The Rape of Yom Kippur and the terrorist attack on the Western Negev By Léon Rozenbaum*

An unprecedented event, of immense symbolic power, occurred in Israel during the last day of the solemnity of Yom Kippur. More than 500 Israeli Jews organized themselves in Tel Aviv and elsewhere, in around twenty places of prayer, to deliberately prevent the prayers of other Jews, with intolerable insults and violence, brutalizing men, women and children, on the very holiest day of the Jewish year dedicated to fasting, serenity and the intimacy of prayer. Such behavior anywhere other than Israel would be qualified as anti-Semitism. We must face the fact that this is indeed the worst form of anti-Semitism, Jewish anti-Semitism.
A few days later, during the holiday of Simhat Thora, a very serious strategic event occurred, a major anti-Semitic terrorist attack by Hamas which could not be stopped in time, leading to the assassination of hundreds of peaceful Israeli citizens, Jews and Arabs, thousands of wounded and the kidnapping of a still unknown number of men, women, children and old people in an atmosphere of pogromist savagery that many Israelis no longer believed possible or could not even imagine.

By means of a ruse, the terrorists managed to deceive the vigilance of the IDF, which took too long to react, leading, by coupling this ground attack with an attack of hundreds of missiles on the entire country, to a real national catastrophe. The entire nation is in a state of shock. Special units are at work to clear the ground of terrorists who are still on our territory, sometimes by holding hostages. A counterattack on Gaza has obviously been launched.
The massive massacre of Jews because they are Jews, here and now, puts us against the wall. We cannot continue to tear each other apart over theoretical questions of high politics, legal nuances or religious sensibilities, when the enemy at our gates suddenly comes to remind us who we are and that we are in the same boat or the same sealed wagon. Today is not the time for settling scores but for the common effort towards victory, the only solution to ensure our common survival in the face of the combined threats against us by Iran in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and the Yemen.

However, as certain media outlets, such as « Haaretz », continue, even now, their slanderous ravings particularly against the legally and democratically elected Prime Minister of the Sovereign Jewish State, it is not possible to avoid an attempt at a holistic reflection and explanation of what brought us to where we are.

To assess the motives and effects of these two events and their links with the dispute over judicial reform and the social crisis, it seems necessary to take an overview of the general situation of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. In these circumstances, and to fully understand the coherence of events, we must not fear ridicule, and in the age of the mobile phone, when we no longer know who knows what, it can be useful to recall data basic information assumed to be known.

The unprecedented upheavals that our country is experiencing and of which everyone recognizes the dangers, not only must be analyzed seriously, but above all, it will be necessary to reach a certain consensus as to their meaning and the means of stabilizing the country, so that common life can resume, perhaps on better bases.

The considerations which follow touch in turn, succinctly and in disorder, on History, Law, Civilization, faith, politics, strategy and collective psychology. The reader, if he is patient enough, will understand that there is hardly any other way to approach the subject.

The Genesis of Modern Israel

The State of Israel is the national State of the Jewish People, reconstituted 75 years ago, after 19 centuries of exile and dispersion among almost all the Nations of the earth. There also live several national and religious minorities, some 20% of the population, who were immediately offered equal rights in all areas. The concrete application, on the ground, of this principle is sometimes controversial. It has nearly ten million inhabitants.

As a result of the perpetual attacks of which it is the victim, this State, in 1967, after a very dangerous attempt at annihilation by a coalition of Arab armies, and after having repulsed the enemy, recovered territories that public international law had recognized to it. This recognition came in a founding act, the Treaty of San Remo of 1923, under the auspices of the League of Nations which preceded the UN. However, these small regions, and today it has become obvious that the same is true for the Gaza region, play an essential strategic role and, according to the majority of military specialists and simple logic, it is, for the minimal defense of the country of Israel and its citizens, truly impossible to give up maintaining sovereignty over these modest territories.

In addition, Judea and Samaria constitute the historical cradle of the Jewish Nation. However, they are occupied essentially by an Arab population with a Muslim majority, which, for the most part, aspires to establish itself as a sovereign Palestinian Arab state throughout the territory of Israel, in its place.

Too many people, however, pretend to be unaware that as early as 1946, with the complicity of the British, the State of Jordan was established on 4/5 of the territory that the Treaty of San Remo intended for the Jews, 80% of which residents declare themselves Palestinians. Jordan has around 11 million inhabitants.

An unequal division of Palestine therefore already took place in 1946, of which the Arabs received 4/5. Gaza is the remnant of the area occupied in our country by the invading Egyptian army in 1948 to prevent the reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty.

The description of Israel as the occupier in Judea and Samaria is a lie, very poorly concealing the intention to liquidate the Jewish State, by leaving it an indefensible territory, too often rehashed in the West for unclear reasons, but also in Israel itself, by Israelis subservient to the concepts and failings of the West.


Despite all attempts to stabilize the conflict and in particular the declarations and  » Oslo agreements », the same reality remains of the majority position of the Palestinians, clearly personalized by Arafat and his successor, not to mention Hamas or Iran: the desire for annihilation of the Jewish State and possibly the unification of the “great Arab Palestine” with Jordan populated by a vast majority of “Palestinians” (most of whom are the descendants of those who arrived in the country from the Arab States neighbors after 1920, to which were added all the « desperadoes » of the Arab world, because the Jews had developed it). The simple fact of considering foreign sovereignty in the immediate vicinity of Jewish population centers, in the unstable Middle East, constitutes an intolerable existential threat to Israel.

Since the conclusion of a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan in 1994, Israel has renounced the Treaty of San Remo concerning Jordanian territory, but in no way, and this is true of all Israeli Governments of the right and the left, regarding Judea and Samaria.

The Gaza region, also populated by nearly two million Muslim Arabs, completely emptied of its Jewish population under controversial conditions, has total autonomy, a passage to Egypt and devotes significant resources to prepare a war of conquest against Israel. Led by the Hamas terrorist organization which imposes a regime of violence on its local population, it regularly engages in increasingly deadly missile attacks against the civilian population of Israel. His future status remains undecided. After the recent attack, and ongoing operations, new strategic considerations are necessary.

Arab residents of these three regions do not have Israeli citizenship, unlike those in the rest of the country.

Under these conditions, anyone who maintains that the very modest territory of 28,000 km2 under Israeli control (except Gaza) must be divided into two sovereignties is deliberately ignoring reality, either through fundamental hostility to Jewish sovereignty or through guilty naivety. Those among the Palestinians who cannot bear to live under Jewish sovereignty will always have the option of joining the Palestinian Arab state, Jordan, or any other Arab Muslim country of their choice, or any other place in the world.


Three inseparable elements traditionally define Israel:

-1 the Torah, i.e. the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud and the teachings of the Sages;

2- the Jewish People, traditionally called “People of Israel”, in all its components;

3- the Land of Israel, essentially, between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.

The civilization of Israel which was built in this geographical framework is thousands of years old, dating back almost 4000 years. It is one of the few ancient civilizations to have survived to this day. Its very survival, far from its original home, is largely a miracle, as is the conservation of the Hebrew language and its revival in the 20th century.

In the categories of Jewish thought, the originality of this civilization is mainly due to the fact that it is founded on a theology of freedom: a people, who was initially only a family, reduced to slavery by the most great civilization of the time, that of Egypt, after having developed there intensely, liberated itself, under the influence of an immense Prophet, Moses, guided by the G-d. Creator of heaven and earth, transcendent and immanent, Master of History, who brings back this people he choosed, to return to them the Land given to their fathers both physical and spiritual, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

In exchange, this people receives the obligation to take as its constitution, morality itself, whose principles, extrinsic to humanity itself, are revealed to them at Sinai in a prodigious founding event that remains in the memory of men. This divine plan consists of making the History of Man succeed, which will have to build a world of morality where God and Man can coexist.

Israel must be the model of this construction and become, before achieving this goal, “a Kingdom of priests and a holy Nation”.

To be free is to choose to serve only this invisible G-d, with the unpronounceable name, the G-d of Israel, because affiliating body and soul with any other cause or human person leads to alienation. Also, the Jewish liturgy never ceases to remind us, like an obsession, “remember that you were a slave in Egypt”, assume your freedom through moral conduct!

The Jewish vision is universalist without being imperialist: all humanity is invited to be free, by free choice. Recognizing the Name of the G-d of Israel does not mean that she is invited to become Jewish. The division of Humanity into Nations, each with its own dignity, is legitimate. Israel, unlike Christians and Muslims, has never aspired to universal empire.

Israel on its Land

For more than a millennium and a quarter, (1), the people of Israel will develop in their Country their civilization, their thought and a unique book, the most read on earth, and a wisdom which is one of the most important monuments of humanity. It will experience a political peak under the reign of King Solomon then will be dominated in turn by the greatest empires of the times it will pass through, Assyria, Persia, Hellenism. Then, for two hundred years, it will regain its independence under the Hasmonean kings. It will after that fall under the domination of Rome-Western Civilization, the longest domination, from which it is in the process of freeing itself.

This liberation is a complex process which can only take place in stages since Western civilization has spread throughout the world and for a long time believed itself to be “civilization” par excellence, especially in the modern period. Today it is no longer so sure, but, however, many Jews who have drunk from this cup for a long time continue to believe in it out of a habit of fidelity, having moreover lost a large part of understanding of their own identity.


The two thousand years of exile since the time following the destruction of the second kingdom of Judea have certainly been marked by tragedies, persecutions, massacres, forced conversions but also, often, improvements and sometimes « ages of gold », of various autonomy by which the Jews were able to maintain and develop a system of law, a tradition of study and faith and above all a way of being, a strategy of survival which combined their eminent Hebrew identity to the identity of the countries in which they were staying.

They had become, according to the expression of Rav Léon Askenazi, Manitou, זצ »ל: “Judeo-someone else”. In doing so, they largely imbued themselves with the wisdom of the peoples encountered on their route and their particular facet of the human universal.

Alas, the two most fruitful symbioses of the Jews with the Peoples, Spain which the Hebrew calls « Sepharad » and Germany which the Hebrew calls « Ashkenaz », whose names we still give ourselves out of exaggerated loyalty, are ended in terrible drama like all these initially generous attempts. The worst of these tragedies, the Shoah, the selective mass massacre of European Jews in the middle of the twentieth century, continues to haunt us and influence our behavior and our decisions.


The movement of the Return of the Jews to their ancient homeland at the end of the 19th century, Zionism, opened an essential new chapter in Jewish history. The restoration of Jewish sovereignty in his country in 1948 was an event of considerable significance. In three quarters of a century, despite difficult conditions, it rebuilt a small, dynamic and flourishing country, practically self-sufficient in terms of food, exporting a vast agricultural and even industrial production and above all know-how and intellectual property, placing Israel at a level of development comparable to that of the most advanced European countries. The reconstitution of Hebrew identity has also had a profound impact on the Jewish people throughout the world, to the point of now attracting almost the majority of the world’s Jews.

It is necessary to note that this result is the fruit of an already long effort.



The main currents in contemporary Israel

Three main intellectual currents dominate the scene in Israel: Militant secularism, very conservative “Haridism” or religious orthodoxy, and religious Zionism. There are of course variations and mixtures, because reality is never confused with textbook cases.


“Secular” Jews

The development of Zionism necessitated the emergence of a secular Zionist movement since most of the contemporary Rabbis of the visionary of the State, Theodore Herzl, opposed the movement, although a minority of them strongly supported it. However, the “lay people” of the time all had a strong Jewish identity and had been trained in traditional knowledge.

Three or four generations later, militant secularists, having forgotten all about Jewish knowledge according to Tradition, are totally subservient to the categories of thought of the de-Christianized West but imbued with its concepts, often with more anger than Westerners themselves! For a majority of Jews in the world to finally rally around the sovereign Jewish state, it took a long process which can partly explain the current difficulties.

Furthermore, it would be illusory to believe that what characterized the ambiguous relations between the West, Christian in its essence, and the People of Israel for 2000 years, had disappeared as if by magic. All of Western civilization obviously continues to experience, in connection with the filiation of Christianity in relation to Judaism, a relationship of attraction-repulsion with regard to Israel, culturally and politically.

Among de-Judaized Jews, and particularly among de-Judaized Israelis, it is even worse. Depersonalization puts them at odds: it is difficult to have Hebrew as a mother tongue and to dishonor the essential biblical message of which Hebrew carries. This leads to self-hatred, the all too famous “Selbsthass”.

This is also why they prove incapable of understanding the notion of “Secularism” which is a notion invented in France at the beginning of the 20th  Century and which essentially means the combination of the freedom not to believe, but also to the freedom to believe. They are ready to apply the second term to Muslim Arabs, but not to their Jewish brothers! Numerous declarations and actions in this environment, over the past 9 months, indicate almost psychotic behavior.


Haridism is essentially characterized by the fact that in the eyes of the main leaders of this current, the Zionist State did not “come down from heaven” and therefore does not conform to their interpretation of the Scriptures, which, no one contested, clearly foresee the Return of the Jews to the Land of Israel. As it was necessary for Jews to gather in the Historic Homeland to plow the soil and lay the foundations for the return to legal sovereignty, it would therefore not be truly legitimate in their eyes.

This thesis forces them to go through many contortions to participate in Government, because public affairs must be managed, and they are a growing part of the population. A tiny minority among them goes very far in their refusal of legitimacy, and engage in provocations by pledging allegiance to the enemy. The majority of this population, on the contrary, has taken the measure of the historical and religious significance of the restoration of Jewish sovereignty in their country, each to the degree that they find right.

Religious Zionism

Religious Zionism is the central current today, with many nuances within it. Rav Kook is considered the founder of this movement. A contemporary of the beginnings of directorial Zionism and himself a native of the most orthodox Judaism, he perceived and developed in his writings the understanding of the immense national and religious significance of the return to the Land of Israel of enthusiastic young people even if they no longer exactly practiced the commandments of the Torah. He saw it as a religious and national act par excellence.

If all accept the idea that the State of Israel is indeed « the beginning of the flowering of our deliverance » according to the terms of the prayer for the State pronounced each Shabbat in the Synagogues of this movement, its followers testify today of a large number of different approaches.

The most recent development is the growing return of interest of a part of the “secular” population in the Jewish tradition. In the Tel Aviv region, which has long been considered a secular fortress, centers for the study of Judaism, places of worship, and conferences and seminars on this subject are multiplying. Religious Zionism is therefore diversifying.

Furthermore, certain currents within it, disappointed by their leaders considered too soft or incapable of transmitting Tradition at an adequate level, are moving closer to Haridism and its teaching methods exclusively focused on traditional study and excluding secular subjects such as mathematics, physics-chemistry, languages, universal History and geography.

A vast central current, however, remains anchored both in Zionism which stipulates a large gathering of Jews in their Historical Homeland, having fully integrated the technical and scientific aspects of Western modernity, and the Jewish faith, with all its nuances in practice of the Commandments.

The Jewish Diaspora

Two trends characterize the Diaspora today. On the one hand an accelerated propensity towards assimilation, the loss of Jewish substance and above all by a rate of mixed marriages of around 80% in developed countries, a low fertility rate, outside Orthodox circles, and on the other hand an attempt to find a theoretical justification for the perpetuation of exile.

These two trends have the effect of a clear distancing of these communities from the State of Israel. Even if there remain Jews everywhere who are viscerally attached to the sovereign Jewish State, they are rarely the majority today in their communities scattered around the world. The estrangement from Israel was especially noticeable in the Jewish community in the USA, when a majority of its members re-elected Obama even though he had pursued a very unfriendly policy towards Israel. Since then, the gap has widened further. European Jews hardly dare to exert the slightest pressure on their governments, even in favor of Israel.

The decline of democracy in the West

We must understand that in addition to such diverse trends in the way of being Jewish, Israel, like the Diaspora, is crossed by the intellectual, political, literary and scientific currents which affect the contemporary Western world. However, one of the major trends that have developed in the West in recent years is that described, already around twenty years ago, by an American sociologist cited by the journalist Michel Gurfinkiel, named Christopher Lash, in the program presented by journalist Richard Darmon on “Qualita”. ( ).

In a book entitled: “The Revolt of the Elites” with the subtitle: “The Betrayal of Democracy”, Chistopher Lash highlights a pronounced tendency of economic, political, intellectual and academic elites, in Western democracies, to develop a strong distancing with regard to the working classes.

The paradox is that these elites continue at the same time to proclaim themselves « left-wing », that is to say engaged in a fight for social equality. But, in reality, they feel more and more united with all the other elites around the world, like an immense brotherhood.

This is reflected more and more clearly by the desire on their part, certainly to ensure that the basic needs of the population are met, but to demand that most of the power in the country where they live be in their hands. The democratic principle according to which the people govern themselves by electing their representatives, arithmetic “formal” democracy, would no longer be relevant. More and more often, they now claim to demand a democracy “of values”. The problem is that these values ​​must be defined by themselves! But this precisely is no longer democracy but oligarchy. There is a striking step backwards in the conception of the structure of human societies.

This analysis sheds light on certain serious disorders observed in several major current democracies such as the USA, France, Italy and Israel.

The drift in Israel

In Israel, this drift is an already ancient and subtle process, described in particular by the author of these lines ( A democratic regime? – Source Israel ( by which a progressive and continuous jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, placed this institution above the Government and the Parliament, the Knesset, without any intervention of the legislator. This “Government of Judges” maintained by a very questionable method of recruiting them, and also shrouded in secrecy, ensures the pre-eminence in state affairs of an ideological caste close to the current American “Democratic” party, but very minority in Israel. This system combined with disproportionate growth, not relying on any law, but only on a practice of authority, the prerogatives of the Legal Advisor of the Government and the legal advisors of the Ministers, therefore simple civil servants of the State chosen in the seraglio, authorize themselves to address injunctions in various fields to Ministers including the Prime-Minister Chief of the Government. This caused a deep dysfunction of democratic institutions especially when popular votes bring a right-wing government to power.

The current crisis  

In fact, the last elections in November 2022 brought to formal power a right-wing coalition, with a relatively comfortable majority of 64 deputies out of 120 members of the Knesset, determined to remedy these deviances through a simple judicial reform, bringing judicial power back into the rails of democracy. The author of these lines has devoted an attempt to explain it: Brief summary of the constitutional crisis in Israel – Source Israel ( .

The barrage from the opposition, the press and the « elites », from the formation of the Government and especially after the start of the reform, very quickly took a frenzied turn, with demonstrations, road blockages, with deployment of unprecedented means thanks to massive opaque financing and manipulative technicality never before seen in Israel. The “revolt of the elites” in the sense of Christopher Lash, here took on the dimension of a counter-revolution in the sense of the noble reaction of the French nobility before 1789! It is nothing less than removing the working classes from power. Judge Aharon Barak, who implemented what he himself called the “constitutional revolution”, kicking off the positioning of the Supreme Court above the Government and Parliament, came to distinguish, even in its court rulings, a “Tsibour Naor”, an “enlightened public”, of ordinary people. This approach says a lot about the democratic conceptions of these self-proclaimed elites.

A host of former politicians, former generals, judges and lawyers have lined up resolutely on the side of subversion, leading an entire population of good faith, manipulated. Most of the written and electronic press has put itself at the service of this manipulation, forgetting this remarkable statement by George Orwell: “ It is not essential, to be corrupted by totalitarianism, to live in a totalitarian country . Imposing perfect uniformity of opinion on all subjects  is a first step towards dictatorship  .”

This is the impression that one could gather from almost all of the press, radio and television channels over the last 9 months.

Delusion and misunderstanding

The outbreak of demonstrations against judicial reform has far exceeded all previous political opposition in Israel, to the point of calling into question the founding principles of the country such as the exclusion of politics in the national army, through the blackmail of certain war pilots, threatening to no longer be present at roll call if the Government continued its policy, through attempts to sabotage the national economy by seeking to lower the country’s international credit rating, through threats to leave the country with their capital, from certain IT or big business magnates. These maneuvers claimed to be “in defense of democracy” but in reality trampled on its elementary principles.

Behind these delusions lay a more serious problem of identity, « secular » Jews feeling threatened on the one hand by their relative demographic decline, since they have fewer children than the average of other groups, and on the other hand, by the growing interest aroused by Jewish Studies in their own environment. The parades of “women in red” simulating a future of “sex slaves” for the fairer sex, if the Jewish Tradition were more established in Israel, demonstrations inspired by a delusional fantasy novel, highlight ignorance filth of these Jews of their own tradition and a deep misunderstanding.

Indeed, Judaism is based on a theology of freedom which has served as the foundation of the People of Israel since its origins. It takes a dramatic alienation and loss of Jewish substance to attribute to this tradition the opposite of what it is. A few tiny groups, dressed from head to toe in black, set up in a frenzy, give, it is true, a very false image of its content. On all these points, Israeli society, as a whole, must take stock of its inadequacies in terms of the education of its youth, in all walks of life.


The societal crisis over the restoration of the separation of powers is not the only cause of the catastrophe caused by Hamas’ invasion of the Western Negev and the IDF’s inability to prevent it. Military and political leaders will be held accountable. But for months, this crisis has created a climate of disorder, uncertainty, dysfunction, lack of confidence and internal hostility which has largely contributed to the unbearable debacle.

In three days, in the face of adversity from a ruthless enemy, the unity of the People of Israel, including the Diaspora, was largely rebuilt. The emergency is now an absolute victory over the forces hellbent on destroying us and that takes precedence over all other issues.

It has become clearer than ever that Israel must definitively apply its sovereignty over the Gaza region, Judea and Samaria, without granting citizenship to the Arab residents of these regions. A status of limited autonomy for them is the only possible option, with the ability to emigrate freely and receive citizenship from the Palestinian Arab state, Jordan or to some Arab countries realistic enough to sign peace with Israel. International pressures no longer have the slightest importance. It is our lives, individual and collective, that are at stake. The proof has been definitively reported.

However, it will not be possible in the long term not to ask all the questions of our interior organization and to really confront them, but this time, as brothers speak to their brothers.

Leon Rozenbaum

*Israeli lawyer with French training

  • (1)A recent scientific study published in the journal “Nature” by British researchers from the University of Cambridge recently made it possible to precisely date the circular eclipse by which the Bible explains that Joshua stopped the sun, to October 30, 1207 (before the ‘common Era).


One Response to The Rape of Yom Kippur and the Terrorist Attack on the Western Negev By Léon Rozenbaum*

  1. oury cherki says:

October 11, 2023 at 8:27

this document is luminously lucid. to be distributed and translated (also into Hebrew) into several languages ​​throughout the world.

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