I wonder if Israelis know how emotionally involved many American Jews are with the current fighting in Gaza. Do they know that for those of us who love Israel, Gaza is the only thing we seem able to talk about when we go out to dinner or stay home with the family or speak on the phone? Do they know that we weep with them at the loss of each IDF soldier, or that the news from Israel is the first thing we turn to in our newspapers (and rue the unfair coverage) and the last thing we Google about before going to bed? Do they know that we can almost hear the rocket sirens go off in our heads and feel the rush of fear they experience as they run to shelters?
Hamas is a cruel and cynical enemy, but as an IDF veteran, I ask if Israel has lost respect for human life.
Special To The Jewish Week
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It has been almost four weeks since the military operation “Protective Edge” commenced in Gaza, and the region yearns for quiet. Three civilians were killed at the hands of Hamas Militants and the rockets they fire at Israeli population centers, in the time these sentences were written.
The latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas extends far beyond the urban warfare playing out in the cities and towns of the Gaza Strip; the Israeli cities targeted by waves of Palestinian rockets; and the seek-and-destroy mission of locating and eradicating the elaborate and intricate network of tunnels revealed to extend deep into Israeli territory and beneath southern Israeli communities.
This is not the first time I’ve come to Israel during war, but this time is different. I’m here not only because I love Israel; I’m here as a father, a grandfather with two grandsons in the IDF – one on an air force base, doing important defense work, and one in Gaza, putting his life on the line with thousands of others in Operation Protective Edge. It is excruciating to witness the concern of my daughter, Elana, and son-in-law, Michael. Their minds and hearts are preoccupied every moment about the well being of their son in Gaza, as are parents and family members of thousands of Israeli soldiers.
Amid media frenzy and global outrage, Israel just needs more time. Will the world let Israel win?
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U.S. and Israeli officials have been working hard in recent days to ease the deeply bruised feelings on both sides after Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposed cease-fire conditions appeared more sympathetic to the cause of Hamas, a declared terrorist organization, than to Israel, America’s greatest ally.
The national and international news media, by reducing the current conflict between the nation of Israel and the terrorist group Hamas to little more than body count, is at best sloppy and lazy. At the median it is a collaboration with the primitive, barbaric and atavistic terrorist murderers that Israel is trying to protect itself from. At worst it is consistent with the vilest forms of anti-Semitic blood libel.
Those who suggest Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO/Fatah have become the moderates in the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict are fallacious (“When Journalists Lose Their Moral Compass,” Editor’s column, July 25). The Palestinian National Charter of 1968 called for the elimination of Israel: