It was 40 years ago this month that Israel launched a daring raid to take out the Osirak nuclear reactor that Saddam Hussein was building outside of Baghdad.
The attack shocked the world and underlined the Jewish state's willingness to employ audacious measures to preserve its interests, even at the expense of international opprobrium.
Our present leadership has been terrified by the prospect of a group of young Jews waving Israeli flags while walking in the heart of Jerusalem lest it cause affront to a gang of terrorists in Gaza.
The contrast in resolve is so stark and worrisome that it raises a disconcerting question.
How does a government slide so far, so fast and so furiously into unflinching fatigue?
The feebleness was on display for all to see on June 7, when Israel Television broadcast a short video of two young Israeli women being swarmed upon by police at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. And just what was their offense?
They were walking near Damascus Gate carrying two blue-and-white flags.
In the cringeworthy clip, one can see the Israeli youths looking completely bewildered, presumably wondering what could possibly be wrong with showing some national pride.
Their surprise is entirely understandable and any sentient viewer cannot help but marvel whether we have completely lost our minds.
This episode came amid a furious debate over whether a planned parade with Israeli flags in the same area would be permitted to take place on June 10. The march, which is held annually and was originally scheduled for Yom Yerushalayim on May 10, was postponed after Hamas began to fire rockets at Israel.
Last week, amid threats from Ismail Haniyeh and other Hamas hoodlums, security officials and political leaders were climbing over one another in a race to denounce the parade as "a provocation" as they demanded that it be canceled. In the end, it was moved to June 15
Let's stop for a moment and consider just how inexplicable this situation is. If a Jew in Jerusalem in the sovereign state of Israel wishes to exercise his or her right to march, walk, protest or even hop and skip down the street while holding a flag, don't they have a fundamental right to do so?
Caving in to Hamas over a couple of flags rather than risking another outbreak of violence might sound reasonable to some people until one contemplates the salient fact that it will not end there.
If the terrorist leadership in Gaza can dictate who, when, where and how Israelis can behave in their own capital, does anyone think they will limit themselves to protesting parades?
It is so obvious that it should not need to be repeated, but apparently it must: to yield to the faux fury of Hamas only serves to weaken our hold over Jerusalem.
No other country in the world would tolerate a situation where the conduct of their internal affairs in the nation's capital would be held hostage in such a manner. And neither should we.
It may be hard to believe, but once upon a time, our decision-makers were animated by a drive and sense of purpose, a shared wonder at the miracle of Israel, which embodied the hopes and dreams of generations of Jews.
The slow but steady deterioration of our national determination in recent years is perhaps one of the gravest threats we face.
After all, what must the Ayatollahs in Tehran be thinking when Israel backs down for fear of angering Hamas? Does that inspire them to fear our leaders' determination to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Or does it perhaps give them a good reason to kick back and laugh?
It is precisely at times such as this that the anniversary of the Osirak operation can serve as a healthy reminder of the national fortitude that we must urgently revive.
It was on June 7, 1981, that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) dispatched eight F-16A fighter-bombers, along with an escort of six F-15s for support, to fly 1,000 kilometers eastward towards Iraq in what came to be known as Operation Opera.
Their target was a nuclear facility being constructed with French assistance located just 17 kilometers (11 miles) southeast of Baghdad.
Israel's pilots had to fly round-trip over Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq and dodge Iraqi air-defenses that had been put into place to protect the site. No aerial refueling was possible at the time, leaving no room for error.
Thankfully, the IAF succeeded in their mission, dropping 16 bombs in under two minutes before making their way home to Israel. The Osirak reactor was destroyed, setting back Saddam's nuclear ambitions for years to come.
While initially condemned by much of the international community, the raid was later hailed as a significant strategic achievement, sending a loud and clear message throughout the region that Israel would not yield to threats from its enemies.
And that is why it is so crucial that the Jewish state revive the spirit of the Osirak attack and once again imbue it into our national life.
By yielding to threats over Jerusalem, Israel would effectively be placing greater importance on what Hamas thinks than on the future of our capital. That calculus is not only morally warped, but short-sighted and dangerous, too.
Only by reclaiming the pluck and mettle that were embodied in the Osirak operation can Israel hope to survive and thrive in the Middle East.
And the sooner we adopt this approach, the safer and more secure we will all be.