I have a particular affection for Israel and her people. My heart has ached and been heavy as I have watched them suffer attack after attack for many years- but never more so than in recent days. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to visit Israel multiple times while growing up and grew such an amazing love of the land and for the Jewish people who have worked hard to turn that desert property into something workable, productive, beautiful, and lush.
There is something special about Israel… Just stepping onto the soil when landing at Ben Gurion Airport you can feel the thousands of years worth of history and struggle that is theirs. I was eight years old the first time my parents took me to Jerusalem and even though it was a yearly trip for both of my parents, I remember my dad saying if I wanted to go every few years I had to start paying for it myself. So, starting at the age of 12 I would set up lemonade stands, sell candy at church, babysit, wash cars…whatever I had to do to earn my plane ticket and hotel stay. I worked my tail off and hoarded every penny I could make in order to go every few years with them. I remember each landmark clearly…I loved the Old City in particular and staying on a kibbutz for a few days each time was a special kind of gift. I’m 33 years old now and I haven’t been in years. But, my hopes are that one day things will settle down enough that I can feel safe enough to take my three kids and let them walk in the shoes of Biblical history that I got to walk and to develop the same love and respect for the land and for the Jewish people.
Israel is a miracle. They have won war after war against incredible and overwhelming odds. Their story is truly one of David against Goliath and their survival cannot be explained other than by a supernatural Hand at work.
Without delving too deep into the history…after World War 1, the British gave land to the people who inhabited that area. More than 99% of that land went to the Arabs. Only one-fifth of one-percent was set aside for a Jewish National home. This tiny sliver of land full of a population of people who just want to live their life in freedom and peace is surrounded by nothing but Arab Islamic dictators, 640 times her size and 60 times her population, with the one intent to wipe her off the map. Syria, Israel’s most bitter enemy and nemesis to the northeast, has repeatedly assaulted Israel and is controlled by one of the most brutal regimes on earth. Israel made the most profound comeback in the history of the world and has the greatest democracy in all of the Middle East, which makes them a vitally important ally of the United States.
Since 2001 we have watched as over 14,000 rockets were launched from Gaza directly into Israel. And for the sake of survival, Israel was forced to come up with the state-of-the-art defense called the Iron Dome, which is now known as the most effective defense program and missile shield the world has ever seen. But, imagine for a moment that Israel is the child on the playground constantly being hit in the head with a deadly force by dozens and dozens of bullies. We have watched as Israel has done everything they can do to create peace– going so far as to give away land already settled and lived in by Jewish families, forcing them to uproot themselves, in an enormous and selfless effort to appease the Arabs. At what point, after all else failed, would that child be completely justified in hitting back with equal force in self defense? That is the simplified version of what we are watching now unfold in Israel. They’ve had enough, are finally saying “no more,” and they are moving in with swift and decisive action to eliminate Hamas, the terror group in Gaza, intent on destroying them.
Hamas has reacted as the bratty, petulant bullies on the playground would… with faux offense and screaming “foul!” They play dirty–you can read more on how dirty here. They also use heavily populated civilian areas as launching pads and hiding places for their missiles. Nobody says it better than Netanyahu:
“We use missiles to protect our people. They (Hamas) use their people to protect their missiles,” Netanyahu said. Israel has accepted five cease-fires and acted upon them, he said.
“Hamas has rejected every single one of them, violated them, including two humanitarian cease-fires which we accepted and implemented in the last 24 hours.”
Hamas used children, hundreds of whom were killed during the slave labor, to build terror tunnels and hiding places for their weapons under homes and in schools, requiring costly materials that could have been used for hospitals and schools- something that is also desperately needed in the area. But, Hamas is obsessed with only one thing…not about their people, their children, their civilians…but destroying Jews and destroying Israel. Despite Israelis attempts through phone calls, mail, and leaflets to get civilians to leave Gaza while they cleared and destroyed these terror cells and weapons, Hamas insisted those civilians stay- resulting in casualties that could easily have been avoided.
Not only has Israel taken great care to harm as few civilians as possible, but the Israeli government has made active efforts to supply and support the Gazan civilian population, sending 80 trucks full of food and medical supplies and evacuating 26 wounded Palestinian civilians to Israeli hospitals, along with their families.
But, Hamas has no regard for human life. In fact, they welcome a higher civilian death count to use as a propaganda tool to turn the world against Israel. Hamas violates rules and ceasefires and it can only be explained as so reflected in their Charter:
“So-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement…”
“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
Hamas and those who support Hamas are some of the most wicked pieces of humanity on earth. And my twitter timeline has been full of rage against me for standing strongly and unapologetically with Israel. In fact, Gallup has a new poll that shows that Israel’s critics are younger, less educated, and less informed. I would say, that given my interactions with them…this poll hit the nail on the head! I think it’s important to see the mindset of the enemies of Israel so as to get a greater understanding, empathy, and support for Israel and her people. This is just a tiny taste of what I’ve experienced…there were some that I couldn’t bring myself to post.