Thursday, November 22, 2012

All Quiet On the Southern Front?

As Hamas and the Arab world continue to celebrate what they correctly perceive as a victory over Israel, FM Lieberman and PM Netanyahu are making their best effort to minimize damage to their electoral campaign.

Many Israelis are genuinely disappointed with Bibi for failing to carry out a full-fledged attack on Gaza despite more than a week of constant bombardment. Five Israelis, including four civilians and one soldier, were killed during the days of the operation and 240 people were wounded. 162 Gazans died from Israeli bombing raids targeting Hamas terrorists (according to Al-Jazeera), 150 according to BBC and “more than 140” according to Yahoo News.

The Palestinian death toll in comparison to the death toll of Israelis—the “bottom line”, if you will, is what all the major news sources are reporting. What they fail to report is that Israel is an independent state with a history of having to defend its borders from enemy armies, while Hamas-lead Gaza is a terrorist-escape that has no legitimacy in the eyes of the world community. They also fail to report than yesterday, around the same number of Syrians were murdered by Assad’s regime than Palestinians killed in a week of Israeli attacks.

It remained mostly quiet here, in Jerusalem, throughout the conflict. Air sirens were sounded twice, once on Friday afternoon as the religious community gathered in synagogues around town to utter pre-Shabbat prayers; the other two days ago. Both missiles fired in the direction of Jerusalem, the holiest city of the Jewish people, and one that Muslims claim as their capital, landed in Gush Etzion. Arabs in Judea and Samaria celebrated, but what’s even more surprising is the extent of their celebrations here, where they get treated better than anywhere else in the Arab world (Palestinians are commonly considered the “garbage of the Middle East” in the majority of Arab/Muslim countries).

Again, questions of transfer come to mind. What is the State of Israel to do when almost half its citizens are opposed to its existence? What is going to happen when we become a minority here? This is bound to take place within the next ten-fifteen years.

I’m far from convinced that transferring the Palestinian Arabs from Israel is the answer to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It’s definitely “an” answer, but is it morally right to do? Is this something the Jewish people, a people known far and wide for their staunch support of civil rights, and for their compassion for those suffering from tyranny capable of resorting to such a harsh measure?

 The factor that will answer this question is just how far we’re pushed. How far will the Arab world go in order to make true on their ancient dream of annihilating Israel along with the Jewish people becomes a reality? Will Iran actually try to carry out a nuclear attack on us? Will Egypt call off its peace agreement with Israel?

Israelis have become accustomed to seemingly unending violence. There doesn’t seem to be a stop in sight—or any clear solutions for that matter. I guess we just have to have more patience than our enemies. While they continue trying to murder us off one by one, we need to continue settling the hilltops of Judea and Samaria, building our families here, sending our kids to the army, going to school, short, whatever it takes to maintain our historical presence in Israel.

We also need to keep from panicking. The events of this and last week are nothing new. We’ve fought seven wars since the inception of the State and nothing has changed. Living here, you realize nothing is likely to change so long as the Arabs are ruled by terrorist regimes. The bottom line is that we need to remain stronger they are, and more dedicated to life than they are to death.



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