Irwin E. Blank
Irwin E. Blank

A clarification

It has become known to me that many folks are disconcerted about my last blog, 1 Samuel 15:18, and presume, albeit wrongly, that I am advocating genocide of the Palestinian population of Gaza. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I make no apologies for my opinion that Hamas, as a terrorist organization, must be “utterly destroyed” but that does mean that the innocent people of Gaza are to be, in any way, the victims of any genocidal attempt. On the contrary, it is exactly because I advocate the elimination of Hamas, that would ensure the vitality and security of the Gazans, thereby creating positive conditions and an atmosphere conducive to that which existed prior to the control seized by Hamas of that territory.

The quote from the Hebrew Testament is accurate as it describes the falling out of favor of King Saul for disobeying G-d in not finishing off the Amalekites by permitting their king, Agag, to live. Ancient warfare was not constrained by international conventions nor a 24 hour news cycle. Many ancient conquerors, including Greeks and Romans were known for their barbarity and mercilessness. War is not a game of cricket. The Amalekites have served as a symbol throughout Jewish history, as an enemy that rises from generation to generation to attack us. Our history is replete with examples of this nature.

Israel has been challenged by terrorist forces from Gaza since 1956 and even Egypt, the nation that controlled that territory for 19 years, from 1948-1967, was far less concerned about the massacres and blockades that it instituted on the hapless folks of Gaza. denying them basic human rights, refusing them Egyptian citizenship and keeping Gaza under military occupation and control, in direct violation of the Rhodes Agreements of 1949 which ended Israel’s War of Independence and left Gaza occupied by the Egyptian Army.

All I meant to write was that Israel has a legitimate right to defend itself by all legal means and at times, Israel has extended unheard of courtesies by telegraphing its intentions to the enemy and warning CIVILIANS through the dropping of hundreds of thousands of leaflets, making cellphone calls, sending SMS messages, and using radio channels, to protect the citizens and warn them to avoid areas where fighting will take place. Such a military is not interested in genocide, nor am I, as a citizen of Israel, and a Jew, ever going to advocate for the destruction of a people-that is what my Hamas foes declare as their intention.

I merely chose to illustrate that an evil enemy, whom has persistently openly advocated for the death of not only Israelis but for all Jews worldwide, must be fought vociferously and rigorously till it is unconditionally defeated. Only by removing Hamas can Gaza be free and its people begin to grow and prosper and become the “Singapore” that former Israeli president, Shimon Peres, has spoken of.

Germany and Japan. both Axis powers in World War 2, suffered horrendously from Allied bombings that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in their homes. Often times, without any prior warning. Because the Allies knew, that to liberate these folks from their evil regimes, the power that created and sustained their control over the populations of Germany and Japan, had to be defeated. So it is with Hamas and Gaza. To free the people of Gaza, Hamas must be defeated, but we, the Israelis, will not do what the Allied air forces did-we are not waging war against a powerful nation, we are fighting to preserve our own. We also want to free Gaza-from Hamas.

The deaths of innocent children grieves us in Israel, we do not celebrate their deaths, we mourn for the loss of every child, Israeli or Palestinian.. We do not desire nor seek the death  of harmless people. Our enemies have always said that they love death as much as we love life-it’s because we love life that we fight as we do.

So, again, if anyone still avers that I have advocated for genocide, I cannot force you to accept my clarification. There are some who will always hate and there are those who will never accept that they might be wrong, I can do nothing for them. But I can, and do, here and now, wish for a lasting and enduring peace between Israel and all its neighbors-a peace that can only be achieved when terror is put to an end.

About the Author
Irwin was born in New York City and is now retired. He lives in Maaleh Adumim since making aliyah 7 years ago.