Terror in the Night

I am writing during a brief coffee-break away from my television to which I have been glued to arutz 12 for many unhappy hours.

The assassination of the Islamic Jihad leader and his wife in their Gaza home at four o’clock in the morning has triggered the start of a new and larger war.

Unlike the Hamas devils who have been for too long a major thorn in our sides, Islamic Jihad by its very name signifies the Muslim determination to exterminate the Jews and free “Zionist occupied Palestine” to its “rightful Arab owners”.

The pinpoint assassination resulted in a response from Gaza today in the dreaded form of 230 missiles and rockets which landed in our cities in the south and in the Gush Dan area. My city, Rishon Lezion, was among the cities hit but thankfully with no significant damage nor injuries nor fatalities.

The Israeli public knows only too well how to respond when the sound of the warning sirens awaken us from our slumber. Those who have a safe room (mamad) in their home flee to it as quickly as possible. Those who are outside must flee to the nearest public shelter within seconds of the sirens.

Is that any way to live? It may not be for some but unfortunately Israelis do not have a choice. It is either live or die . Flee or fall.

A neighbor remarked to me that many thousands of Arab jihadists and sympathizers were going to accompany the coffin for burial. He said “that would be a terrific opportunity for our planes to fly over them and shoot them all dead in the cemetery. One burial for all”.

“Ridiculous”, I answered. It cannot be done. We are Jews, after all, not Nazis who made us dig pits for our own funeral when they shot all of us down, our bodies falling into the newly-dug pits”.

One way which comes to mind is to destroy every house and building which belongs to a member or supporter of the Islamic Jihad movement. Leave them all homeless on the desert sands of Gaza.

An opinion which I have now heard from several people puts the blame on prime minister Netanyahu.

They believe that he ordered the assassination for his own political interests. The ultimate news of the assassination would take the media coverage away from him and his problems while it focuses on the advent of a new war. That is something which I simply cannot believe.

Other opinions put the blame on Iran which supports the Islamic Jihad and provides them with weapons and financial aid.

There may be truth to that. It is not far removed from the realm of reality.

But we cannot…we dare not… attack Iran on its own territory. Their Revolutionary Guards are more numerous than our IDF young men and women. Iran has nuclear weapons which they can readily use if they are attacked. We may have nuclear weapons also but we dare not use them.

But if we cannot use them, why do we have them? Why did our brilliant scientists make them?

Your answer is as good as mine. (I do not know).

We cannot attack Iran but we certainly can and do attack Iran’s proxies. And the Islamic Jihad is one of them.

An elderly man in my synagogue told a group of us to pray to God to save us from destruction.

I am a religious liberal Jew and I recite my morning prayers daily. But I cannot pray to God to save us. It would be a “bracha l’vatala”… a wasted prayer.

From 1939 to 1945 we prayed for deliverance from the Nazi gas chambers and ovens but six million of our voices went unheard in heaven.

It is not God who will save us. It is only ourselves. If we are a united people, dedicated to freedom and liberty coupled with justice, we will save ourselves from fear and panic, from depression and despair.

The immediate future does not look too bright for us. Our schools are closed. Many shops are empty. All trains have been cancelled. Most of our citizens prefer to remain in the comfort and safety of their homes.

Our government (if we can call it a “government”) is in shambles. Bickering, name-calling, racist remarks from a prime minister who calls the 20% of our Arab citizens traitors, do not and cannot promote the democratic values which we often disregard.

At night when we lay our head upon the pillow all we want is to dream of a beautiful night’s sleep and the eternal hope of waking up again in the morning.

But as of today, all we have and can expect again is more terror in the night.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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