All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Sunday, 28 December 2008

The Campaign That Has To Take Place

Unlike our Palestinians neighbours, it gives me no pleasure whatsoever to know that Arabs have been killed. I won't go around handing out sweets "celebrating" the deaths of women and children. I'm Jewish and we don't do that kind of thing.

When G-d destroyed the Egyptians at the Sea of Reeds, we didn't spend our time dancing around celebrating the end of that part of the Dynasty. Yes, we sang and praised G-d, but were very careful to make sure we were doing so in the spirit of salvation. In fact, we expressly don't say the full Hallel (praise) Prayer on Pesach precisely because G-d vanquished humans that He had created - just like us on the shores of the recently split sea.

I write this as I look at the results of Israel's actions yesterday. I believe in my heart of hearts that this was something that Israel had to do, to get the message to the Arabs that shelling our cities night and day was not in any way acceptable and that if one goes down that very dangerous path, one must expect an answer, however bloody it is.

Over 80 Kassam missiles were fired into Israel on a single day. The media would have believe that these are crude, almost toy-like devices that are wildly inaccurate. By minimising the impact (quite literally) of such devices on a community such as Sderot, those "friendly" journalists go out of their way to make us believe that any action Israel will take will be "excessive".

Well, I beg to differ.

Imagine you were living in Sderot. Picture having to spend your life or worse, the life of your child in a constant state of fear, knowing that if you were not 15 seconds away from a shelter, you could lose your life, your limbs or your house. Think about how much time you spend building your home, bringing up children under your roof and creating childhood memories that your progeny will carry with them throughout their lives. Then imagine the terror you must feel as 80 rockets come flying indiscriminately through the sky, crashing around you.

It's not just the rockets, its the psychological impact they are having on the people of Sderot and Netivot and any other village, town or city which happens to be in the vicinity of Gaza. Remember that Israel moved out of Gaza lock, stock and barrel three years ago.

Israel moved out.

Hamas, in its cynical ploy of firing from within civilian areas demonstrates a total lack of care for its people. Hamas knows that Israel will respond, because any country would act in entirely the same way, so although it is tragic that innocents have died, their deaths are entirely attributable to the people they elected to govern them. Israel cannot and must not put up with the attacks on her sovereignty and citizens and that's why yesterday's attacks and any future campaigns have to take place, if only to show the Palestinians that the consequences of their actions will do them no good whatsoever.

I frankly don't care whether the world agrees with Israel or not. When the journalists stop dumbing down the physical and psychological destruction caused by the Kassams and admit that people's lives are being ruined on an hourly basis, maybe we might get somewhere. If the result of Israel's military campaign is to silence the Kassams, then it will have been tragically worth it.

The rockets from Gaza have to stop permanently and as we've seen, Hamas can keep to a ceasefire if it realises the consequences of re-starting hostilities.

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