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Dear Gary Lineker…

Gary Lineker on X on 13t February 2024 (Ben Lazarus screen capture)

As someone I used to idolize as a Tottenham football fan and as a major influencer of today, this is not the first time I have written to you in true disappointment.

Three words is all you said, “SO IMMEASURABLE SAD” and I agree with all of them. As you have consistently done however,  your brevity, lack of any recognition of the role of Hamas, and utter unwillingness to acknowledge pain caused on 7th October and after, unintentionally misleads millions and fuels hatred of  my people. Let me explain my point of view…. if you are willing to read.

SO IMMEASURABLY SAD – this is undoubtedly true – I very sadly agree with the statement by the UN CRC commissioner that you quoted saying: “All children living in the Gaza strip have lost their childhood”…this is a terrible tragedy and I personally grieve for the lost souls and the lost childhood in Gaza, but where we disagree is the cause of this statement, for three reasons…

  1. This war was and is Hamas’s doing…you have consistently refused to comment on the murder, mutilation, rape or ongoing capture of Jews and Israeli’s. My son and so many others in the IDF are not doing this out of choice – they are defending our right to exist against a group who openly say they will keep doing it. Just watch this link to see the clear intent. As this Hamas leader says: “We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do this again and again. The Al-Aqsa Flood is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth, because we have the determination, the resolve, and the capabilities to fight. Will we have to pay a price? Yes, and we are ready to pay it. We are called a nation of martyrs, and we are proud to sacrifice martyrs.”
  2. Hamas planned for and actively seek mass casualties on its own side as a tactic of war (see comment above about martyrs) and most of the population is unfortunately of childhood age. You don’t have to look further than this NATO report which in 2019 called this tactic into question  – https://stratcomcoe.org/cuploads/pfiles/hamas_human_shields.pdf . As was shown this week, Hamas kept one of its data centers under the UN HQ in Gaza not to mention the numerous schools, hospitals and mosques which protected Hamas’s infrastructure.
  3. The children of Gaza have been raised – often by UN funded schools – to hate. There has been almost total indoctrination (see this link to see this clearly). This collection of MEMRI TV clips exposes educational materials that encourage Palestinian and Muslim youth to wage jihad and to become martyrs, in the spirit of Islamic fundamentalism. These materials are taught at kindergartens, schools, and other educational settings, as well as by mothers and fathers at home, by religious scholars, in mosques, and by political leaders in various settings.Their childhood, as we understand the term, was lost before this terrible war started. It is not how I am raising my children nor are many Israeli parents whose children have also lost their childhoods.

As I said above, I acknowledge 100% the terrible tragedy that has befallen the civilians of Gaza. We completely agree that Israel’s response to Hamas’s attack has very sadly unintentionally led to significant casualties but this was planned and in fact designed to happen, despite Israel taking great pains to avoid it where possible.

As a father of a son who has been in service who in no way wanted this fight to happen, as a friend of the parents of a captive, and friend of someone killed in October who abhors loss of innocent life, especially children, I can truly say to you and other influencers that whilst I agree with your clear pain and your right to voice it, your complete and consistent portrayal of this last 130 days as a one sided affair, whilst denying our right to self defence, is causing irreparable damage to me and my people and playing into the hands of those who fund and support terror.

Lastly a point of agreement – I pray this ends soon and that Muslims/Jews/all faiths can find a way back to peaceful relations and shared trust.

About the Author
I live in Yad Binyamin having made Aliyah 17 years ago from London. I have an amazing wife and kids including a son in Special Forces and two daughters, one soon to start uni and one in high school. A partner of a global consulting firm and a Parkinson's patient and advocate.
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