When I am angry, upset, or in pain, I write. Stuck here in Germany, I watch with horror and yes, pain, the terrorist attacks on Israel. I feel helpless and frustrated, but most of all I feel afraid for all my wonderful and close friends living in Israel. I have been frantically sending messages out to everyone hoping and praying that they were safe. All safe but all afraid and numb from what their country is once again enduring at the hands of terrorists. Terrorists who the world community seems to continually refuse to acknowledge them as such. Consequently, they continue to attack and kill Israelis with full immunity. And this makes me mad.
Lunch is on the table, but the mood is somber. We decided to recite the Prayer for Israel from our Armed Forces Siddur. “We pray for the peace of all lands and peoples. And we pray for our brothers and sisters in the land of Israel.” The last sentence hung in the air like a dark cloud because we realized that at the moment, our friends in Israel were in a land far from peaceful. We held back tears of anger as we tried to rationalize or even opine on the how and the why.
My love for Israel is common knowledge and friends from around the world sent me messages of support. But I want more than prayers and cliches. I want it to stop. I want the world to come to its senses and realize the fragility of Israel as a free democracy surrounded by those who literally wish its eradication from the face of the earth. Iran is number one on my list. It’s the proverbial puppet master. It gets various terrorist groups to do its dirty work.
The mainstream media speculates on the reason for the attacks without even bothering to hone on the truth which has always been the fundamental reason for the intifadas and attacks of the past two decades. From the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem being in danger, to the peace treaty with Saudi Arabia. All red herrings. The fact remains that Hamas in complete control of Gaza, does Iran’s bidding in the Middle East. The Palestinian Authority lost control years ago. The world community’s narrative of Palestinian suffrage, led by the irrelevancy of the UN is an obscenity in the face of these civilian murders and abductions in Israel by Hamas.
Golda Meir was once asked if there will ever be peace in the Middle East. She replied: “There will be peace in the Middle East only when the Arabs love their children more than they hate Israel.” Another scathing quote brings home the reality of what is happening right now: “We can forgive (the Arabs) for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.” And that’s what makes terrorism so vile. Terrorists force retaliation because their values are below pond scum.
This was not a weekend to give up social media because it was and still is the only outlet for those of us trying to determine the situation. Postings from those living on the border and the various surrounding cities have kept us abreast of this war. And war it is. On the downside are the myriad of messages from families and friends trying to locate loved ones who are missing. Others have posted pictures of civilians from various kibbutzim who have either been kidnapped or killed. I am caught in a vortex of not wanting to hear any more or frustrated for not hearing enough. A roller coaster of emotions that move laterally between anger, fear, and pain.
I am old enough to remember the Suez crises, the 1968 war, and of course the Yom Kippur war. Each time, Israel prevailed with surmountable losses of those who wear the uniform. This time, the enemy seems to have morphed into a monster of a different breed. An enemy that sank low enough to attack and abduct defenseless civilians. Such an enemy is not only dangerous but on the lowest food chain of any code of conduct normally associated with war. Its hatred was aimed at the very soul of the population. The civilians. Unprecedented and unpardonable. Any hope of bringing Hamas up for war crimes in world courts? Very doubtful.
My anger at the situation is surpassed by the pain in watching unfold several hundred miles away. Comfortable at my computer I attempt to take on the world of evil with a few words which in the scheme of things and in the long run will probably mean nothing. I consider Israel as my surrogate home. My close friends who are now waiting and hoping that the worst is over, as my extended family. I am angry because I cannot share their anxiety and fear. That’s what friends do. Instead, I hope and pray that they remain safe.
If there is one person I would like to have met and had a conversation with is Golda Meir. An extraordinary woman with an insight into logic and life that made world leaders cringe. Right now, Israel needs a Golda Meir. She was unapologetically scathing with a firm belief that weakness should not bode well with anyone. “If we have a choice between being dead and pitied, and being alive with a bad image, we’d rather be alive and have a bad image.” Amen to that. In recent years the world community has made it its mission in life to give Israel a bad image while giving terrorists a pass. It’s time for Israel to do what it must do. Protect itself against the enemy who does not play by the same rules and damn the bad image.
As I write and opine, more images are sent to me on WhatsApp and I cringe. According to a developing story by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (Ita.org), the Israeli death toll currently stands at 600, mostly civilians killed in their homes or in the streets. 2,000 are approximately injured and 100 taken hostage. Hamas made videos for posterity. At least the UN can’t now deny the fact that they are terrorists.
Nothing to do but to pray. “Throughout the ages we prayed that Zion be restored: it has been for us the land of hope and promise. May the promise now come true in all its fullness: may a new light shine upon Zion restored.” May the memories of all that have fallen at the hands of the enemy forever remain a blessing to all of us.
I stand with Israel.