I can visualize, though not remember the name of this kid who showed up in class partway through 2nd grade. I remember him both because of how weird it sounded that he couldn’t have lights on at night in his last house and because he came to America after loosing his parents in a war. Perhaps my memories of this kid whose parents had died burned a little deeper than normal because my mother had died near that time.
I didn’t realize until much later, but this was probably around the time of the Six Day War and I had shared a table with someone who had lived through what now should be past history. One would think we should be past the violence against Israel, but when all the people around you feel you don’t have a right to exist; well then we have an awful lot to get past and not a lot of common ground to work from.
The Israelis finally get enough of the constant rain of rockets on their border towns and villages, fired by Hamas thugs… Those international thugs have become expert at retail death, killing one or two Jews one day, occasionally three or four on another, but rarely enough to make the front pages in London or Paris, Washington or New York. JWR
This latest manifestation of hatred towards Israel didn’t seem much different from the rest, but I did spend a bit of time reading around the current goings on in the Middle East. There is a lot written, but I usually find the most concise and uncluttered information at Global Security. Here’s some of what they had.
- Rather than talking about continuing the soon to expire 6 month cease fire agreement, between 12/16 & 12/18 Hamas launches a total of 40 rockets into Israel
- On 12/19 Hamas actually declares an end to the 6 month old cease fire agreement between Israel & Hamas
- During the 8 days following, Hamas launches 300 more rockets into Israel
- On 12/27 alone, Hamas launched 130 rockets at Israel
- Then after 11 days of unanswered rocket attacks by Hamas, Israel struck back
- On 12/28, rocket attacks by Hamas were down to only 20 rockets
I might have thought it more neighborly to end the ceasefire before surprising Israel with 40 rockets, but apparently that’s just me, and not Hamas. Also reported at Global Security were a couple of statements by Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni,
He told NBC [that] Israel is sending a message to Hamas that it will protect its people.
Livni also said with regards to when Israel could cease actions against Hamas,
“It will take the time which is needed in order to change the realities and up to the point at which Hamas understands that we can accept no longer the equation in which they target Israel and Israel shows restraint,”
Had Hamas shipped in hundreds of tons of food rather than hundreds of missiles during the last 6 months of ceasefire, the people living in Gaza right now would be fed and likely not suffering injury and/or death as Israel tries to take out military targets. So, yes, the people living in Gaza including the Hamas, need to change their realities a bit.
I believe it is unrealistic to think that Israel will continue to endure these situations over and over again. I certainly applaud them for their incredible restraint, but like both our nation’s leader and leader-elect believe; I also believe that Israel has a right to defend herself against these type of hostilities.
AP/Yahoo News reported a statement by State department spokesman Gordon Duguid
We are encouraging all the nations in the region to take an active part in rebuilding the cease-fire so that we can return to the relative calm that was enjoyed in the region over the past six months
In the same article they also report on statements by White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe who said “the Israeli actions were “in response to the mortar and rocket attacks on Israel” and said that the United States has asked Israel to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza.”
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe also made this clear statement,
“The United States understands that Israel needs to take actions to defend itself.”
And our leader elect Barack Obama spoke on this subject back in July when the now broken ceasefire was fresh and full of promise. say bravo for Israel.
The senator spoke to reporters in Sderot, a town a mile from Gaza that has been the target of rocket attacks from Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls that Gaza Strip.
“We stand with the people of Sderot and all the people of Israel. Israelis should not have to live endangered in their homes and their schools. America must always stand up for Israel’s right to defend itself against those who threaten its people.”
Since 2001 over 3000 rockets and 2500 mortars have been fired from Gaza into Israel. Each year that has gone by has brought more death and destruction to Southern Israel. Israeli children are raised in a constant state of fear because the rockets and mortars are indiscriminate in their targets; they can land anywhere any time. And even as other Islamic leaders in the region called for Israel to be wiped off the map; Israel who could have at any moment actually wiped the people of Gaza from this earth; didn’t. They didn’t for the sake of the innocent people in Gaza and they didn’t to show that Israel and the Israeli people are willing to sacrifice for the peace process.
With this last round of attacks Hamas has debuted even more powerful rockets with greater payloads and greater range. Even more Israeli people are at risk now, so no matter how much Israel wants the peace process work, I entirely understand their need to defend themselves. Yet to their credit, even in this deadly process, Israel is working to save lives.
Israel, which has also allowed limited humanitarian supplies into the strip, is attacking Hamas-run organizations, homes of activists and security posts — all scattered in densely populated areas.
Dipping into their bag of tricks for the updated Gaza telephone numbers, Israel’s intelligence services are warning Palestinian civilians in Gaza living close to Hamas facilities that they may be hurt unless they distance themselves from those targets.
In some cases, the warning comes not by telephone but from leaflets dropped from aircraft on selected districts.
Such warnings clearly eliminate the element of surprise, but for Israel it is of cardinal importance to minimise civilian casualties,
I believe we as individuals and as a nation should stand together in supporting Israel’s right to defend their people from harm.
I believe we as individuals and as a nation should stand together in support and appreciation for the sacrifices the people of Israel are making in their attempts to keep peace in the Middle East.
We should be applauding their actions rather than protesting them and by such protests lending support to Hamas, who has shown no tangible evidence of a desire for peace in the region; that is peace short of the peace they feel will come from annihilating Israel and the Jewish people.
Please spread your support for Israel amongst your friends and please share your support for Israel with your representatives. There will not be lasting peace in the Middle East unless we support Israel.