First of all, my heart is broken with sorrow for the families of the brave soldiers of the 13th battalion of Golani Brigade who gave their lives so that Israel might live in safety and security. May the memory of these brave warriors and defenders of the Jewish People in Israel be blessed.
They are part of my extended family, because I also was in the 13th battalion of Golani Brigade many many years ago.
Lately I have been reading many articles about the current terrible conflict between Hamas and Israel. It is abundantly clear to me that there is a great lack of historical perspective. Take for instance the statements coming from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey. He accused Israeli forces of barbarism and genocide. I don’t believe that the Prime Minister of Turkey remembers what those words mean, but there are many Armenian people who remember them well. They were the victims of genocide and barbarism at the hands of the Turkish government during the first World War, in 1915. I will spare you the graphic details.
There are a great many protests lately in European and South American cities, supporting the Palestinian cause, condemning the Israeli “brutality” in Gaza, equating Israeli actions there to Nazi actions during the second World War.
While I wholeheartedly support the legitimacy of protest, and also the freedoms to protest, I must make it very clear that these protests are completely out of line and in fact simply further hatred of the Jewish People in and outside of Israel. The protesters are using the pretext of support for Palestinian nationhood as a platform to vilify and demonize a nation that is simply defending itself against terror.
I just finished reading Charles Krauthammer’s excellent editorial (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-moral-clarity-in-gaza/2014/07/17 ) and I would ask these protesters to do so likewise. There is no point to accusing Israel or the Jewish People of Nazism, of apartheid, of barbarism or of genocide, because we are the antithesis of these horrors.
Israel continues to provide humanitarian aid in the form of medical care in Israeli hospitals to the victims of the violence in Syria. Israel abides by the highest of moral codes for its military, the IDF. I just finished reading a book by Eric Blehm, “Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown”, and the fighting units of the IDF hold themselves to those very same standards!
There are false photos depicting horrors inflicted upon Palestinians by Israel when in fact they are photos from the horrors inflicted upon Syrians by other Syrians. There is fake footage of the evacuation of wounded Palestinians who shortly thereafter get up and walk, suddenly and miraculously unharmed. These are but two small examples of the bias and hatred towards Israel. This bias and hatred refuses to acknowledge history, and is thus lacking completely in historical perspective.
Time and again Israel finds itself on the losing side of the Public Relations war. Time and again Israel loses this fight to the massive propaganda machine waging a war of attrition against it and the Jewish People. It is my hope that we can turn this situation around and that we begin to realize success in this area, just as we have realized so many successes in areas of research, technology, medicine, agriculture and science.
May we incur no further losses during Operation Protective Edge.