An Ounce of Prevention

I can remember when I was a child my mother shlepping me to the pediatrician (whom I hated immensely) every so often for what used to be called “booster shots.”  Inevitably, these appointments were full of dread for me as I knew that it meant being stripped of my pants, being forced to lie down on my face on a hard, paper covered examination table, while this ugly little man took a sadistic pleasure in shoving a javelin into my rear end.  The worst part was that my dear mother, who professed such eternal love for me, actually took me to this den of sadism and pain.  Of course, I didn’t realize it, at that time, that these excruciatingly painful stab wounds were designed to save me from awful diseases and presumably, an early demise.  Even the lollipop that I received from the hands of this white coated monster after the assault, did nothing to assuage my hurt and, inevitably, the results of such kindness, led to the visit to another house of pain known as the dentist.

The lesson taught here was that sometimes a person, albeit a nation, often has to endure massive and painful experiences to realize that even though the hurt in unendurable, it might serve a purpose that otherwise, it would never recognize. That what it was encountering might be an evil worth knowing.  Because unless one can recognize a problem through suffering or through uncomfortable therapy, the issue would never be solved if it wasn’t confronted.

Israel, like a sick patient, is suffering from an abominable and agonizing abscess on its body.  This purulent growth keeps growing and, at times. breaks open and pours forth a flow of irritating, burning, and deadly infectious residue whose droplets land like hot needles upon its fair skin. This flow of fluid from its viral source seeks to destroy all the healthy tissue it comes into contact with and no preventive medication seems to be able to halt the recurrence of the initial infection of this abscess.

The nomenclature for this pernicious and disgusting growth is Hamas and it seems that whatever we do to cure us of its effects are merely palliative, not curative.  When it spews forth its pus in the form of Kassam missiles or mortar shells, we respond, not by destroying the source of the assault, but only. like a hot needle, pricking at it and trying to fill up the holes from whence came the painful pus.. It’s like putting a warm, soapy cloth over a small bleeding pimple in an attempt to clean the blood away for a moment of temporary relief. However, the underlying root of the growth is still there, waiting for another opportunity to make one bleed and hurt once more.

Now, far be it for me to denigrate the bravery and elan of our Israel Air Force, the intelligence agents who risk life and limb every day to seek out and identify the targets for destruction and the men and women who serve in the Iron Dome units that do their best to protect us.  But a good physician knows that one must dig out the roots of an abscess to truly end the agony it causes.  Because untreated, it will grow deeper and deeper into the body and inevitably, poison its host, like a deadly parasite.

So I really do not comprehend why, if our vaunted security services and military intelligence, know where these attacks are coming from, that they do more than just hit a small target. They know that these rockets and mortar shells are fired by terrorists who launch the attack, and are long gone when the F 16s show up. I believe these weapons are known as “shoot and scoot” types. Even the citizens of Israel know that this invasion of rocketry will continue, even after a pause of a day, a week or even, months. An abscess need not break open and pour forth its liquid poison every day.

So, shouldn’t Israel end this type of temporary relief by being a good surgeon and cut out this growth by its roots?  If we know where the abscess is, then we know where its roots are.  Instead of applying a warm, soapy cloth, we should go in with a scalpel and cut, and cut, and cut, and remove this malignant growth permanently.  Then, like a good doctor, continue to monitor the progress of our treatment and make sure that this sickness never returns.

Instead of reading about the one or two Hamas ammunition dumps or training camps have been hit, why don’t we read that the leadership and ALL Hamas facilities have been destroyed? Just as an abscess continues to grow by being fed through the sick person’s bloodstream, so will Hamas continue to grow and replace what has been excised by our efforts.

Every facility that aids the expansion of Hamas, must be eliminated from its terrorist command structure, to the electrical grid that powers the manufacture of the rockets, to the supply of food and water that feeds its thugs, to the fuel that carries the missiles to our children’s schoolhouses and the cement that builds the revetments and tunnels that the terror gangs operate from.

Oh, I can hear the wails and condemnations of the world and the anti-Semites. War crimes! Disproportionate response! Israeli aggression! By what right does America condemn us after its firebombing Tokyo with thousands of incendiaries. purposely and with malice of forethought, burning a city made up of wood and paper houses that killed 100,000 civilians by burning them alive? What right does Britain have to excoriate us after the Royal Air Force’s destruction of Dresden with weaponry so perniciously  evil, employing white phosphorous and thousands of sticks of napalm so that the asphalt streets themselves were melting for 3 days after the initial bombing? What glaring and despicable effrontery the Arab nations would vomit out  upon us after their centuries of slavery, murder and rapine? What colossal effrontery would the representatives of the former Soviet Union condemn us for defending ourselves when that nation not only enslaved half of Europe, but murdered tens of thousands of people merely for their political beliefs?  The members of the United Nations and the European Union have more innocent blood on their hands that the sea has salt.

That type of incredible hubris is akin to telling a patient that they deserve to suffer pain and agony because it pleases the sadist who revels in the application of his evil.

As long as the citizens of Israel have to suffer from the effects of the Hamas abscess and its pain,  this pimple will continue to grow and renew itself from the pinpricks and attempted palliatives that our military perform.  It will continue to infect us and remind us that we, somehow, must live with this pain and absorb the irritants that it pours upon us.

The time has come for radical medical procedures, such as deep invasive surgery to finally free the body of Israel from this tumorous and ugly infection. Yes, the treatment will hurt, we will bleed some, but sometimes a person has to accept temporary discomfort in order for a wound to heal. But afterwards, health is restored and the illness is set aside.

The saying is “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It is time for Israel to employ a massive dose of prevention in order to cure itself of the Hamas abscess and eradicate it, once and for all. After all, don’t we all hope for a good Jewish doctor?

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.