past, it is my current reality. No, we will not accept the Oslo Accords, no, we will never agree to divide up our country. No, we will not trust the words of terrorists or so-called friends who promise to protect us. No, we will not rely upon the reeds of Egypt, and we will not bow to the pressure. As the great Menachem Begin said, A Jew kneels only to God. 

Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. (Isaiah Chapter 36)

הִנֵּ֣ה בָטַ֡חְתָּ עַל־מִשְׁעֶ֩נֶת֩ הַקָּנֶ֨ה הָרָצ֤וּץ הַזֶּה֙ עַל־מִצְרַ֔יִם אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִסָּמֵ֥ךְ אִישׁ֙ עָלָ֔יו וּבָ֥א בְכַפּ֖וֹ וּנְקָבָ֑הּ כֵּ֚ן פַּרְעֹ֣ה מֶלֶךְ־מִצְרַ֔יִם לְכׇֽל־הַבֹּטְחִ֖ים עָלָֽיו

The evidence was there in the hands of Israeli intelligence before the attack of October 7, 2023. That was not the problem. There was a large portfolio with all the information, nay, even a video!!

But what happened? It was not a lack of intelligence; it was a refusal to believe. It is the same mistake that you make every day, a refusal to believe that which is unpleasant and more importantly, inconvenient. 

The vast majority of people I know do not train in Krav Maga, or in any form of self-defense. And yet, it is very rare that I meet someone dumb enough to think it is not important. So, just like the Israeli Intelligence services, we see the problem but yet we do not act, we do not prepare. And when the shit hits the fan, it is too late, and we are left with a massive mess. 

Hoping the enemy shares our values, will not help.

Thinking that appeasing Evil will work, is delusional. 

Thinking that weakness, or kindness, will be appreciated and rewarded, is being in a state of detachment from reality.

Have we learned the lessons of the past? Just like the pre-October 7 reports about Hamas, we have all the information we need. World War 2 taught us what appeasement brings. 

We may find men like Joseph Stalin repulsive, revolting, but they were realists, and there is much we can learn from them. We may find certain world leaders distasteful, but a choir boy does not a military hero make. We need to see the truth, and act upon it. 

I am grateful for those who came to train with us in Europe during these recent months, I only wish there were more, because the clock is ticking. There is a house of gathering for all living things. We must do what we can, while we can. 

Enough said.


Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.

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