Maurice Ross

Snakes and Scorpions

Since Hamas broke the last ceasefire over 300 rockets have been fired at civilian targets in Israel in a matter of three days.

As we prepared for Shabbat we heard of the mortar attack that killed a four year old as he and his parents and siblings were leaving the south to get some respite from the situation.

Every death of every person in Israel is felt as personal. We take to heart the loss of every soldier, every terror victim, every adult and every child. We will never know the potential of that child; into what he would have grown. His parents have lost their son and the potential pride he would have given them, his siblings have lost their brother or sister and the potential protection he would have given them; his grandparents have lost their grandchild and the potential respect he would have given them.

All of us have lost a future young man of Israel, into which he would have grown.

We are all at a loss. I know there were thousands, not just in Israel but in Jewish homes throughout the world, who over their Shabbat table, will have blessed that child and his parents and family; a family we never met but know them now.

Before I continue writing about the current situation, I wish to lay my cards on the table.

I am not a supporter of reactionary politics; I am in favour of a two state solution; I wish to live in peace; I dislike labelling all Muslims as terrorists; I accept that there liberal minded Arabs and I dislike myself when I forget the latter.

Indeed I have been called a “leftie” as if that is an insult. I dislike the label, inasmuch as I dislike the label “rightee”, but I do not dislike being considered “left” in my relationships to the world in which I live.

Nonetheless, I dislike the Jews who participate in pro-Palestinian rallies and demonstrate against the State at this time. I have referred to them in previous writings as apologists for their Jewishness in the hope that it will “save” them from the excesses of hatred that is prevalent amongst the rest of the world.

Nonetheless, I will continue to say “Never Again” even though I sometimes wonder if I have said it too many times and then change my mind. We can never say “Never Again” too many times.

Nonetheless, I support a very strong Israel Defence Force and its brave soldiers, its ingenuity and humanity.

I do not see a contradiction in any of my beliefs and being a fervent Zionist which I am. I want to see an Israel powerful in the world, a light unto the nations and living in accord with the highest ideals of humanity which Judaism gave to the world

But if the world does not wish to see it that way and pays lip service to our defending ourselves on the one hand and then criticizes us for doing so, even though we do it in the most humane manner possible, then I am obliged to say, I do not care what the world thinks.

If it is a matter of taking action to ensure that “Never Again” is “Never Again” then action we must take has to be taken.

I have never been a supporter of Avigdor Lieberman and quoting his words is not something you will find in my writings until now. This week Lieberman wrote:

“I hope it is now clear to everyone that the policy of ‘quiet will be met with quiet’ means that Hamas is the initiator and it is the one that decides when, where and how much it will fire on Israeli residents, while we make do with solely a response, which, even if it is a harsh one, is still just a response. When you’re talking seriously about the security of Israeli residents, you have to understand that there is no possibility other than a resolute Israeli move that means only one thing: the defeat of Hamas.”

What is more, not only do I quote him but I also agree with his words.

I have concluded that Hamas are evil and represent Satan here on earth. I have referred to them as the modern day Amalekites. Recently I heard a reference to them, by an Israeli Army Officer in Gaza as “snakes and scorpions”.

To fully understand this reference, one needs to know the characteristics of both.

Both snakes and scorpions are predators. Both are venomous, although some snakes are constrictors. Snakes have backward facing teeth so that their prey cannot escape and scorpions use their pincers to capture and crush prey. Both seek out dark hiding holes in which to live. They come out at night and if disturbed in their holes, are at their most dangerous.

In most cases, human beings tend to avoid any form of interaction with snakes and scorpions. If one is attacked by either, one requires immediate medical attention. Many die following such attacks.

If you live in areas where snakes and scorpions live, you do everything possible to protect your home against them and defeat them in their ability to cause you harm.

The reference is now much clearer. Hamas capture the people of Gaza with their back facing teeth or through constriction or in their pincers. They live in dark tunnels and come out at night to seek their prey. In this case the land and people of Israel. Only those who have similar characteristics (in other words, other snakes and scorpions) associate with them.

Sadly those who fall victim to their attacks require immediate medical attention or die – the latest victim being a four year old child.

And so we need to defeat them, which really means make it uncomfortable for them to survive. The important thing is that in doing so we need to remember that if you catch a snake by its tail it will bite you. You have to grab it by its head. If you grab a scorpion by its head it will sting you with its tail. You must grab it by its tail.

The important thing is to know where to grab them.

The Israel Defence Force know where to grab Hamas. They need a clear mandate from our Government to do so. The people of Gaza need to be released from the backward facing teeth and constriction and pincers. The people of the south of Israel need to be protected forever from their poisonous rockets so that all citizens of Israel can live in peace. The region needs to be cleared of their hiding holes before it is too late and no amount of medical attention will suffice.

There is no greater impetus to defeat Hamas in its ability to cause harm than the words “Never Again”.

About the Author
Maurice Ross was born in Ireland in 1955. Made Aliyah in 2007, having lived in London, UK since 1965. Former Jewish community Professional and Educator.