Are we Strong Enough?

Is it necessary, is it appropriate, for Israel to respond full force to Hamas rockets?

It’s necessary, and it’s appropriate.

Is it legitimate to bomb an entire neighborhood in Gaza to reestablish deterrence and stop the rocket attacks on Israeli civilians?  Is it seemly to be proud of the fact that the IDF issues warnings before it bombs?

It’s legitimate.  It’s seemly.

Do we truly have no other choice, even knowing that on the other side dozens of innocents are being killed?

Sometimes in war there is no other choice.  That is the horror of war.

Do we have any understanding that to be a Gazan is to live with distress and overcrowding, with humiliation and fear?

Yes, we do understand.

Is it possible to kill our enemies and destroy targets in Gaza, and at the same time, in a small corner of our hearts, feel for Gazans, for fellow descendants of Abraham who under other circumstances – may the day come! – might perhaps be our good neighbors and partners in prosperity and growth?

Can Israelis, who in the summer of 2014 are themselves struggling with distress and anxiety, identify a little with the suffering of our Gazan neighbors?  Can we overcome the natural tendency to hate and dehumanize one’s enemies, while still maintaining our vital ability to fight back and defeat them?

Are we strong enough to hit our targets while shedding a little tear?

About the Author
Sagi Melamed is Vice President of External Relations and Development at the Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, President of the Harvard Club of Israel and author of "Son of My Land" and "Fundraising" - the 1st Hebrew book about Resource Development. Sagi can be reached at