Martina Lichtman

Rockets from Gaza

Crows and pigeons in a tree in Tel Aviv, May 2023. (Photo by the author)
Crows and pigeons in a tree in Tel Aviv, May 2023. (Photo by the author)

I wrote this text in May 2023. The criticism I had back then remains unchanged.
In fact, it turned into outrage.

Yet again, also this time around… no report in German and international media is complete without the number of killed people in Gaza – but yet again, something else is missing: the information how many of those were killed by failed rocket starts and too short trajectories, because just as in previous “rounds of fighting”, a significant number of rockets fired by the terrorists did not land in Israel, but rained down on the Gaza Strip. And there is more undistributed information, preventing a more complete picture of the situation – such as the fact that the Israeli Air Force did not carry out planned attacks when they detected civilians in the area, or children playing nearby.

16 hours after Israel’s first strikes, the United Nations announced that the Security Council would meet the next day for an emergency session. Why wasn’t there any emergency meeting a week earlier, when the “Palestinian Islamic Jihad” attacked Israel out of the blue, with over 100 rockets in a single day? It’s news to me that such meetings would only be convened regarding the activities of state actors – but on the other hand, it’s a regular occasion for such meetings to be convened when there is an opportunity to condemn Israel. It is a pity that so many governments and media outlets around the world seemingly can’t overcome this one-sidedness. It is deplorable that there is so little empathy for this country and its people, so little willingness to walk a mile in our shoes. Instead, there is ample readiness to label terror as a “reaction”.

And yet, terror is most certainly not a reaction. It is and will always be a baseless, horrible crime against innocent civilians. Terror has no justification, no context, no background. There is much criticism of Israeli politics and the occupation, very loudly so also from within the country. But the knife, bomb and rocket attacks from Gaza, from and in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, and just a few weeks ago from Lebanon and Syria, their aim is not peace, not two states or any other solution. They have just one goal: to indiscriminately and ruthlessly harm and kill Jews and Israelis, the more, the better. Their rocket attacks never target military or government buildings – not that this would make it any better, but that’s not the point. They target civilians. To me, that is a crucial difference the world has yet to acknowledge – Israeli airstrikes on Gaza target the terrorists’ infrastructure and locations, their offices, tunnels, weapon warehouses and rocket launching bases.

How smugly media or even the UN always comment, for example “…aiming at what they [the Israelis] said were Hamas targets and damaging a children’s hospital”. How about loudly condemning Hamas for deliberately choosing the buildings or immediate neighborhoods of hospitals, schools, and kindergardens as their preferred rocket launch and command center sites? How about acknowledging that while Israel tries to minimize any collateral damage – what an awful expression –, to the terrorists this is most welcome? That they are happy to expose their dead in front of world media’s cameras? That funds from the EU and other donors are misappropriated and used to build tunnels and rockets?

Useless words, already so often said and written by wiser and more knowledgeable people than me, to no avail. The world’s opinion about Israel and its people seems just immovable, no matter what.

About the Author
German born Martina Lichtman is a freelance business consultant for cross-cultural marketing and communications. Previously, she held various positions in business development and marketing in the hospitality and the security printing industries. Martina is passionate about writing, traveling, and Israel.
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