Why Israelis are not laughing about Gaza

The world never acknowledged it, but 8 years ago Hamas launched a war against Israel. Since then, it has fired over 8,000 Kassams, grad rockets and mortars against the Holy Land.

For all the complaints of the world over Israel’s military actions, nobody has offered an alternative. No authority has seriously taken Hamas aside and punished the schoolboy for consistently breaking the rules of humanity; POW imprisonment with no Red Cross visitations, firing at civilians, harassing Christians, using kids to dig tunnels, the murder of Fatah members, etc – all documented with evidence.

For once, Israel has responded, and in force. Yes, it is war and it is not pretty. The number of Palestinian killed is close to 400. (Ironically, the figures are similar to those slaughtered this week in the Congo, although the UN and the world press are keeping silent there.) Israel is winning for now. And although she does not have to apologise for success, just because she has better weaponry, neither is she celebrating.

Why? Because Israel knows what suffering is. Twenty years ago, many were afraid to visit Jerusalem, following the violence of the first Intifada. In 1991, there was a nightly exodus from Tel Aviv, as citizens fled the nocturnal scud attacks sent by Saddam Hussein. In 2000, the second Intifada rocked Jerusalemites again. And Druze, Jew, Christian and Muslim communities suffered as one from the inhuman barrage directed at them by the Lebanese Hizbollah in 2006. And now it is time to protect the south communities.

But it is more than that. When you think about it, beyond the standard rhetoric, Israel is showing that it believes in the sanctity of life and in protecting the right of the individual to live in peace. It is making a very painful stand to protect the basic human needs denied to so many by Hamas.

There is no joy in Israel’s streets. My friends do not go round yelping as the numbers tot up. This is not an issue of revenge. Contrast these reactopns to films and newspaper reports of Hamas-led celebrations, when their ammu has hit its mark in the past.

Israel has a proven track record at peace conferences. The Palestinians, and especially Hamas, have yet to show a proper understanding of that game. that is the heart of the problem.

Hamas still seeks the physical removal of Israel from the world. It constantly broke a ceasefire with Israel, attacking population centres. People in Gaza are now having to accept the consequences of actions taking by a Hamas leadership, motivated by hatred and not peace.

Let us hope and pray that in 2009, more leaders in the Middle East will realise that emnity only produces bloodshed and not peace.

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2 Comments on “Why Israelis are not laughing about Gaza”

  1. tenderbunny Says:

    Agreed! You tell it like it is. WTG – please continue to spread the word.

  2. Michael Horesh Says:

    Over the past week, this posting has received several comments, which I have not published. One is particular froma Beirut address suggests that I have ignored a wider picture of Israeli society, amongst orthodox Jews or otherwise.
    As a war, Israel is winning. She has a good army, which she needs and does not have to appologise for that.
    But comapre the matter-of-fact reaction in the streets of Israel today to that of rejoicing Palestinians in Ramallah just after 9/11.
    This is a sad and needless war, prompted by the intrinsic hate of Hamas. For 8 years, Israel did nothing – it even withdrew from Gaza. The world of diplomacy fell silent. Hamas revoked a peace understanding. Egypt failed to control its own border. And now that Israel has entred the ring, the world’s press is angry.
    So be it, but again, this victory is not accompanied by happiness. This is a sordid job that has to be done because nobody else would do the task.


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