“Why do the leaders not learn the message,” asked the Rebbe, “from the results of the retreats in 1948 and in 1956? “Why do they not understand that it is forbidden to agree to retreat from the territories?”
When I mentioned ‘international guarantees’, the Rebbe replied that no intelligent person would agree to rely on gentiles, certainly not on the assurances of Egypt or Russia who are solely concerned for their own interests. Only after two previous acts of bitter deception did the Six-Day War come. Finally when Israel recognized that the kindness of Nations is sinful, G-d came to their assistance. Everyone then recognized the Hand of G-d and His Wonders. Even the leftist groups openly spoke of this. It was only the charedim who refrained from speaking of this explicitly”.
“Now men of scant faith have arisen, who want to reach peace with the Arabs, regardless of the fact that they continue to announce that their intention is the destruction of Israel. They continue to believe in the assurances and recommendations of the gentiles. If they would only have agreed to peace talks, okay. But the Government of Israel has agreed to a cease-fire in Suez. So many Jewish soldiers fell in order to prevent Egypt from assembling their missile formations!”
The Rebbe asked passionately; “how can one not understand that the cease-fire was needed by Egypt solely for war preparations, to strengthen her military standing along the Suez Canal, so that thereafter phantom jets will be of no avail. Every day they are advancing their lines of missiles towards the Canal. The heads of government are beginning to say that the Cossack is acting inappropriately, he is deceiving us. Why don’t they say: Okay let’s talk peace, but we will prevent Egypt from strengthening herself along the Suez Canal. After their army formations are improved, why should they make peace? Further war will break out and more sacrifices will fall. Why? What purpose does this serve? Can there be greater folly than this?”
At this point the Rebbe could no longer continue to speak. I saw tears of emotion and pain choking him. In a passionate voice he recounted the words of the Haftorah in which the Prophet (Isaiah 50:2) says: “Why have I come (to give you warning) and there is no man (listening), I have cried out, and there is no response”.
The Rebbe expressed himself with sharp bitterness against the heads of the Government of Israel. “If today the heads of Government are unsure of their ability to withstand the Nations; if they are fearful and weak, it is better that they leave the task of leadership to others. The Torah metes out neither punishment nor lashes to one who is weak-hearted. Rather the Torah states: “Who is the man who is fearful and of weak heart, let him go and return to his house, and not melt the hearts of his brothers”.
Interview with newspaper reporter Yona Cohen, 1970