In the Face of Conflict, We Grow Stronger

Without warning, globally recognized terrorists fire rockets into Kibbutzim from behind walls of innocent civilians and children, as heavily armed militants tunnel into peaceful Israeli communities, measuring the success of their missions in blood.

Hamas leaders encourage whole families to blanket rooftops of weapons depots to protect their caches, while instructing their foot soldiers to take up firing positions in hospitals and ambulances.

The other day I saw a report that a field hospital, built by the IDF to treat wounded Gazans, was fired upon by Hamas militants. The report was published by a Jewish news service, and seemingly impossible to locate elsewhere. Meanwhile, mainstream media was interrupting regularly scheduled programming to report that the United Nations would be gearing up for an investigation into whether or not Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza.

War crimes. Israel.

Enraged by biased reporting on the conflict, I took a moment to reflect, and recalled a forever relevant saying.

“If I am not for myself, who is for me?”

Then the reality sunk in.

There is no white knight coming to the rescue of the Jewish homeland or its people. There are no bench spots occupied by world powers waiting to get in the game. Israel is the only player. And it is Israel, and only Israel, that must do all it can to secure its borders once and for all.

History has shown that status quo is a figment of the world’s imagination. Hamas will always fire rockets into Israel. And in order to ensure a rocket free future, the future must be free of Hamas.

As the conflict rages on, flag draped boxes of young Israeli soldiers are carried to the doorsteps of mourning loved ones. But while their mission’s objective was to eliminate Hamas’ tunnel network, their sacrifice is for something much more. Their sacrifice is to ensure that Jews will always have a place to call home.

Around the world Jews are being targeted by hateful radicals and evil extremists. Not Israelis – Jews. In London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna, the U.S. and elsewhere, thousands have marched against Israel while employing anti-Semitic ideologies and Roman salutes to further their points. And in Paris, scenes that resemble the shattered windows of Kristallnacht painfully remind us of a genocide from not so long ago.

This conflict, and the global response it has ignited, is not simply the next chapter of the Israel/Gaza saga. It’s about something bigger. The resolve of the Jewish people is once again being tested. And while there is little light at the end of the tunnel, history teaches us that even under the most dire circumstances, Jews survive.

We survive because, as a global community, we unite in the face of adversity. We survive because we are a proud and resilient people. We survive because we have learned that sitting on our hands only leads to devastation.

Evil is knocking at Israel’s door, and Israel is refusing to hide beneath the bed. Jews across the globe have united as store windows shatter around them. This is a frightening time, but together we are strong. And arm-in-arm we must, and will again, defend our homeland and our right to exist on this earth.

About the Author
Mike Kandel is a freelance photographer and strategic marketing professional based in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of the George Washington University who lives to tell stories with his pictures, and experience the world through his taste buds.
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