From The Other Side Of The Bench

By David J. Seidemann, Esq.

Her name is Aliza. She is 16. She is my daughter. When her camp in Israel concluded last week, she decided to remain in Israel. While she is enjoying the land, people, and shops in Israel, she is spending a great deal of her time traveling from hospital to hospital, visiting soldiers wounded in combat.

Her name is Tali. She is 20. She is not my biological daughter or sister, but she is a “sister” and “daughter” to all of us. She is a member of the IDF, and my daughter visited her the other day in a hospital where Tali is recovering. Her job in the army? No, she is not a secretary. She does not pack medical supplies for the male soldiers on the front lines. Tali is a driving instructor in the army. Her vehicle of choice? A tank. This 20-year-old woman, who looks 12, teaches soldiers how to drive a tank.

His name is Shachar. He is 19. He is my cousin. He was one of the brave members of the IDF who was sent into Gaza to clear out the tunnels of terror. He needs our collective prayers as he lies unconscious in a hospital in southern Israel, having undergone, by my count, seven surgeries so far. We are hopeful for his recovery, as last night his condition was upgraded from critical to serious.

His name is Noad Lahat. He is 30. His parents were generals in the Israeli army. His older siblings and his younger brother served in the IDF. He served years ago and is presently a UFC fighter here in the United States. He fought in California last week and, immediately after his three-round unanimous victory, he announced that he was putting his professional fighting career on hold and returning to Israel to join another fight–the fight for his homeland. He remarked in a recent interview that if he does not return home to Israel to fight, there will be no home to return to. He is not required to return, but as soon as his friends received their notices to serve, he felt the obligation.

His name is ___. I don’t even want to waste the ink. He is a disgrace. I have no idea how old he is nor do I care. He is a reporter, a commentator, or a correspondent for CNN. But from his commentary you would assume he was a member of Hamas. His head is in the sand. He ignores all reality and ignores all sense of morality. He draws medical conclusions, ballistics conclusions, and strategy conclusions, though I doubt he has any formal training in any of the above arenas.

Its name is CNN. It is ostensibly a news-reporting outfit. Its employees and correspondents interview an Arab, and they run and rerun footage of the same injured person being taken into the same hospital. They interview an Israeli official, and they run and rerun the same footage of an Arab being rushed into a hospital. The only reason to watch them is to be able to keep an eye on just how morally corrupt they and others are in not recognizing the truth of what is going on in the Middle East. At least they don’t claim to be fair and balanced.

There are the various countries that are recalling their ambassadors from Israel in protest of the Gaza “offensive.” And then there are the other countries that are doing Hamas’s bidding, by pressuring Israel and threatening Israel and attacking Jews and Jewish institutions worldwide. We stand alone, but we are used to it. Oh, it would be nice for the world other than Fox News to see the truth, but that’s not happening soon.

His name is Wolf Blitzer; he is 66 years old, just in case you are interested. He was born in Germany in 1948, the same year Israel was born. His parents were Holocaust survivors and he sometimes writes under his Jewish name of Zev Barak.

I acknowledge his credentials as a journalist and do not consider him a self-hating Jew. But one has to wonder about his interviews of Palestinian and Hamas officials. He always seems to fall short of asking the follow-up question. Maybe it’s the lawyer in me, but I have been taught, and pride myself on, cross-examination and in asking not only the pointed question, but the follow-up question that is prompted by the answer.

I have been glued to the coverage this past month and have watched the CNN version of the Iron Dome intercept Blitzer’s questions of Hamas “leaders” and shoot them to the ground. If I were Mr. Blitzer, these are the follow-up questions I would ask the various Hamas leaders, wherever they might be.

Are you upset that Palestinian civilians are dying? (OK, he asked that question.) Would you be upset if Israeli civilians were dying?

Are you upset that Israel has the Iron Dome? Do you wish that Israel did not have a missile defense system? Do you acknowledge that without the Iron Dome hundreds, if not thousands, of Israeli citizens would have been killed? Is that not your goal? Why did you build tunnels instead of a missile defense system?

Why is it that we see Israeli soldiers on television but we never see a Hamas soldier? Where are the Hamas soldiers?

Where are the missiles from Gaza being fired from? Where should the Israelis fire back?

If Egypt has instituted a blockade against the Gaza Strip as well, why are you not firing missiles into Egypt?

Does it bother you when a Muslim life is lost? Does it bother you only when the Muslim is killed by an Israeli strike, or also when another Muslim is the culprit?

Do you know how many people were killed in Iraq and Syria these last two weeks? Were any of those killed by Jews? Why haven’t we heard anything from you about those deaths?

I think the reader understands my point. Wolf Blitzer needs to ask more questions if he wants the truth to be exposed.

We live in trying times, in very difficult times. We are taking on, it seems, almost the entire world.

This is a defining moment for the nations of the world. They can side either with darkness or with light, with good or with evil. They can either exercise moral clarity or allow their anti-Semitic attitudes to cloud any sense of reason.

Most will choose darkness over light. That is the way of the world. But I believe that when the dust settles and the truth is revealed, those who chose incorrectly will suffer the consequences.

In our world, the majority is rarely correct. That should not discourage us, as it is nothing new. We have always survived and will continue to survive.

Her name is Israel and she will endure forever. Ï–

David Seidemann is a partner with the law firm of Seidemann and Mermelstein and serves as a professor of business law at Touro College. He can be reached at 718-692-1013 or


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