Hundreds of rockets fired by Gaza-based terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad are currently raining down on Israeli civilian communities, leaving many Israelis with no choice but to huddle in bomb shelters for days on end. Sirens, red alerts, big explosions; these are the jarring sounds that so many Israelis have had to endure over these past few days. The anxiety, trauma, and acute stress that comes with this situation is indescribable.
Experiencing terror makes it easy to slip into an ‘Us’ versus ‘Them’ mentality: Israel versus Gaza, Israelis versus Palestinian-Arabs.
‘Us’ versus ‘Them’ certainly does exist, but the line doesn’t fall neatly between Israel and Gaza.
The ‘us’ is, in many ways, just as much an Israeli child crouched in a bomb shelter as it is a Gazan child being used as a human shield, as nothing more than a prop for violence, by a terror organization such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It is, in many ways, just as much an Israeli hospital having to evacuate to a safe room as it is a hospital in Gaza doubling as a rocket-launching site.
And while it can be debated who suffers more and who suffers less, the fact is that civilians in Israel and Gaza are both suffering simultaneously due to the same root causes: The terrorists who have a blatant disregard for human life.
When you speak out against Palestinian Islamic Jihad or Hamas, you are standing up for ‘both sides’, for all of ‘us’, in Israel and in Gaza. You are calling for justice for the Israeli children whose lives are being threatened by terrorist rocket fire just as much as you are calling for justice for the children in Gaza who have lost their lives to terrorist rocket fire.
I, as an Israeli, stand vehemently opposed to this terror wave not only for the sake of my fellow Israelis, Jewish and non-Jewish, but for the people living in Gaza.
We deserve better. They deserve better. ‘Us’ deserves better.