Probably the most disturbing thing about the Middle East is just how easily a few extremists can take control of this region and dominate the lives of millions. This Summer a grand total of eight Hamas operatives managed to plunge us into a war that saw thousands of people die and massive amounts of damage inflicted upon the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Israel proper. All because these eight people decided to murder three innocent Israeli civilians.
The worst part was that during the chaos of the recent war the murders that caused it were pushed from our thoughts by the dangers we all faced from Hamas in Gaza.
The families of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach will never see their loved ones again. They were taken from them in the cruellest way possible by people looking to inflict as much harm as they could upon the first Israelis they found. Hopefully those families who so suddenly had their lives torn apart will be able to find some small degree of solace in the knowledge that the IDF found and dispensed justice upon those who organized the crime as well as those who carried it out.
No doubt the conduct of Operation Protective Edge as well as the conduct of the military, Police and government in the days following the murders will be judged, both by the people of Israel and by history. The murders of our 3 citizens exposed both the worst and the best of our society. The cruel murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir by Israeli lunatics on the one hand and the groundswell of support for the Khdeir family from the Israeli public on the other exposed both the flaws and the strength of our nation.
The groundswell of support for the IDF as well as for the families in the South most directly affected by the barrage emanating from Gaza serve as testament to the strength of Israeli society.
The Summer of 2014 will be remembered by all Israelis who endured it as the Summer when the whole country became a target of Hamas’ arsenal, when war with Gaza was no longer something that Israelis merely watched on television but one that saw sirens going off not just in the South but across the country.
Despite the words of some of Israel’s harder line politicians no Israeli leader takes going to war lightly, no Israeli leader sends the best of us into the breech without good reason. The rockets and mortars emanating from the Gaza Strip soon ensured that a ground incursion was inevitable. Once again events set in motion by the most extreme rippled and became waves that washed over all of us.
The people of Israel hoped and still hope that the military operations over the Summer succeeded in enforcing more than a temporary halt to Hamas terror. Whether that is the case remains to be seen. What is of ultimate importance however is that the instigators of this conflict paid the price for their actions.
With the deaths of Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha perhaps the whole of Israel can find some closure to the events so raw in our collective memory. We went to war as a result of events set in motion by the actions of these two Hamas lunatics.
It is right and fitting that they are now dead.