Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Dispatches from Netanya
Here are some dispatches received from our woman in Netanya - Jan Gaines - as Israel confronts current challenges:
As I read of calls for Israel to "show restraint", to agree to a cease fire so that |Gaza residents won't be killed; and other moral equivalence statements, I want to be sure you have this situation straight.
1. We left Gaza. We left beautiful greenhouses. We took every ounce of Judaism and Israeli-ism out of the area. But we kept water and electric lines intact so Gaza could be served.l
We are STILL supplying them with both!
2. So they destroyed the greenhouses. And they had an election between Hamas and Fatah and the people of Gaza voted Hamas in. After which Hamas chased Fatah out with lots of killings, and took total control. Did you hear any protests from the Gazans???
3. Upon taking total control, Hamas started threatening Israel and the 8 years of missiles began. Israel retaliated finally with Operation Cast Lead and the world screamed "murder" at us, with the Goldstone report topping out the denunciations. Goldstone later recanted but it was too late.
4. A couple of years of relative quiet except for the kidnapping of Gilad Schalit, led by Jabari (who was taken out finally) the military chief of Hamas with alot of blood on his hands. No one else was killed except one other male. Precise targeted killing.
5. A few weeks prior to the Jabari killing, Hamas had fired on an Israeli patrol well inside the Israeli border. Three soldiers were wounded, one seriously.
6. The IDF watched carefully to see if Hamas was going to escalate. We took out Jabari.
And the whole Arab world went crazy with rage. This was the signal Hamas was waiting for.
They unleashed over 100 rockets in one day, aimed at CIVILIAN homes, schools, businesses all over the south of Israel, as far north as Beersheva.
WHY DID HAMAS ATTACK US/ WHAT POSSIBLE MOTIVE COULD THEY HAVE HAD?
DID WE INDICATE WE WANTED ANOTHER WAR?
7. We are now in Day 6 and as I write this at 7:00 a.m. the music station is broadcasting another red alert for a settlement in the South. And now we are poised to make a "we lose, they lose" decision, whether to go in with a ground war.
8. If we do, the whole world media will start showing pictures of dead Gaza children and we will once again be accused of child killers. There are NO PICTURES OF DEAD ISRAELI CHILDREN BECAUSE WE MAKE SURE THEY ARE SAFE IN SHELTERS. WE PROTECT OUR KIDS. WHY CAN'T OR DON'T THEY PROTECT THEIRS? Again this time the IDF has broadcast and emailed warnings and pleas to Gazans to get out of their booby trapped and missile site buildings. Do they?
9. Our targeted killings are exactly that. Israeli soldiers are trained over and over to avoid civilian casualties. That is why our targets are so exact, so carefully planned out. Are their targets in Israel also planned to avoid civilian casualties?
10. In summary, I am burning with anger over this lopsided war. It is always the same. Israel respects human life. Our enemies do not. They have MADE THEMSELVES OUR ENEMIES. We didn't start out hating them. And yet I see MORAL EQUIVALENCE marching down the media, and the political world including some American Jews, anxious to stop us from stopping the missiles.
IT'S CRUNCH TIME FRIENDS. WHERE DO YOU STAND?
No need to worry about me. No missiles are coming to Netanya. We're out of range for Gaza, but not for Hizbollah. But yes, this affects all of us; we are all family. I know you hate Fox but they are the only TV channel which covers this honestly and sympathetically. Forget CNN when it comes to Israel.
As always, we are looking to the U.S. to stick up for us both in the UN and world opinion. It's always the only country that does.We are spending fortunes of money every time an Iron Dome missile is launched but that's what's saving lives and property. And I'm sure we will have to go in on the ground because the air force can't get all the missile sites, especially those located in residential areas and community facilities because we don't want to hit civilians.
So this is just another replay of Operation Cast Lead 4 years ago. They will never let up and our neighbors are more hostile than ever. When will it end.
Don't believe any talking head who tells you that Israel launched this war before the Israeli election in January so that Bibi can be re-elected. That kind of thinking makes me nauseous. Whoever says that doesn't know or want to know that missiles have been coming into the south for the past 3 or 4 weeks and hitting those beseiged cities like Sderot and Netivot and now Beersheva, Ashkelon and Ashdod. We had no choice. And the Hamas military commander we took out was behind Gilad Schalit's capture and has hundreds of Israeli;s deaths he's responsible for. The IDF has been trying to get him for years.
One typical piece of Israeli humor. A jet flew over the seaside palace of the Hamas head, Ismail Haniyeh, today but it didn't hit his palace, or him. Instead, with pinpoint accuracy; ping, ping,ping they took out his GENERATOR so he doesn't have any power and so he gets the message that this time he got off alive but next time.. . . .
On Thursday we were in Tel Aviv going to a concert at the art museum. We always take a cab from the train station. This cabbie was very chatty, in English and Hebrew. We told him we were from Netanya and looking forward to a lovely morning. He said, " Hey, there's big funeral in Gaza this morning, for the Hamas military chief. Let's go down there. I'll drive you for the same fare. . . . .should be more interesting than a concert."
Maybe you remember that droll humor that all these cabbies have. We were screaming with laughter.
That's Israel. Everyone now is family. While we are safe here, it doesn't lessen the pain of the rest of the country. The reason they are now aiming for Tel Aviv and J'lem is that they have newer missiles, the Fajr5, from Iran, that have a much longer distance capacity. The air force tried to take out those sites right away in the first air strikes but they couldn't get them all. They are of course hidden in schools, residential areas and other community facilities. Also, some missiles are coming from Sinai and we can't touch them; that's Egypt. The Egyptians can't control those groups either.
But all in all, the genius of the IDF, the air force, etc. is awesome, when it comes to pinpointing targets. I remember from a visit to an army intelligence base that these kids, girls and boys in uniform, sit at computers and other screens watching everything moving on the ground, as small as a dog. So whatever they can take out without civilian casualties, they have already taken out. Again, the army dropped leaflets to the population to please get out of their homes or areas that have missile launches. But whether that works or not, who knows. Once we accidentally kill civilians, especially children, the whole world will be screaming at us.
By the way, the 3 casualties in Kiryat Malachi, were all Hagadniks. The woman who was killed was the wife of one of the Habad rabbis posted to India. The other two men were evidently friends. They died because they didn't get to a shelter fast enough; they made the dreadful mistake of staying a few seconds on their balcony to see what was going on.!!I can understand that because Kiryat Malachi has never been hit and is north of Beersheva. But oh what a dreadful decision.
So far I don't think we've had any other casualties. As usual, this is a country of miracles, and I have faith in that and in us.
Shabbat Shalom, Love, Jan.
Posted by Joshua Hammerman