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This week’s letter from Israel – March 15, 2024

March 15, 2024

My dearest friends,

The international community has clearly had enough of Israel. As I wrote in my last letter, the Free World and its freedoms are in decay. Its heads of state and humanitarian organizations, its religious leaders and academic institutions have proved, for the umpteenth time, they don’t have the will or the ability to fight, outlaw or even recognize terror, especially when it’s targeted against Israel.

On October 7, invading Hamas forces perpetrated a genocide against Israel. Around 1,200 people, including women and children, were brutally murdered. An additional 250 Israelis were abducted to Gaza. After 161 days, 134 of them remain hostage. They haven’t been visited by representatives of any humanitarian organization. Since October 7, more than 9,000 missiles have been randomly fired from Gaza into population centers in Israel. As a result of this violence, around 100,000 people have, for the past 5 months, been displaced from their homes along Israel’s southern border.

Clearly, this violence must be countered. Failure to do so will further embolden Hamas. The Hamas violence on Israel’s southern border has already emboldened Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border and the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. It’s even emboldened South Africa to weaponize international law to demonize Israel and delegitimize her right to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people.

Sadly, the UN Security Council is engaged in a systematic process of denial. The Security Council is doing its utmost to distance itself from the report prepared by its envoy on sex crimes committed during conflict. The Russian representative discounted the report claiming it was based on partial information.

The Security Council continues to ignore the plight of the Israeli hostages in Gaza. It ignores the indiscriminate firing of missiles at population centers in Israel. It ignores the use of hospitals, schools, mosques and its own buildings as part of the Hamas terror machine against Israel. It ignores the cynical use of Gaza’s civilian population as human shields to protect the Hamas military infrastructure.

Following World War II, the Allies convened a joint tribunal in Nuremberg to establish evidence of the war crimes committed and to bring the perpetrators to justice. Why aren’t they doing so this time around?

The world accuses Israel of over-reacting. I ask myself whether this is reasonable.

Over the years, Israel has done her utmost to avoid charges of over-reacting. Since 2005, Hamas has fired more than 20,000 missiles and mortars at Israel. Imagine the astronomical number of Israeli casualties that would been recorded without Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system. Imagine the air strikes and the artillery required to eliminate this threat. Imagine the even more astronomical number of Palestinian casualties that would have been recorded in the process.

Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system is more worthy of the Nobel Peace prize than are politicians or those heading any of its humanitarian organizations.

How does the world expect Israel to defend herself? Effectively, the world is seeking to neutralize Israel’s right to self-defense. How should Israel demilitarize Gaza? How should Israel secure release of the hostages? How should Israel ensure that the events of October 7 don’t repeat themselves?

Without providing effective and realistic solutions to these questions, the accusations made against Israel are ludicrous to the extreme. Ceasefires won’t achieve any of these fundamental requirements.

The world is stuck with one Holocaust Memorial Day. It shouldn’t be looking for a second one.

Israel conducted major air strikes and ground attacks against military targets in the Gaza Strip. These attacks caused enormous damage and many casualties including women and children serving as human shields for the Hamas leadership. But Israel also put her own soldiers at enormous risk in her attempts to limit the unnecessary loss of civilian life in Gaza. Has any other country in military history gone to such lengths to limit the loss of enemy life? If so, please name them.

To date, more than 12,000 Hamas militants have been killed. Many others have been apprehended. By international standards, the collateral damage has been negligible. The numbers of non-combatants relative to combatants killed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine were much greater. Given the extensive use by Hamas of women and children as human shields, this is an even more remarkable achievement.

The discourse surrounding the conflict has become toxic. Protest events around the world calling for the release of the hostages are dispersed by unruly mobs. Law enforcement to protect the right to demonstrate is either ridiculously inadequate or non-existent. Pictures of the hostages are ripped to shreds within minutes of their being posted. That’s what become of our world. No wonder Michelle Obama, Julia Roberts and others who seek popularity audiences, are so quiet on the subject.

As Leonard Cohen wrote: First we take Manhattan then we take Berlin. Cohen described this as a terrorist song. Terrorism, he said, is something that has no alibis or compromises. Judging by what’s becoming increasingly acceptable on the streets of Manhattan and Berlin, both cities have fallen to the whims of terrorism.

Justifying and whitewashing the events of October 7 are an essential part of the strategy. It serves the interests of the perpetrators and the international community.

My condolences to those mourning their nearest and dearest. My wishes to the injured for a complete and speedy recovery. May God protect our brave soldiers. May the hostages soon be reunited with their families. May you all be blessed with good health to see smiles on the faces of your loved ones for many years to come.

Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom and better times ahead.

Am Yisrael Chai.

Harris Zvi Green.

About the Author
Harris Zvi Green was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He made Aliyah 53 years ago. An accountant by profession, he served as the Chief Financial Officer for a number of Israel based hi-tech companies. He is married to Phyllis. They have 3 married children, 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Harris Zvi Green is a founder member of Truth be Told, an organization engaged in public diplomacy on behalf of Israel.
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