Sunday, January 04, 2009

The apologetic Jew?

I don't know what's gotten into me lately, usually I just read and groan when I read breast beating foreign Jews crying out about how much Israel is embarrassing them by acting in self-defence. Folks who it seems care more about how much the world loves Jews instead of how much Jewish lives are being endangered. Personally I'd rather be alive with the criticism of the enlightened elites of Europe and the US and the UN Secretary General, than dead with all those folks' adoration.

Newsflash, this isn't about winning a popularity contest, this is about saving Israeli, and hopefully in the long run, Palestinian lives too.

Those rockets are falling half an hour's drive from my home, and if Hamas upgrades its lovely little arsenal to weapons that can hit 55-60km from Gaza, then my family will be in rocket range too, not to mention several of the country's largest population centres. Right now those poor Hamas guys can only hit cities and villages about 42 km from Gaza.

I'm so sorry that in trying to save the lives of Israeli civilians Israel has embarrassed Jews abroad, if it would make you feel better I could ask some of my friends in Ashkelon or Beer Sheva to ignore the air raid sirens and stand in the path of oncoming rockets instead of taking shelter, it seems that many folks abroad feel far more comfortable with seeing dead Israelis then live ones defending themselves.

You think that Israelis don't know that war sucks? For crying out loud, every person in this country has lost people to wars and terrorism here, and far too many of us, soldiers and civilians alike, have seen it up close and personal. It isn't as though we don't know the human cost to both sides, it isn't as if this is something anyone here takes lightly. Americans can fight a war across the world and the folks back home don't have to know the hell of it, here the front is right near our homes and many soldiers' families are in just as much danger as they are themselves.

Israel has spent several years trying every non-lethal method available to persuade Hamas to stop it with the rockets already. The only reason Israel had to impose border restrictions on Gaza was because of Hamas weapons smuggling, weapons like the explosive warheads and parts used to construct the rockets fired into Israel.

Yes this situation is sad, Israelis do not like going to war, Israelis do not want to have to kill anyone, but Israeli civilians living near the Gaza border have been taking rocket and mortar fire for about 8 years now, and after Israel pulled out all its troops and civilians from Gaza in 2005 as a goodwill gesture designed to hopefully restart negotiations, the result was the rocket fire increased dramatically following the Israeli pullout. Over 6000 rockets have fallen on Israel in that time, about 3000 of them in 2008 alone - and part of that year there was supposed to be a ceasefire in effect.

The ceasefire ended a few weeks ago and Israel and Egypt did their utmost to renew it, but Hamas refused, escalating rocket fire into Israeli civilian centres. Israel had no choice but to respond militarily, not because it wants to, not because it wants to harm Palestinian civilians, but because it was out of options and any responsible government must defend its civilians.

Hamas isn't going to give up, Hamas has stated repeatedly that it wants the destruction of the State of Israel. If they wanted to run their own Fundamentalist state side by side with Israel, hey, most Israelis would say do what you want in Gaza, but Hamas doesn't just want Gaza, and they don't just want to topple Fatah in the West Bank, they want to destabilise and destroy their Israeli neighbour and that just isn't on.

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