There have been many, MANY anti-Israel posts zipping their way around the Internet. Facebook, in particular, seems to breed them, the venomous hate seeping through comment threads, trollers determined to push their particular agenda. For the most part, I make a conscious effort to avoid them. I know these are people whose minds cannot be changed, whose opinions are firmly entrenched, and I don’t see the point in endless name-calling and antagonism.
But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, little BB gun pellets hammering away at my skin and my heart. How can I look at these comments and not be a tiny bit hurt?
I’m not a rightist. I would not have voted for Netanyahu if I lived in Israel. I think Israel should get out of the occupied territories and I think that it’s a shame Ehud Olmert is no longer Prime Minister. There are steps Israel could have taken towards peace which have not happened, and for that, I am sad and critical.
But the thing that gets me is people’s persistent belief that Israel does not have a right to defend herself. That she should have sucked it up and turned the other cheek as rockets fell down on her. I can tell you, after even just one air raid siren, I was ready to give 100% of my support to the IDF. And after seeing video footage of those terror tunnels, I would have given 200% if such a thing would be possible.
As Bill Maher said in this recent clip that Israelis have to worry about getting bombed on the way to the dry cleaners, that if Israel had lost any one of its many wars, there would be no Israel. Israel is fighting for its very right to survive.
And so the argument that slays me each time I hear it is that not enough Israelis have died to justify going to war. Today, the actual example used was 9/11, the inference being that if Israel had experienced an event of 9/11 standards, then, and only maybe then could she have gone to war. That somehow, because Israel has this incredible Iron Dome technology, because Israel has invested in both technology and infrastructure to protect its people (unlike, as Bill Maher points out, Hamas, who uses its people to protect its infrastructure), that Israel should suck it up, like the stoic big sister people somehow seem to think she is, and allow her little brother to shower her with rockets (3356 by last count).
Maybe the Israeli military shouldn’t have guarded those tunnels quite so well. Maybe if they had let a terrorist or two through, with those grenades and suicide bomber vests and motorcycles for kidnapping Israelis, maybe then Israel could have done a better PR job. I wonder just how many photos of bleeding Israelis are needed to justify Israel’s behavior in the eyes of the world? Maybe Israel should turn off the Iron Dome for a day or two, you know, so they could get a few more images of destruction.
Because apparently that’s how this game is played.
Somehow, in the shuffle, we’ve lost Israel’s many attempts to protect Palestinian lives — and Hamas’s attempts to throw those lives in the line of fire. Don’t tell me that Hamas is forced to shoot rockets from schools and hospitals, to store their military gear under houses and beside babies. There is plenty of empty space in Gaza, but empty space is much less photogenic.
I will freely admit that Israel has made mistakes over the last few decades which may have intensified or even caused some of this conflict. I will also admit to my ignorance about what the best solution might be.
But do not tell me that more Israeli lives should be lost to justify this war.
As Daphne Richemond-Barak writes:
Although Hamas increasingly possesses the technology enabling it to spare civilians from fire, it continues to strike blindly in the direction of civilian populated areas. While international law tolerates collateral damage that is not excessive in relation to the military advantage anticipated, it condemns in the highest terms the intentional targeting of civilians.
With the same objective in mind – the targeting of civilians – Hamas’ tunnels reach into the homes and communities of Israeli citizens in villages located near the Gaza border. Unlike the tunnels found by the US in Afghanistan and by France in Mali, Hamas’ tunnels are built under and in the midst of populated areas.
The location of the tunnels not only makes it virtually impossible for Israeli forces to find and destroy them without causing significant civilian casualties, it also constitutes a violation of international law: they aim at protecting Hamas operatives and their weaponry from attack, while placing civilians at risk. Just like Hamas uses children as human shields to protect its operatives, it uses tunnels built beneath civilians’ homes to protect its rocket launchers and other deadly equipment.
I agree that the loss of so many Palestinian lives is a tragedy, and the destruction of Gaza a terrible thing, but I place the blame for both on Hamas, who is widely designated as a terrorist organization. I do pray for Gaza, but I pray for her to be rescued from Hamas, not from Israel.
I know my political posts upset people, and I know it’s much more fun when I talk about dating and sex on this blog, and when I begin each post, it is with a heavy heart. I know most people’s minds are made up on this issue, and nothing I can say will convince them otherwise. I tried to side-step an argument today by saying that it seemed as if both of us were adamant about our positions, and I didn’t see the point in further engagement, to which I was accused of trying to wash my hands of a serious issue.
I’m not trying to wash my hands. I am very deeply invested. I would say even too much invested, except I don’t know that that is possible. And so when someone tells me that they want more dead Israelis, how can I process that? How could anyone?
It seems fairly obvious to me that, if given the chance, Hamas would kill all the Jews (it’s in their charter, so I think it’s a safe assumption). Israel, on the other hand, does not want to kill all the Palestinians. Israel just wants the terror to stop. And I don’t blame her.