As of Tuesday afternoon, a tenuous peace has settled over Israel. There are no more rockets, no more retaliations, no more death.
We ought to thank God for that. We also oughtn’t minimize the terror that Hamas’ fusillade of rockets caused.
It’s difficult to even look at the numbers:
The last 48 hours in Israel:
690 rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians
240 Iron Dome Aerial Defense System interceptions
210,000 children had school cancelled
4 Israeli civilians killed
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 6, 2019
But that doesn’t tell the entire story of what it was like as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad fired rockets indiscriminately at Israeli cities, towns and villages. At Townhall.com, Israeli resident Jonathan Feldstein had some observations about what the past few days were like — including the fact his own child was afraid to shower.
Feldstein noted that “with this week being Israel’s 71st Independence Day, the latest barrage of missiles underscores that this is another battle in the war that began 71 years ago and that has never ended. Israel has not known a day of peace in 71 years.”
“[F]oreign media reports have suggested that Israel started the latest round of violence, indiscriminately, and that the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza merely responded,” he wrote. “In fact, a terrorist sniper shot an Israeli soldier Friday night and Israel responded. Reports also are that the terrorists responded to Israel destroying another terror tunnel that crossed the border from Gaza to Israel.”
Feldstein also pointed out the profound irreligiousness of the situation. “[M]ost religions celebrate their holy seasons with prayer and introspection. As Ramadan began this week Islamic terrorists welcome their holy month with belligerence, their common denominator,” he wrote.
Those are important to note, but one of the key takeaways from Feldstein’s article was what life was like inside Israel during the strikes.
“[L]ike many Israelis and its supporters, we have apps that sound whenever there is an air raid siren in Israel,” he wrote. “These days the Red Alert sirens have sounded like a room full of slot machines hitting the jackpot, over and over and over. Designed to keep people safe, these also create stress particularly among children. …
“[A]t one point one of my kids was going to take a shower.
“While we are far from the front line (for now) and would have 90 seconds to get cover if there were to be an air raid siren, the stress of something as mundane as being in the shower and hearing (or not) an air raid siren is hard to deal with. How much more so for people who have 15-30 seconds to get cover within just a few miles of Gaza!”
And yet, we keep on hearing about how Israel is the side that ought to consider exercising restraint.
If you still believe this, imagine this happening in the United States, with Canadian and/or Mexican terrorist groups launching rockets indiscriminately, hoping to kill civilians. Imagine playing with your kids in your backyard. As you warm up for another game of wiffle ball, sirens go off. You scramble indoors to avoid being hit by a missile.
Eventually, you just don’t play wiffle ball anymore — or anything that requires going outside.
Imagine if you weren’t in range of the sirens or other warnings. Imagine taking a hike in the mountains, outside of cellphone range. Imagine that one of those rockets goes off course and ends up killing you. Sure, it didn’t strike its intended target, but that doesn’t mean the enemy won’t be celebrating.
Imagine, in short, every aspect of your life being permeated by fear — fear that you’ll be attacked by an enemy who believes killing civilians is the only way to make its point. And imagine it’s all because you’re living in your historical homeland, one of the few places on earth where you felt you could be safe.
If that were life in America, we would strike back and strike back hard. And yet the Israelis have exercised even more restraint and still find themselves vilified by the left.
At present, four Israelis are dead and 23 Palestinians have been killed. Some of those Palestinians, obviously, were civilians. I say “obviously” because groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad hide key military targets within civilian enclaves — often hospitals and schools.
Israeli civilians, meanwhile, aren’t afraid to shower because the IDF is hiding its weapons inside apartment buildings. Instead, it’s because groups like Hamas revel in attacking civilian targets. Their primary tactical targets were civilians.
Seventy-one years hath Israel existed. In that time, it has not known peace.
We’re told this is because the Israelis are occupiers, except the Gaza Strip — where these rockets were fired from — has been controlled by the Palestinian Authority for over a decade.
We’re told that they kill Palestinian civilians while terrorist groups fire rockets at Israeli civilians.
We’re told that they’re the ones who should exercise restraint. I’ll let you be the judge of that, merely reminding you that this is a country where unwarranted terrorist aggression has made children afraid to shower.
I’d also ask you to imagine that this was your country, not just a hotly contested piece of land in the Middle East.
That should put things in brutal perspective.
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