A poll published in today's Yediot Achronot shows that 56 percent of Israelis support the truce with Hamas that yesterday went into effect. But 79 percent said they do not believe, or are inclined not to believe, that it will last for long.

A very telling poll. To me this demonstrates that the majority of Israel's citizens have despaired of reaching a real and permanent solution to the terrorism that plagues the nation on a daily basis. They seem to be well aware that countless such truces have been brokered in the past years, and none have solved the core issues. The enemy advantageously uses these truces to regroup and rearm, and then attacks again with a vengeance.

A lasting resolution to the conflict can be achieved in one of two ways. One way is to capitulate to the demands of Hamas. We need only look at their charter to see what their expectations are. Here are some quotes:

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."

"The land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "

Our nation longs to live in peace. But that would come at the cost of our land—every inch of it, that is. Are we ready to vacate the Middle East in order to appease them? As long as we refuse to consider this option, it is apparent that peace with these terrorists is out of the question. That leaves us with the second option: militarily destroying their organization's infrastructure and wiping out and/or detaining their militias, thus rendering them incapable of attacking us, or, at the very least, greatly minimizing the threat they pose. This is a very painful option, one that would inevitably involve unbearable loss of life, but one that in the long run would save many lives and bring a measure of security and calm to the citizens of Israel.

But it appears to me that as a nation we detest hostilities and dread the UN Security Council condemnations that are sure to follow. We crave acceptance by the international community and are unwilling to make the real sacrifices necessary to achieve relative stability. So we opt to follow the path of meaningless truces. We repeat our mistakes, with the full knowledge that they are mistakes. We are seemingly incapable of escaping a mentality of appeasement that has become embedded in our genes over the course of millennia of oppression and persecution.

How about a similar Middle East "Cycle of Errors" that occurred many, many years ago, when our ancestors sojourned in the Sinai Desert. In fact, it is impossible to study the story of this sojourn without questioning our ancestors' sanity.

We currently live in a spiritual blackout. If only G‑d would show us a miracle, if only He would allow us to once glimpse His mighty hand, we would surely serve Him faithfully for the remainder of our days. I'm not talking about earth shattering miracles such as splitting a sea or turning Gaza's waters into blood, just an occasional blatantly supernatural phenomenon to silence the agnostics—as well as the small but vocal agnostic that resides within each one of us.

That's why it's so hard to come to grips with our ancestors' persistent nitpicking, grumbling, and lack of faith. They had witnessed firsthand the miraculous plagues G‑d inflicted upon their oppressors and had experienced the awesome divine revelation at Mount Sinai. I can just envision a guy enjoying a breakfast of manna and water-courtesy-of-a-rock, and then walking out of his tent only to see clouds of glory surrounding and protecting him from all sides, and then grabbing his picket sign and protesting that he wants to return to Egypt!

It all came to a head when the Israelites reacted rashly to the scouting report issued by the spies dispatched to reconnoiter Canaan: "If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this desert! Why does G‑d bring us to this land to fall by the sword; our wives and children will be as spoils. Is it not better for us to return to Egypt? . . . Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt!"

At this point it became abundantly clear that the slave mentality that the Egyptians had beaten into the Israelites was part of the fiber of their national psyche. This explained their lack of trust, complaining and dependency. I wonder if the Israelites were aware – consciously or sub-consciously – of their condition and understood the folly of their statements, but were almost helpless to do anything about it.

Every narrative recounted in the Torah is a lesson. Otherwise, there would be no reason for the Torah – the same Torah that cautions us against needlessly speaking of others' faults – to tell us about our ancestors' failings.

When we recognize that we have a dangerous tendency, we must have the courage to overcome it. Succumbing to an unhealthy predilection can have disastrous results. Especially when the security of five million Jews depends on the resolve to overcome this predisposition.