So I have been having some facebook conversations regarding recent events in Israel, and I'd like to share them.
First, from my brother Jeff:
Question for friends who support Israel's response to rocket attacks: what attacks on US soil would you support from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Cambodia, and Laos?
And from our brother Les, whose comment was one of many:
I know 50 years ago, Israel started off weak and the surrounding Arab neighbors were stronger. But right now, Israel is the 800 pound gorilla in the region. And they are telling Gaza to do exactly what they say, and like it, or else they will be bombed. And if they don't like it, they will be bombed more. Gaza has no choice right now. They can fight and die, or they can lay down and die. I personally think it would be better for Israel, if Israel gave them another choice.
I share with you my response:
I really feel like a bunch of you have things ass-backward. How in hell is Israel the 800 pound gorilla? Have you looked at a map? Have you looked at the demographics in the area? Do you have any doubt that if the positions were reversed, Jews would be murdered and humiliated until they were put back in their "dhimmi" status? If Israel acted like the eight hundred pound gorilla, there would be no conflict left in the middle east. It acts with restraint. It sends tens of thousands of leaflets and sms messages to the people of Gaza to warn them that there are actions coming and they should retire to safe places.
You call for proportional. What do you want, us to launch non-precision ordnance into Gaza in response, so that we don't hit the ring-leaders but create more dead babies so that we can be labeled as brutes? Tell me when you last went to a school board meeting that suggested that you stock-pile arms in your schools so that if the enemy attacked, you could say they were bombing schools.
I think the problem is that you think others think like you do. They don't. Where, in the west, we largely want to live and let live, Islam glorifies death. Go find me the video of the Israeli mom who says I am proud of my son the suicide bomber and only wish I had more like him to make me proud. MEMRI clip I appreciate that every human is a creation of G-d, and Israeli soldiers are - probably more than any other military in the world - oriented toward ethical conduct, but sometimes our enemies choose the path of evil and death. When that occurs, I do not take issue with killing who is necessary to convince them that their path is misguided.
I was tutoring some children in a family in Kfar Kana, and a father told me you must treat children with a firm hand. This is a tenet of human relations in the Arab world. If we want respect from those who would destroy us, we must show that we are ready to destroy them, and only suffer their existence because they are more useful to us than dangerous.
I know it sounds like I paint an ugly and radical picture for some of you, but frankly I am sick and tired of seeing military themes in my children's youth group and school presentations. Just tonight it was about the proud love of the wounded soldier for the heroic medic who was killed while trying to provide treatment.
And again, as for 800 pound gorillas, when was the last time ten people got called up from your community of 92 families because of escalating tensions with a people who are out to kill us.
Do you recall that millions of dollars in business infrastructure bought by western dollars for Palestinians was immediately destroyed on Israel's leaving of Gaza? Do you get that the government of Gaza imports weapons instead of the tools to create economic prosperity.
The borders of Gaza are secure. The only reason they are blockaded is because the government of the inhabitants, when given the opportunity, imports weapons and terrorists instead of the means to grow an economy.
So as to Jeff's question, I would support no attacks by Hamas against Israel, as I would not condone any attacks on the US. But if we are attacked, I suggest that we admit this is war, and respond as if we are in the midst of one, which includes the unfortunate killing of people, women, children, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters (stop depersonalizing it and calling it collateral damage) who may not have wished us any harm, but who did not stand up sufficiently to their own government to avoid its suicidal actions.
It is not Israel who is out to destroy another people's way of life. We have not committed ourselves to the destruction of the Palestinian Arab, whereas, the Palestinian Arab represented by Hamas - and judging by the rhetoric of much of the Arab world, it too - has committed itself to the destruction not only of the Jewish state, but also the Palestinian Jew and all of western democracy.
Just for a little better perspective, I include a nice summary of the dispute. Prager Summary