The conflict in Gaza in the eyes of an Israeli paratrooper

My unit, Orev Tzanchanim
My unit, Orev Tzanchanim

Last night I was talking to a girl. Once she heard that I was Israeli she told  me, “Sorry I’m boycotting Israel.”

So to those people who feel the same way, I must say a few things:

1. Before you choose a side in this conflict you should really learn about it first. Even if you think that you know enough about it, it doesn’t mean that you really know anything about it – especially if it’s solely based on what the media shows you. The media, especially in Europe, is anti-Israeli and in general, they show you only what they want to show you.

2. If you really care about human rights, why don’t you boycott Hamas? Hamas is a terrorist organization that kills its own people and uses them as human shields. Or perhaps you should boycott Syria where hundreds of thousands of people have been murdered in the past 2 years. Or, you could choose to boycott the USA and England for killing “innocent civilians” in Iraq and Afghanistan (which by the way, I don’t blame them for, because unfortunately civilians die when countries are at war with terrorists).

3. If you decide not to boycott Hamas, or other terrorist organizations, but you decide to boycott Israel instead, do not claim that you aren’t anti-semitic. The hatred for Jewish people has always had excuses or fake justifications. In the 1940s, they were accused of being ugly with big noses. Jewish people were accused of drinking Christian blood or trying to rule the entire world, and now the excuse is accusing Israel of carelessly killing “innocent civilians” and using too much force. Well if your house was under attack for over 9 years, missiles were fired at your city and tunnels were built beneath your roads in order to kill and kidnap civilians, your country would’ve done way worse than Israel has done. To remind you, the USA went all of the way to Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11.

4. Please learn the history of the current situation. Israel left Gaza 9 years ago in order to give it to the Palestinians – there are no more Jews living there. Why did this place turn into the biggest terror nest in the world? We left them in order to live in peace. There was almost a civil war in Israel when it happened, but peace meant so much to us that we were willing to evacuate 40,000 Israelis living in Gaza.

5. Israel is the ONLY democracy in the Middle East. It is the only place where Jews, Christians and Muslims (yes, there are plenty of Arab Israelis living in Israel and even serving in the Israeli army) can vote, walk around freely, etc. Oh yes, gay people too. They’re allowed to do whatever they want without getting killed. Unlike in many other countries in the Middle East, gay people can live a normal life in Israel exactly the way that they live in NYC and Miami.

6. When 9/11 happened and subways were blowing up in Europe, many people in Gaza were partying and celebrating in the streets. The next time that a terrorist attack like this happens, you are welcome to come and see your best friends in Gaza celebrating the death of your people while Israelis mourn and cry about it.

7. Every time before Israel bombs a target (and they do this when rockets are fired from that specific place) they call the house and tell everyone to evacuate. They even drop a rocket that only shakes the house in order to make sure that everyone leaves. Now, I know it’s a house that people live in, but this house is used to kill Israeli civilians. Sometimes the Palestinian civilians living in that house are forced by Hamas to stay inside despite Israeli warnings, and they die. But we don’t have a way to avoid this horrible situation. What else would you do?

8. Terror organizations know exactly how to lie. In fact, they are pros at it. They want their people to die in order for you to support them. They don’t care about their own people. They even upload pictures of dead civilians from Syria claiming that the civilians are Gazans who were killed by Israelis.

Now about the UN:

1. The tunnels and missiles Hamas uses are being built by “humanitarian” supplements that were sent to them by the UN. Instead of building houses, schools and hospitals many of these resources are used to kill Israeli civilians. Still, the UN does not say a word about it.

2. the UN built plenty of schools in Gaza. Hamas rockets were found inside of 3 UN schools and were also fired from those exact schools. The UN knew about these rockets and after their discovery, the UN gave those missiles directly back to Hamas. Why? They know that those rockets will be fired at Tel Aviv but why should they care? Also, one UN school was booby trapped so that Israeli soldiers would be targeted, and another school had a tunnel leading straight into Israel.

3. A hospital in Gaza is being used to fire rockets into Israel, Hamas leaders hide on the ground floor. Is that normal?

4. Did you know that people from Gaza have been treated and continue to be treated in Israeli hospitals for years for free? Did u know that Israel supplies all of the water and electricity to Gaza plus humanitarian aid? These things cost Israel billions of dollars, but you’ll never hear about it in the news.

5. Please stop comparing the number of people who have been killed in Gaza to the number of people who have been killed in Israel. We don’t need to let our people die in order for you to believe us. Especially if the other side hides behind civilians and uses them as human shields and admires death more than life, while we defend our people and admire life. We have built bomb shelters, and missile-defense systems like the Iron Dome in order to keep our citizens safe.

This is not a war against Muslims, it’s a war against terrorists. These are the same terrorists that one day might kill your people in London, NYC or anywhere else around the world, so you better remember that it’s a war between the Western world and radical Islam. Remember that Jews never went and blew themselves up while killing innocent people around the world, and there’s no reason that suddenly we would decide to kill innocent civilians.

We feel the pain of the Palestinian civilians. We don’t want them to die and our hearts go out to their families.

I am hoping that one day the world will understand.


About the Author
Leor is an elite paratrooper in the IDF with both Israeli and American citizenship. He was injured in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead and is currently traveling.