Finding Sanity on the Ground in Israel—Today

May 30, 2021

4 min read

As I write this, I am 35,000 miles above the earth, en route to Israel. I know that many of my friends and colleagues believe that I am certifiably insane to be flying directly into what some have deemed “a war zone,” but I am proud to be doing so.

I am flying into Tel Aviv as Hamas has rained about 2000 missiles on Israel since Monday. I am flying into Tel Aviv as many Israeli Arabs in Jaffa, Lod, Haifa and Ramla are torching cars and smashing windows of synagogues, engaging in an insurrection in their own streets. I am flying into Tel Aviv as imams have incited their population into believing that “Jerusalem is at stake” and have whipped up their population into a renewed intifada, as they have allowed their Holy Site, the Al Aqsa Mosque to be used as a weapons arsenal in which to store boulder-sized rocks.

I am flying here primarily, to be together with my daughter, Rachel, and her husband and young kids as she is about to give birth to her third child. I am proud to be able to be with her and her beautiful, growing family whose roots she has firmly planted in this vibrant, thriving Jewish soil.

I know that I have contributed to making Rachel the strong, proud, Zionist woman that she is, and I have often felt I belong in her sealed room, together with her. I know that there have been far too many moments of tension that she has experienced either alone or with her husband, Jeremy, at her side. I longed to be with her to hold her hand through the suicide bombings, the rock-throwing, the stabbings and car-ramming of the intifada, let alone the wars where missiles have rained down on Israel, or when Jeremy was called to the border of Gaza in the 2014 War—all harrowing experiences she has endured since they made Aliyah more than 10 years ago.

I wonder how the eminent news broadcasters of CNN and BBC or world leaders who speak of “proportionality” would respond if a terrorist organization rained missiles down on New York or Washington or London. I wonder, similarly, how members of the United Nations would react if a terrorist were to do so over their capitals and residential neighborhoods.

I wonder if those members of the UN Security Council who wanted a resolution condemning Israel earlier this week have ever bothered to read the United Nations Charter. I wonder if they have heard of Article 51, which speaks of the “inherent right of any individual or collective set of nations of self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.”

I wonder if they know that it is the fundamental responsibility of all nation-states to protect their civilian populations. That is, after all, why nation-states exist; so we would not have what 17th Century British philosopher Thomas Hobbes called “a war of man against man.”<

I wonder why most political analysts refuse to see how the morally bankrupt, failed leadership of the Palestinians has immensely contributed to this. I wonder if they even know how many exceedingly generous offers for a Palestinian state Palestinian leaders have walked away from, and how they have chosen the cowardly path of hatred, terrorism and resistance over building a state.

I wonder if anyone out there even remembers the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, where every last remnant of a Jewish presence was uprooted, and where successful greenhouses were left behind in order to give the nascent Palestinian state a source of economic support, and when the synagogues were left to be turned into mosques, because, “After all,” as some rabbis argued, “We all pray to the same god.”

I wonder if anyone remembers how IDF soldiers were taught not to feel any empathy as they removed every last Jewish resident of Gaza from their homes.

I wonder if people remember how, as soon as the last IDF soldier turned the key in the gate from Gaza, those mosques and synagogues were destroyed in a frenzied, feverish display of antipathy and anarchy.

And now Gaza has served as the launchpad for thousands of missiles to rain down on Israel ever since. In 2005, the missiles could only reach southern Israel. Today, thanks to their limitless supply chain from Iran, Hamas has missiles that can cover the entire state of Israel.

I wonder how many understand that Fatah is not a moderate organization, but has been stoking the flames all along, and that when Jerusalem was besieged on Monday, Fatah’s Facebook page and official Awdah channel called upon their followers to “sacrifice for the sake of Al-Aqsa until your last breath” and to “liberate Jerusalem with your lives.”

It is an honor and a privilege to be among a nation whose leadership speaks up clearly and strongly condemning the few deplorable, outrageous acts of vigilante violence by a few Jewish extremists in Bat Yam and Tiberias. I am honored that, as opposed to Palestinian leadership which incites and rewards its population to kill Jews, the leadership of the Israeli government has zero tolerance for such atrocious behavior.

I have now arrived in Israel, and was greeted shortly after arrival with a siren at the airport, and one shortly after we put Rachel’s daughters to sleep.

Rachel and Jeremy have approximately 90 seconds from the time the alarm sounds to wake up their two sleeping daughters, Eden, 6, and Aviya, 4, and get into the sealed rooms.

As I sit in the sealed room, trying to comfort the children, I think of the more than 24,000 IDF soldiers who have given their lives for an independent and free Jewish state, something our ancestors could have only dreamed of. I think of the more than 3,000 victims of Palestinian terrorism whose lives were snuffed out since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 by this same baseless hatred.

My daughter has tried to make the sealed room a sanctuary of peace and happiness for her two very young daughters of her own. She has tried to shield them from the thunderous bombs of the missiles by making the “mamod” a cozy, comfortable, safe place.

She has tried to shield her young daughters from the reality of the growing antipathy all around them from their Palestinians neighbors and their enablers in the “woke” international community.

She and Jeremy feel that at the girls’ young ages, they have to nurture their sense of security, innocence and childhood. They know that the harsh reality of hatred will hit them soon enough. After all, this is the Middle East.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Endowment for Middle East Truth

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