A night without sleep is not a time when someone should write to me that I live in a “dessert” (sic), that it takes two to tango, and that I should go read Romans 13. She shouldn’t have written that Israelis are delivering an “outsize” response, stealing Palestinian lands and God, I can’t even remember the rest.
What the hell is an outsize response anyway?…
There are times when you know you shouldn’t respond. Pulling an all-nighter is one of those times. The anti-Trump rants are endless on Facebook. Mostly, I ignore them. This one I couldn’t. I was given a choice. I’m either an idiot or evil because, according to this woman I have respected for years, if I believe or support Trump, I’m one of those. But I’m not an idiot…and I really don’t think I’m evil.
I tried to explain. She knows quite a bit about me, about my sons who have served their country, as her son served his. Her son didn’t return and I believe her prayers and wishes helped ensure that mine did. I explained that Trump has been good for Israel; very good for Israel, and she disagreed. We disagree. That’s okay because that’s what people do.
Then one of her Facebook friends joined in. The friend’s tone was nasty from the first. She told me “before you get all ‘biblical’ on my ass, go read the second half of Romans 13.” Only I didn’t get “biblical on her ass” and why would I read Romans anything? I have a lot of Italian friends and I think Italy is gorgeous, but the nearest I’ll get to anything Roman is Romaine lettuce.
The friend wrote that we “usurp Palestinian land” and while admitting the Palestinians are not “unblemished”, she added, “but it takes two to tango.”
I wrote back…yes, I know, I shouldn’t have.
But I did. I didn’t “go Biblical.” And then I went point by point. Israel didn’t usurp “Palestinian” land. I’m used to this claim (and the one where she mentioned the “settlements”). But what got to me was the tango thing.
Yeah, it takes two to tango, I wrote, but when they shoot a missile at an Israeli city (and it hits a kindergarten), yeah…we’re going to take out their missile launchers and if there are three Palestinians loading the launcher again, they will die.
Two to tango – that may work in dancing but we aren’t dancing here. If you are attacked, you respond. That’s the reality. They fire rockets, we fire back. The difference, of course, is that THEY are firing on our cities (on my friends and in the past, at my sons and at my home), and we are firing at their military bases, their terrorist headquarters, the mosques in which they store their rockets, the tunnels they build to attack us. This is not a dance, not a game, not a joke.
For God’s sake, THEY are planting bombs, rolling flaming tires and causing environmental disasters, and they have burned thousands of acres of land with explosive, flaming kites. So long as you say things like it takes two to tango, you show tremendous ignorance. Would you have us allow them to attack us without responding (well, maybe that’ll convince the Democrats to support us, well no thanks on that one). No country in the WORLD shows the restraint that we do.
Did innocent people die in the rioting over the last few week? Yes – but not one single innocent Palestinian died who wasn’t attending violent riots in which thousands of people were trying to attack our border…not one. Six children died – do you want to ask what kind of parent takes a child to a violent protest in which they burned 10,000 tires? Well, actually, five died – one was dead from a heart defect but her parents decided that maybe they could get money by taking her dead body to the front lines and claiming her death was caused by our soldiers (admitted the Gaza Health Agency)
She responded. She shouldn’t have, but she did.
Something about me being “great with straw men”. What are straw men and what do they have to do with tangoing? Can straw men even tango?
Love how you excuse the outsize responses of Israel.
If you lock your uncle in the hallway and tell him he can’t come in and can’t go anywhere else — you’re part of the problem. I have yet to utter an uncivil word and will continue to call out the horrendous acts of Israel. If you can’t stand the truth, at least you’re in the dessert [sic] where there’s plenty of sand for you to continue to bury your head and avoid the truth.
Yeah, you guessed it. I wrote back.
First, I explained that “dessert” is a cake and the “desert” is a land without water. I don’t actually live in the desert, I told her but a modern, beautiful city of over 40,000 people. I spared her the pain of being told the city is a settlement, but honestly we didn’t usurp this land from the Palestinians. We conquered it in a war of aggression with Jordan that we didn’t start. They attacked, they lost.
And then I confessed, “I have no idea what an “outsize response” is.
If you look at the geography, I wrote back, you’d know that we haven’t locked anyone anywhere. Gaza has two borders – one of them is Egypt. Why the hell should we let them into our country? Do you let Mexicans easily and freely enter the US? You DO let Canadians in…why – because they don’t pose a threat to the US. And, now I WILL contradict myself…why the hell should we let them in…we DO let them in for medical treatment that they can’t get in Gaza…because they spend their money on bombs and rockets and not schools and hospitals.
And, we let in hundreds of trucks of supplies in every day. EGYPT controls their border and they keep it shut tight. You want the Gazans to have free passage – they can go through Egypt because too often, when they come through Israel, they bring along knives and explosives.
By the way, while you’re spouting about 149 dead Palestinians during the violent rioting (of which at least 80 are confirmed Hamas operatives), do you want to cry about 455 Palestinians who were murdered in Syria? Maybe the 470,000 Syrians who were murdered by their own government?
Do you want to address the fact that the infant mortality rates in Gaza have gone UP since Israel completely withdrew ALL of our citizens from Gaza and therefore we aren’t occupying Gaza at all?
Do you want to address the 18 year old Israeli girl who was repeatedly stabbed in the chest last week by a Palestinian terrorist? She was, of course, unarmed.
Do you want to address the bombing of over 300,000 people last week with over 100 rockets fired at Israel? And yes, no one was killed…do you know why?
I’ll say one more thing. I live in the ONLY Jewish country in the world. We are the size of New Jersey, surrounded by over 40 Muslim countries. One country – ours by right and if necessary, by might.
Yes, I have three sons who have fought and defended this country. Israel flies all over the world to help others.
Yes, we flew to Haiti – and beat the Americans there by 5 critical days. And when we arrived…23 hours after the earthquake there (8 hours packing up the planes and teams, 15 hours of flying), we set up advanced field hospitals with advanced machines and we saved lives. We’ve done it all over the world – Kenya, Turkey, Texas, Indonesia, Nepal, Mexico, and last week, Guatemala.
Many times, Israeli pilots have skipped the kill shot because there were civilians in the way. We have dropped millions of flyers telling Gazans to get out of the way of a specific place we are going to hit because it is being used as a rocket launcher site, or an arsenal of weapons.
We have trained snipers on the border picking off those who are setting bombs on the border – with commanding officers looking over their shoulders accounting for what they are doing. If we were delivering your “outsize” response in a mass and violent demonstration against us…there would be 10,000 dead or even 1,000. And take a look at those who are being injured by our snipers – tons of them were shot in the legs. Trust me, if we wanted to kill them, it would be entirely simple…
Because as soon as the fighting started again this time, Hamas leaders ran to their bunkers…while egging on their people to go to the border and attack the security fence (and Israel very clearly, loudly, and honestly announced – attack the fence and we will target you…like EVERY OTHER NATION WOULD DO). Meanwhile, in Israel, we activated our civil defense system, opened the bomb shelters and every time a siren went off – and there were hundreds of them, people had seconds to run…and run they did…to bomb shelters…where they stayed, and some nights where they slept.
I promise you, if Israel was delivering an “outsize” response (whatever that is), there would be a lot more than 150 dead Palestinians from the 10-40,000 that have been protesting each week (high was 40,000; average was about 15,000, last Friday was less than 10,000).
She said it takes two to tango, but she’s wrong. Israel has been dancing this dance alone for 70 years. The reality has always been that when the Palestinians stop their violence, maybe we can sit down and figure out how to make peace.
And maybe then, finally we won’t be dancing alone…
Paula is widely known as "A Soldier's Mother," referring to the blog she began when her oldest son entered the Israeli army almost 10 years ago. Her third son is now serving in the Givati division and Paula continues to blog there and on other sites as well. Paula lives in Maale Adumim and is the owner of WritePoint Ltd, a leading technical writing company in Israel.