Brrrrring, brrrrring, brrring. Every few minutes, sometimes every few seconds, my ipad signals. Each shows that another rocket has been launched from Gaza. The rockets strike all over Israel Today Hamas shot at the Negev, at Ashkelon, Beer Sheba and Rishon Letzion. They are not just locations on a map. They are cities I visited, mainly during my junior year in Jerusalem.
I needed to be encouraged to load the Red Alert app onto my equipment. I was aware of the trouble that Hamas was bringing the Jewish Homeland. I know that Hamas wants to drive every Jew in Israel into the sea. I have heard Hamas’ slogan¸”We value death (martyrdom) more than the Israelis value life.” Now having the software at hand, I am made particularly aware and uncomfortable with the current war. Missile destinations stir pleasant memories of a Shabbat spent sleeping on the Ashkelon beach. They also scare me. I am concerned for two daughters in Jerusalem, an aunt in Givataim and even my ex-wife who recently emigrated from Atlanta to Israel.
I hear the Red Alert signal and wonder about news reports that focus again and again on civilian Palestinian casualties yet bring short shrift to the death and mayhem that Hamas brings inside the Green Line. There is minimal notice of Israeli casualties. The media laments about the disparity in the number of deaths on both sides of the conflict. As an Israeli diplomat responded, would it be better if more Israelis died?
Each time then app buzzes I am reminded of the stupid demand for moral equivalency. Bill Maher, a comedian and commentator noted for his liberal perspective, found 8 reasons why Israel must be supported.
What result would be morally equivalent?
Is it immoral for a country to rely upon its countrymen to enlist in the most sophisticated army in the Middle East, a military whose very name – Israel Defense Force, defines its mission and approach to war? Is it immoral to make surgical strikes at enemy rocket launcher placements rather than carpet bomb? While there have been innocent bystanders killed, had there been carpet bombing as the European press accused, there would have been thousands more casualties.
Is it moral to disparage Israel for fighting to insure her existence in a world that ignores the Turks as they today celebrated forty years of occupation of Northern Cyprus? The world condemns Israel and yet does nothing to stop genocide in Rwanda. The US draws red line and lets thousands of Syrians die at the doing of their own government. No consequences have yet occurred to the Russians or Ukrainians who shot down flight 17.
Is Hamas moral? It shoots missiles at civilians and uses civilians to protect missiles.
What about the UN? It claims to be the great arbiter of what is right and wrong. Yesterday 20 rockets were found in a UNRWA school in Gaza. The UN returned them to Hamas.
What gives the world the audacity to kvetch about Israeli morality? Israel is fighting for her existence against an enemy driven to destroy her. Israel’s values reflect the highest, most compassionate, most peace oriented ideals that humanity ever experienced.
If Israel needs to be demonized, let her be. God willing she will survive and prosper and see a time when this stupid, hated conflict will be a long distant memory. I will continue to let Red Alert bother me. It reminds me to pray for Israel’s wellbeing and security. I rely with the rest of my Jewish brothers and sisters on the continuing goodwill of the Rock of Israel. May Providence continue to protect the People of Israel wherever they live.