Steve Kramer
Steve Kramer

Israel vs. Hamas: Again

Here’s a quick response to those of you who are concerned about what’s going on in Israel right now. Among a number of emails/messages regarding the current warfare in Israel, we received this one from our friend Ann in Arizona:

Im concerned about you in view of the horrifying news coming out of Israel daily. Can you tell me whats going on and how youre both managing? G-d Bless you and keep you safe.

Another from our friend John in Wisconsin:

News is breaking here about attacks. Know you have our support and prayers. Keep me updated in knowledge to share. Im concerned we will be misinformed and under-informed. Be safe and wise. Sorry this is going on. Foolish acts most always lead to horrible outcomes!  Be blessed and safe and know we lift you, your family, and nation in prayer!!!

My reply: Were ok. Last night, after a period of several hours before bedtime sitting in our safe room, we were awoken in the middle of the night for a brief sojourn there. While sitting in the tiny space (most homes have some sort of bomb-proof room), we watched the i24NEWS app, which emanates from Israel and broadcasts in English, Spanish, and Arabic. A massive Israeli response is needed (a huge one!) to make Hamas regret this terrorism. But Israel’s counter-attack must be abrupt, before the world demands that Israel stop itsdisproportionate” response. 

I want to flesh this out a bit, to get this off my chest. It’s true that the American public, actually nearly the entire Western public, is misinformed and under-informed, especially when mass media presentations are about Israel or the Middle East in general. I can address more details later, but know this: none of the excuses you are hearing about why this conflagration has “erupted” are true. Hamas needs a fight to take the Gazans’ attention away from the miserable life that most of them lead in a statelet whose reason for being is to destroy Israel and its Jews. No excuses are needed. Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority, is also pleased by Israel’s situation, which diverts his population from his corrupt government.                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Just yesterday (Wednesday, May 11), Ireland’s ambassador in Tel Aviv, Kyle O’Sullivan, was summoned to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Why? This was Israel’s response to recent comments by Simon Coveney, the Irish Foreign Minister, decrying Israel’s air campaign against terrorists in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. “Israel should be condemned” for its “brutal” tactics. Speaking in the Irish parliament on Tuesday, Coveney said he had notified Ambassador O’Sullivan of the Irish government’s position that Israel’s military response to Hamas attacks was “not acceptable,” and Israel must “behave responsibly and protect all civilians in line with their obligations under international law.”

As far as Michal and I, and everyone close to us here, Ireland’s opinion is absolute rubbish. “Protect all civilians,” Coveney said. “Behave responsibly.” Coveney and other critics of Israel should be addressing the Palestinian Arab terrorists, who locate their war materiel in civilian homes, schools, hospitals, and even mosques. They have no compunction about killing Israeli citizens or sacrificing their own Arab ones.

Nearly all the rockets from Gaza, currently more than 1,600, are fired indiscriminately to kill Israelis — soldiers or civilians, adults and children. Their rockets are crude and uncontrolled, just 100% random evil. No technological effort or wisdom is used for precision… just a hateful push of a button to launch for maximum casualties. In contrast, no army in the world takes extreme care to minimize civilian deaths more than Israel does.

You might ask, Why doesn’t Israel want to accept a ceasefire? Israel has had a policy of “mowing the lawn” in Gaza ever since the very ill-considered withdrawal of all civilians and soldiers from there in 2005. Israel doesn’t want to conquer Gaza again, necessitating its rule over Gaza’s large population. There have been at least three prior operations in Gaza before the ongoing one, Operation Guardian of the Wall. There has been relatively little rocket fire since 2014, when the last operation ended. Israel aims to elongate the period of  “calm.”

This time Israel vows to increase Gaza strikes until there is “total, long-term quiet,” amid the Palestinian Arab rocket fire barrage. How long could “quiet” last? Perhaps the goal is ten years. 

Why couldn’t there be a peace treaty? Muslims are forbidden to make peace with infidels: Jews and Christians. However, a temporary truce is allowed if the Muslims feel that they aren’t strong enough to overcome their adversary. So, a hudna (a ceasefire) is permitted until the Muslim forces regain their strength. But forget about a peace treaty with Muslim terrorist armed forces.

I’m sure that a few rockets fired into the US from Canada or Mexico by their governments would bring about an absolutely devastating attack.

Proportionality? That concept in war is almost ridiculous. How would the good guys win? So, we Israelis are as OK as one can be when facing rocket attacks that are inconceivable to Americans and other Westerners. This will be over soon enough. If a government in either Gaza or the Palestinian Authority is ever serious about peace, then negotiations will begin in earnest. But not until then.

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.
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