We Cry For The People of Gaza BUT We Won’t Lay Down and Die

To all my friends in the UK and other countries around the world:
When you watch TV from Gaza in Arabic, you hear Hamas leader, after Hamas leader saying that they will not stop until every Jew is dead. 
When you watch Israel TV, you hear hour after hour of heart-rending debates and discussions about the plight of the Palestinian casualties as well as our own young soldiers who are dying to protect our country….our only Jewish country. You hear right-wingers arguing with left-wingers, Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews debating, often in tears, at the casualties on both sides.
Whether or not Netanyahu and his government could have done more…much more to search for peace, the bald fact is that Hamas is a terrorist organisation that is dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish people. Billions of dollars contributed to Gaza for food, welfare, education and infrastructure have been spent on building a massive, professional underground structure and tens of thousands of deadly rockets with one aim. To attack Israel with impunity. The entrances to this underground world are situated under hospitals, schools, community centres, private homes and apartment blocks.
This is not a rag-tag bunch of freedom fighters. Hamas has a highly trained, professional army and their underground world has been constructed to the highest standards, equipped with electricity, phone lines, internet, living quarters and food stores as well as massive arms stores.
In the words of Mkhaimer Abusada, a political scientist at Gaza’s Al Azhar University, “Palestinians have no way to protest against Hamas. Any Palestinian who speaks out against Hamas will be marked as an Israeli collaborator and killed, You can’t expect Palestinians to go out in the street to protest Hamas.” Even by saying this he has put himself and his family in danger.
So what do you want us to do? Lay down and die? My children and grandchildren further south know, intimately, the sound of the siren and the inside of the bomb shelter. If it wasn’t a case of life or death we wouldn’t be sending our young men and women into the terrifying nightmare of Gaza. 
Don’t believe all you see on TV. We are doing everything possible to minimise civilian casualties. Hamas loves civilian casualties. They use them to ensure that the world puts pressure on Israel to roll over and die.
They have a sophisticated PR network throughout the world that disseminates information, some true, some total lies, to inflame the world against Israel and, as we see in Paris, Brussels and even London, against the Jewish people.
All who know me, know that I have spent much of my life searching for peace. I speak to my Arab friends in Israel and the Palestinian territories all the time during these dark days.
But we are engaged in an existential struggle against an implacable enemy.
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About the Author
Baruch Velleman is a management accountant, social worker, educator, Masorti Jew, peace activist, and works for the Forum of Israeli Peace NGOs