Henry Tobias

It’s 04.10 in the Morning

It’s 04.10 in the morning. I’ve been awake for the last 90 minutes fuming and trying to make sense of the mess in which Israel finds itself.

The fact is that Israel, or rather its leaders, most of the members of the Knesset, are guilty of ignoring the security of Israeli citizens.

But most guilty is Benjamin Netanyahu! Why? Because he’s the prime minister and the buck stops with him. Everyone, even the military, are subject to his direction. He’s always touted himself as ‘Mr Security’ but now he is responsible for the biggest security screw-up in Israel’s history – worse than the Yom Kippur War. During the 1973 war many Israeli soldiers fell into captivity – but were protected by the Geneva Convention as prisoners of war – which even the non-democratic authoritarian regimes of Egypt and Syria adhered to. But now, 240 Israeli citizens including small children and the elderly as well as some non-Israeli Thai agricultural workers, are being held as hostages – not POWs – by terrorists who carried out the worst atrocity on Jews since the Nazis and their collaborators, and who don’t give a damn for any conventions, not even those of their own religion when it comes to the humane treatment of others.

Why was there not a sufficient if not a substantial army presence on the Gaza border, not just on 7 October, but permanently?

We have been told for years that Hamas want to kill Israeli Jews and Jews everywhere. We know that is true because they have it written in their charter. Like Hitler, Hamas has put their aims and ambitions in writing. Like Hitler, their target is the Jews.

Did our government think that the Hamas leaders had changed their minds and had given up their dream of killing Jews because Israel has a stronger army and an air force which can and has taken retribution on the terrorists it can reach? Or perhaps the terrorist leaders had had an epiphany and wanted to settle for the status quo – although they constantly tell us that no matter how long it takes, they will purge the whole of Palestine – from the river to the sea – of Jews. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and, for that matter, Fatah of the ‘moderate’ Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas don’t care how many of their citizens die in wars against Israel. In fact, they encourage their citizens to die as martyrs to ramp up the numbers of ‘victims’ gaining sympathy mainly from ‘peace-loving, liberal’ readers of the western press – unless it’s their own families. Saeb Erekat is reported to have refused that one of his children become a shahid – martyr. The western media comply with the terrorists by anti-Israel bias, not checking facts, accepting the word of terrorists as gospel and plain sloppy journalism.

A former Gazan, who is now an Israeli – an extremely rare bird – in a recent interview on TV told us that 95% of the population of Gaza supports Hamas in all its aims – particularly that of killing Jews. Now I don’t know if that is accurate, but what I do know is that in Palestinian society over the past 75 years, and I’m only talking about since Israel’s independence, there has not been anyone brave enough, never mind a group, to form a movement which has equalled the lofty peace-making equivalent to those of Israel’s Peace Now. I believe that due to unceasing Palestinian violence the peace camp in Israel has diminished over the last 44 years that I have lived here. The Labour party, who as late as the 1990s, formed the government is now reduced to 4 seats in our present parliament – but is still vocal.

I have NEVER heard a Palestinian of any stature call for peace. The only calls I have heard from Palestinians is to declare ‘a day of rage’. I would like to hear a Palestinian call for ‘a day of reflection’ or ‘a day of peace’ or perhaps ‘a day of reconciliation’.

While Israeli schools preach peace, the Palestinian children are taught the ideal of being a martyr – that killing Jews and dying in the process is the ultimate goal of Islam. Our children are taught about the Holocaust but never from the point of view of hatred, Germany is one of Israel’s strongest allies in Europe, but from the Zionist point of view of ‘Never Again’. The Jewish revenge on the Nazis is to raise families and build our country – not reciprocal murder. We are living in our historical homeland. We can and must now protect ourselves by having a strong army – the strongest defensive army in the region.

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times bemoaned the extreme right-wing government formed in Israel after the last elections. The main reason for the move to the right by the Israeli electorate was clear – ongoing Palestinian terror. In 75 years, even before the ‘occupation’ – there has never been a stop to Palestinian terror but in recent years it has been increasing. Whenever there is a move to peace, like the current stalled Abraham Accords, the Palestinian leadership, led by the ‘moderate’ Mahmoud Abbas call for increased terror. The Palestinian Authority pay pro rata for maiming and killing Jews. Of course, Mr Friedman, who is regarded by many as an expert on Israel having spent a few months on a kibbutz in his youth, actually knows nothing about Israel. He may make the occasional visit where he talks to like-minded Israelis and therefore learns nothing or ignores the reality of living in the Middle East where life of the ordinary people, particularly the Palestinians, has little value for the leadership of the Muslim countries. Iran, as Israel’s most implacable enemy, is prepared to fight to the last Palestinian and Lebanese Shia Muslim to defeat Israel.

The threat of invasion by the surrounding Arab nations has in the past 40 years been reduced by ‘peace’ agreements with Egypt and Jordan but terror is still an almost daily occurrence. Of course, our enemies and detractors like Jeremy Corbyn and antisemites from both the right and left of the political spectrum say that it is the ‘occupation’ which causes the terror. Even the secretary general of the United Nations, a body which is notorious for its anti-Israel bias, told us that we were to blame for the atrocities committed by Hamas on 7 October, because the Palestinians have been ‘occupied’ for the last 65 years. He failed to note the initial reason for the ‘occupation’ or the reason for the ongoing ‘occupation’. Does he not know that Israel pulled out of Gaza in August 2005? If the Palestinians had taken the opportunity in 2005 to use the infrastructure which Israel left behind for their own good and had lived in peace, Gaza would now have an airport, a harbour and be a thriving oasis. Instead, the Palestinian Authority of the ‘moderate’ Mahmoud Abbas, destroyed ALL the buildings left by Israel. Within 2 years Hamas had taken over Gaza in a bloody coup, throwing their Palestinian brothers, and I have no doubt a few sisters, from the rooftops slitting their throats and shooting them.

Israel kept a blockade on Gaza in a now proven futile attempt to prevent the influx of arms and material for belligerent purposes like building rockets to fire at Israeli towns and cities to terrify and hopefully kill as many Jews as possible. To build tunnels to protect terrorists and not homes or even shelters to protect ‘innocent’ civilians. This blockade was decried by the hypocritical international community led by such luminaries as Jeremy Corbyn and Ken Livingston – two of the worst antisemites in British politics. In the US there are likes of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez – whose antisemitism is of unknown origin – although as a socialist she possibly envies Jewish ‘wealth’, Rashida Tlaib – of Palestinian origin and Ilhan Omar – a Muslim whose family was given refuge from Muslim, not Israeli or Jewish, ravaged Somalia.

If the leaders of Fatah in Ramallah and Hamas in Gaza cared half as much for their people as do Jeremy Corbyn or Ken Livingston, or indeed half as much as I do, there would have been peace between Israel and the Palestinians years ago.

About the Author
The author is a husband, father and grandfather, writer and editor. He trained as a pharmacist. He has just published his first eclectic anthology of short stories, 'Just for Fun' available on Smashwords, B&N and Amazon and other e-book retailers. Soon in print at CreateSpace. His next book, an historical novel of the Holocaust will be published in 2016. Born in London, raised in South Africa, he has lived in Israel since 1979.
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