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This week’s letter from Israel – March 22, 2024

March 22, 2024

My dearest friends,

During the past 24 weeks I’ve written much about the hypocrisy and cynicism that plague our world. The hatred fuels the jealousy that fuels the denial that fuels the hatred. A vicious circle energized by its own velocity. Speaking out against the never-ending tsunami of lies and distortions was my natural reaction. As a result, I haven’t said nearly enough about how proud I am of our younger generation.

October 7 was a nightmare. Israel was literally caught with its pants down. Our security forces were completely unprepared. Twelve hundred people were savagely murdered. Another 250 people were abducted to Gaza. After 168 days, 134 of them are still being held hostage under the most inhumane conditions.

From Day One, our younger generation showed its mettle. Their sense of sacrifice and determination to defend our country and its people so unselfishly, was instantaneous. Israel’s Tik-Tok generation took responsibility. They led by example. Hundreds of thousands of reservists put their studies, careers, families and livelihoods on hold to serve their country in its hour of need. They never waited for call-up papers. They showed up in their droves. Their priorities were crystal clear.

Their response was the same as that of Abraham to God, when he was called upon to sacrifice his beloved Isaac. Hineni – I am ready.

Many of our young men and women made the supreme sacrifice. Some suffered irreversible injuries requiring years of rehabilitation. Each and every one of them put themselves at enormous personal risk. They inspired and brought us together. They made us bury our differences for the common good. If our generation did anything right, it was raising this generation to save our people from another holocaust.

Our youngsters have won this war for us. We owe them so much.

An integral part of Israel’s Independence Day’s celebrations are the prestigious awards to those who have excelled in particular professions and fields. Amongst this year’s special awards, is a prize for “Civilian Heroism”. This prize will be awarded to Menachem Kalmanson and his nephew, Itiel Zohar, for their bravery in rescuing many of the residents of Kibbutz Beeri on October 7.

Early in the morning of October 7, 42-year-old Elchanan Kalmanson heard news of the massacre. Intuitively, he knew his presence was needed. Together with his brother, Menachem, and nephew, Itiel, they drove more than 100 kilometers to Kibbutz Beeri, not knowing what to expect.

With rockets falling around them, they finally arrived at the Kibbutz. The scene that greeted them was one of burning homes, gunshots and pandemonium. This group of three remarkably brave men went from house to house evacuating as many people as possible. They were forced to contend with blood-thirsty terrorists in their efforts to do so. Over a period of 14 hours, they made repeated trips into the fray and successfully evacuated tens of men, women and children.

On the last of these trips, Elchanan and Menachem were hit by terrorist fire. Elchanan died in Menachem’s arms. Elchanan Kalmanson, 85 residents of Be’eri and 26 policemen and IDF soldiers, fell in the battle for Be’eri. The Kalmanson family are worthy recipients of this award.

Josep Borrell is the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Over the past months, he has made numerous statements condemning Israel for her actions in Gaza. His statements suggest he is completely ignorant of the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas on October 7. He appears to question Israel’s right to self-defense and her duty to ensure the events of October 7 don’t repeat themselves.

Like many of his fellow politicians, Borrell has paid the customary lip service calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages. But, like them, Borrell hasn’t bothered to follow through. He’s done nothing to put pressure on Hamas and her financial backers to release the hostages.

On the contrary, his politically motivated statements such as calling for an arms embargo against Israel and his outrageous claims that Israel is using starvation as a weapon of war and provoking famine in Gaza, only serve to embolden Hamas. With such diplomatic support from the EU, what incentive does Hamas have to release the hostages?

Borrell is doing his job to keep the Palestinian terror machine alive. He’s not the only one.

Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader of the US Senate, had the audacity to use the Senate floor to call for elections in Israel. With all due respects to Mr. Schumer, Israel is a democracy and not a banana republic. Elections in Israel were last held 16 months ago. Unless the Knesset elects to dissolve itself, the next election will, by law, take place towards the end of 2026. The difficulties facing the Biden campaign in Wisconsin have no bearing on the timing of Israel’s next election.

The gullibility of the world continues to amaze me. As news consumers, the assumption is that we’re ready to accept anything and everything. The media presents “facts and figures” that suit the political agendas of the tycoons who control the media outlets. The news items and their authenticity are nothing more than hanging rails for revenue generating commercials. It’s so bad that even government sources and international organizations regurgitate these “facts and figures” as if they were gospel.

In an article published in the Telegraph on March 16, Jake Wallis Simons referred to a study made by Professor Abraham Wyner, a data scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, regarding the number and breakdown of the casualties in Gaza. The study shows that the numbers and their breakdown are statistically impossible. They indicate Hamas is faking the death figures put out by Gaza’s Ministry of Health.

The unfortunate reality is that governments, humanitarian organizations and the media readily accept and provide credibility for these “facts and figures”. As Simons says, “this gullibility has led to a crime against reality.”

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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