Into the Breech

I’m staring at the blank screen, my heart is overflowing with emotions but the words don’t want to come out. The future is so utterly uncertain, so devoid of anything substantive that I am finding it hard to focus. I have been called up along with tens of thousands of other reservists. Tomorrow I will be wearing green and carrying a rifle. This isn’t something I want to do, it is something I have to do. The rockets and shells flying out of the Gaza Strip have ensured that we are living in a situation that is intolerable. Every Israeli citizen has a right to live their life without being in fear that death will catch them from above. Though it pains me that we are in this situation I feel nothing but pride at the fact that in it’s moment of need the IDF has entrusted me with being a part of the defence of our wonderful country.

I am not blind to the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza, I know that to live in Gaza is worse than living almost anywhere in Israel and I know that the situation for Gazans is going to get worse as this latest round of our conflict continues but the time has come to draw the line in the desert sand and tell the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip that enough is enough. If they care about the suffering of their own people they will end this madness once and for all by putting away their weapons. Since taking control of Gaza Hamas have done nothing but make the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians in the region a nightmare. Their pointless rocket attacks have needlessly brought the might of the Israeli Air Force down upon them and no doubt soon the armoured fist of the Israeli Army as well.

While, to our shame, many of us have grown used to the daily missile attacks on citizens of the South and come to regard them as a fact of life we have forgotten that there are real people firing those rockets and those people are out for nothing other than our blood. Now I know that on a strategic level it is impossible to mount a ground incursion that will destroy Hamas completely, nor is it possible to permanently remove their ability to fire rockets at us from the Gaza strip. All we can do is attack what exists of their infrastructure and severely weaken the capabilities as they stand right now. But just as importantly what we can also do is stand up and let the Hamas leadership know that we Israelis are ready to take them on, that we will not run from our duty, that we will not stand idly by and watch as they attack our way of life.

Tomorrow I become a soldier once again, my politics become irrelevant, my life becomes irrelevant as I place it in the hands of my comrades and they place theirs in mine. Together we will step into the breech ready to attack the menace that threatens our people and end the threat posed by our enemies.

About the Author
Marc Goldberg is the author of Beyond the Green Line, a story his service in the IDF fighting through the al Aqsa Intifada