It has been a hard week and as we prepared for Shabbat the news continued to be not so good and indeed very sad. The death toll amongst our soldiers has risen to more than sixty; over three thousand rockets have now been fired into Israel since July 8; more than thirty tunnels of terror have been discovered leading into Israeli territory (and there could be many more); another ceasefire has been broken by Hamas and, causing the deepest of gloom, it is thought that one of our soldiers has been kidnapped.
For those of you who do not know, every soldier is precious to us, treated like our own son or brother. For us, one person taken is a catastrophe. We do everything to get them back. It is a promise made to all citizens when they give up their children to join the Israel Defence Forces at age 18. It is more than a promise, it is a covenant.
We will release thousands of terrorists in exchange for one soldier. We released 1,027 of them to get back Gilad Shalit.
That is the type of country we are, a country of democracy and humanity. That is why we have an Iron Dome that saves our citizens from mass death and mass destruction; that is why we have reinforced shelters to protect us; that is why we have an Israel Defence Force Force to defend us; that is why we are who we are.
We are no longer the weak Jew, forced to watch as thousands of our people are murdered as the world would wish it to be. I watch with horror as the waves of anti-semitism rise again out of the festering hatred that had fallen asleep but has now awakened with a force so strong.
But never again, never, will we walk as victims to our destruction.
People of the world open your eyes and see the humanity of our cause as it contrasts with our enemy Hamas, whose evilness is only surpassed by its wickedness.
A number of events of this week should be enough to explain to the world that we are not fighting a war with an enemy that observes any semblance of human behaviour. We are fighting a war with an enemy that is obsessed by the very hatred that has consumed their mind.
They have no respect for the normal conventions of humankind. Life to them has no meaning and they perform the devil’s work here on earth.
But the world watches and instead of condemning the devil, it condemns the very people who uphold humanity. The world condemns those, who before the modern conventions of international law were constituted, gave to the world codes of ethical behaviour. The world condemns those who put their own soldiers at risk to ensure the safety of civilians who have been put in the firing line through the devil’s work.
This week in Han Yunes, Palestinian children, staying in an UNWRA clinic, cried for help. 3 Israeli soldiers, 3 beautiful young men called Matan, Omer and Guy, rushed to help them. When they got in the building, the pre-wired clinic blew up, killing the soldiers and injuring 12 others. This is the devil’s work.
On another day, a mentally handicapped man was found chained in a house to prevent him from leaving. Hamas did it so that Israeli soldiers would be extra careful and fall into the booby trap that had been set to kill them and which would also have killed the poor soul chained in the house. This is the devil’s work.
Fortunately, the Israeli soldiers realized that a booby trap had been set, managed to make the area safe and released the poor man.
It has now been verified that on three occasions, rockets have been found in UNWRA schools and that hospitals have been used as ammunition stores. This is the devil’s work.
Doesn’t Hamas know that those schools and hospitals then cease to be schools under International Law and regrettably become legitimate targets of war?
It has now also been verified by an Italian reporter that journalists were stopped, under threat of fire, from showing the true picture of the situation in Gaza; citizens being prevented from leaving; women and children being placed up front; innocents being shot as collaborators. This is the devil’s work.
And the devil’s men rise up out of the tunnels to commit massacres on Israel’s land and take hostages; tie babies to their chests to protect them from bullets; and shoot their own people in the name of Allah, whilst the devil’s accomplices arm them; fail to condemn them; call for Israel to show restraint; and even worse remain silent.
Meanwhile the devil himself remains safe in the lap of luxury, surrounded by the Amalekites who have come before. No longer a part of this world, their evilness lives on in the new Amalekites by the name of Hamas.
According to the Bible, the Amalekites were the first enemy that Israel encountered after the crossing of the Red Sea following their exodus from slavery in Egypt. The Amalekites were a particularly evil enemy attacking the women and children first.
The Amalekites have come to represent the enemies of the most vicious kind of the Jewish people and Israel.
There is a tradition, that when a new Sefer Torah (Jewish Scroll of the Law) is going to be written, the scribe tests his quills by writing the name Amalek on a piece of parchment and blotting it out.
I always had difficulty with understanding that tradition because it seems to fly in the face of G-d admonishing the children of Israel for rejoicing at the death of the Egyptians after they had drowned in the Red Sea. G-d reminds them that even the Egyptian oppressors were His children. Why then does G-d command us to remember what Amalek did to us and to blot Amalek out?
It is because even G-d accepted that the Amalekites were not just an enemy of Israel but also anti-G-d in their beliefs and behaviour.
I now understand that tradition. Hamas is the new Amalek. Hamas are anti-G-d in their beliefs and behaviour. They are the devil and have to be blotted out.
There is also a commandment that we are obliged to pursue peace above all other actions. With such a commandment, at what point does one go to war?
It would seem that the time to go to war is when we need to blot out Amalek and by wiping out Amalek we gain the opportunity to pursue peace once more.