Shalom from Israel. This is the first in a series of of daily updates and reflections from one Israeli soldier during the latest rain of rockets designed to terrorize Israel and shake the faith of its supporters. It is carried out by a terrorist army; Hamas, just as ISIS is a terrorist army, just as Hezbolla is a terrorist army, so exactly is Hamas.
First there is a myth put forth in a good deal of the media that needs to be dispelled. That myth goes like this:
Hamas, the democratically elected rulers of Gaza, resisting Israeli occupation, are the victims of an Israeli onslaught, which is part of a cycle of violence, starting with the murder of three Jewish teens, the torture and revenge murder of a Palestinian teen, riots by Palestinians, brutally put down by the Israelis, as evidenced by the beating of a Palestinian/ American teen, which was then answered by relatively harmless rocket fire by Hamas ( as evidenced by the lack of even one Israeli civilian death, while Israel has unleashed it’s air force against the defenseless people of Gaza, killing some one hundred, of which forty may have been women and children in a completely disproportionate responses evidenced by the Palestinian loss of life and lack of even one Israeli fatality.
So let’s set the record straight.
1.There is no Israeli occupation of Gaza and hasn’t been for almost ten years. In 2005 Israel used it’s army to uproot 10,000 JEWS not Palestinians, from their homes, businesses, farms and synagogues, in which they had lived, worked and worshipped for almost forty years in order to quite literally give peace a chance. It was done in the hopes that if by giving land, we would get peace in Gaza, the same formula could be applied for an overall agreement with the Palestinians. Indeed Israel wanted Gaza to become the Singapore of the middle east, and left behind, completely in tact, agricultural enterprises which could have provided employment for thousands of Palestinians and millions of dollars in exports. Instead the Palestinians uprooted all that was left behind and turned it into rocket launching sites and began firing rockets at Israel, literally as we were leaving. That is neither opinion nor hyperbole. It is a fact.
2. While Hamas indeed won one election, that is not what gave them rule over Gaza. They staged as blood thirsty a coup as has ever been seen, not against Israel, but against their fellow Palestinians, lining people up against walls and machine gunning them, tying people up and blind folding them and pushing them off three story buildings to their deaths. Anyone who dared speak out against them had their knee caps shot off for starters. That’s not a claim. That’s a fact. The videos are still on the internet for anyone who has the stomach to see them.
3. The present hostilities are not part of a cycle of violence. They are a carefully planned and orchestrated Hamas offensive. Hamas wants and believes it needs this war and has done and continues to do, everything to bring it about and keep it going. Before the three teenaged Israeli boys were kidnapped and murdered, Hamas began firing rockets into Israel. Israel did not respond. It repeatedly said that calm would be answered with calm. When it did react it attacked EMPTY training camps, to show what it COULD do if calm were not restored. No lives were lost, because Israel did not want a war. That is not opinion. That is fact. When Israel didn’t respond to rocket fire, Hamas had one of it’s terrorist cells respond to the calls of it’s chairman to kidnap Israelis, and they did just that, and then murdered them in cold blood. And Israel STILL did not respond by attacking Gaza! Then a group of murderous Israeli thugs kidnapped and murdered a poor Palestinian teenager. But to give some sort of equivalence to the two acts is to say there is no difference between Charley Manson and Usama Bin Laden. Every society, unfortunately has heartless murderers. Israel is a democracy which apprehended the killers in a matter of days ( while it still hasn’t caught the terrorists who murdered the three Israeli boys). Hamas is a terrorist organization and army which dispatched the murderers and then celebrated their achievements. We will try and punish the murderers of the Palestinian teen to the fullest extent of the law. Unfortunately our Palestinian neighbors name streets and squares after those who have murdered our children and hand out candy to celebrate their murderous acts and train their own children to emulate them. That is the difference. That is not opinion. It is fact.
4. Israelis haven’t been killed not because Hamas’ rockets are harmless or because they haven’t been trying to kill Israelis. Israelis haven’t been killed because of first and foremost a Merciful G-d and also because of the Iron Dome anti missile system which has had over a 90% success rate and the most outstanding civil defense system in the world. That’s why Israelis haven’t been killed. But one certainly can’t claim that Hamas hasn’t been doing it’s utmost to change that.
5. Hamas wanted this war because they were being squeezed from two different directions. Once they took over Gaza in their murderous coup, they had a problem, They actually had to govern. They had to collect garbage and run an economy that could provide jobs for their people. Instead through incompetence and corruption they doomed their own people to poverty and misery. There is forty percent unemployment in Gaza. They can not even pay their own soldiers and for the first time there were signs that their own people might topple them because of their incompetence and corruption.
At the same time, new groups like ISIS and Al Qaida have begun operating in Gaza , for whom Hamas is too tame, and who threatened to topple them as well. So Hamas calculated that it was better for them to fight and even lose a limited war with Israel than be toppled from within. That way if the economy is bad, it’s the Israelis fault. Look how they bombed us! If you think we’re not radical enough , you’re wrong, look how many rockets we launched at them and look how far they reached. We terrorized Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Who else could have done that but us?! So, for Hamas a losing war is a win as long as it keeps them in power. Now they are desperate for one tangible gain; one soldier they can hold hostage, one terrorist attack they can pull off, one rocket attack that kills scores so they can declare a divine victory, when in fact all they will have delivered to their own people is more misery, more poverty, more death and destruction.
As for Israel, we are in territory that has been familiar to us since the days of King David. We are in the valley of the shadow of death once more, and we fear no evil.