I just returned from Israel. I returned after watching my son and numerous other brave young men and women who volunteered and were accepted into Israel’s Magav (Border Police) swear an oath to defend the land of Israel and its citizens from all threats both foreign and domestic (of which sadly, there are many).
In addition to being awed by my son and his friends, I also spent time catching up with my cousin’s 18 year old son. This young man is not only in the process of volunteering to compete for the most elite units in the Israeli Army (thus working out over 2 hours a day on top of an incredibly busy schedule as a high school senior), he also just volunteered to spend an extra year after high school in a program to help ‘at-risk’ youth.
This, he will do, before he joins the IDF and spends at least 3 years of his life and his blood, sweat and tears in fighting for his country, the one and only Jewish state. When I asked him how many of his classmates are volunteering for this extra year of national service (or of “giving back” to their country) he quickly replied “at least 70%.”
Unfortunately, after returning from Israel where I was inspired by the bravery, courage and sense of duty by most of the Israeli youth I met, I was immediately confronted by a barrage of social media regarding the results of the Hamas led onslaught this past Monday on Israel’s border with Gaza. This online commentary was mainly from American Jews criticizing Israel and the incredible young men and women of the IDF.
Most of these comments fall along the lines of the following:
“Israel can defend its borders by arresting people and holding them accountable for their actions.”
“Israel should not be shooting at protesters.”
“How can Israelis celebrate [the opening of the American Embassy] while people in Gaza are being massacred?”
To say these comments by my fellow Jews are uninspiring is a massive understatement. These are absurd comments. Plainly written by people that have never arrested anyone. Clearly, they have never faced someone shooting at them. Obviously, no one has tried to stab and kill them or the people they are committed to protect (if they ever swore an oath to protect anyone).
But in addition to being absurd, these comments are mendacious. They are based on Hamas lies. They are not based on what is actually occurring at the Israel-Gaza border. And while most Israelis sadly expect the international media to parrot the propaganda being spewed by a genocidal terrorist organization funded by Iran and to ignore the actual facts and history of the conflict, they should not expect their fellow Jews living in the relative comfort and safety of the United States to parrot and promote these lies.
Let’s be clear on what is actually occurring at the Israel-Gaza border:
At Hamas’s urging and coercion, 50,000 people were on Israel’s border on May 14 with numerous weapons. Hamas – through its social media and other means – urged and in some cases ordered many of these people to try and breach the border in order for Hamas to either kill Jews or take Jews hostage. Despite Hamas’s best efforts to bring at least 300,000 to the border, most Gazans stayed home or went to work and did not join in the riots. Those who stayed away from the Hamas “March of Return” were also not flying Nazi flags and screaming “kill the Jews” or expressing their desire as stated by Hamas’s leader Yahya Sinawar to “rip out the Jews’ hearts from their bodies.”
But the people who were rioting on Israel’s border yesterday did exactly that. And when people are on the other side of a border fence trying to plant bombs on the fence, shoot at soldiers through the fence, throw fire-bombs over the fence or try and destroy the fence, how exactly is Israel supposed to stop those people without risking far more violence (and casualties)? How else can Israel avoid a massive breach of its border or damage to its border fencing that would necessitate an invasion of Israeli ground forces over the border that would lead to far more violence and loss of life?
It certainly appears that the American Jews who exclaim their disappointment (or worse) in the actions of Israel’s soldiers from the comfort of their homes in Chicago, NY, California, etc. do not understand the reality of the situation. While their homes are thousands of miles from hordes of Hamas and Islamic Jihad-inspired terrorists, many Israeli Jewish communities are minutes (and sometimes less) from the Gaza border. Jewish communities filled with thousands of women and children in close proximity to an enemy that would just as easily stab a sleeping Jewish child dozens of times in the chest as they would eat a hamburger.
What do these Tuesday morning quarterbacks so viscerally criticizing Israel think would happen if Hamas were able to successfully breach the border fences? If dozens (or G-d forbid hundreds) of Gazans got through? Do these people understand how many people would die – on both sides – in such a scenario?
These people parrot words like “massacre” and “slaughter” without any understanding for how incredibly judicious and careful the Israeli Army is when it comes to live fire. Assuming the fatality numbers are correct, 62 people died in Monday’s riots staged by Hamas. This is a big assumption considering that this data comes from Hamas.
Hamas staged riots expressly designed to provide cover for numerous attacks to breach the Israeli border. 62 fatalities with over 50,000 rioters. What is that? About .01%? Hardly a percentage that anyone can credibly characterize is the result of reckless or mass shootings.
And the Hamas shooting stats parroted by much of the international press are simply ridiculous. According to the Hamas Ministry of Health, the Israeli Army shot almost 3000 people on Monday with live fire. And, according to the same source, somehow killed only 62. That is a fatality ratio of barely over 2%, on the Gaza border. This is where the same press and Hamas acolytes also decry Gazans having almost no medicine or access to modern surgical equipment.
In Chicago, the fatality ratio from gangsters shooting at each other is over 40%. The fact that anyone treats these Hamas figures as even remotely credible is a sign of how either openly hostile to Israel or stupid the people acting as Hamas stenographers are.
What we do know, is that Hamas itself admits that almost all of the fatalities are from its own ranks. Military-age males employed by Hamas to try and kill Jews. And while every death is tragic, a military-age male belonging to a genocidal terrorist group who gets killed while trying to breach an internationally-recognized border should hardly be a cause for international outrage. These men attacked Israel’s border in order to fulfill Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar’s express call for the Hamas “March of Return” to “erase Israel’s borders”. They supported a call for the people of Gaza to “eat the livers” of the Jews.
Meanwhile, Arabs are massacred in the tens of thousands by their own governments and by other Arabs. And yet no one even sends a reporter to cover the story. It is usually only after over 10,000 Arabs are killed that anyone in the international press or community even begins to pay attention, let alone calls for a UN Security Council meeting.
It is in this context that these American Jews criticizing Israeli soldiers for defending Israel’s border from people who openly admit that they are “excited to storm and get inside [Israel]” and to do “whatever is possible, to kill, …” is particularly galling.
It is as if these people have forgotten:
- That Israel’s leaders accepted two offers to share the land of Israel with the descendants of the Arab colonizers (1937 and 1948) who only around 1960 began generally identifying as “Palestinian.”
- That Israel also has multiple times offered to share the land of Israel as part of a peace deal (1967, 2000, 2001, 2008).
- That it has been the corrupt and tyrannical Arab leadership that has always said no to these offers. Instead, favoring war, sending suicide bombers, and launching rockets. Digging terror tunnels, calling for knife attacks against the Jews and “their filthy fee.” And now, their latest effort, the so-called “March of Return.”
So this past week I was inspired by so many Israelis. By their courage, by their sense of duty, and by their clear moral compass. This week, I find myself cringing at the misguided and/or perfidious commentary by so many of my fellow Jews in America.