Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Public Awaits...Time for Some Good Old-fashioned Hasbara*

*Public Diplomacy
So, I think the last time I posted was about 4 years ago during the Cast Lead operation in Gaza. Things are not so different now. For the past month, and really for the past 12 years, terrorists in Gaza have been bombing Israel. When our communities in the Gaza Strip still existed, they absorbed most of the bombing. Then, we withdrew from Gaza. Perhaps that would bring peace! Guess what, they simply bombed us more.
So now, after about a month of bombing, we have begun once again to fight back, to stop this terror. And make no mistake. It is TERROR. This is not two armies facing each other. The aim of the shooters in Gaza is to kill and terrorize as many people as possible. The aim of the Israel Defense Forces is to stop the terror. As our Prime Minister put it, "When we cause civilian casualties, we call that a failure. When they cause civilian casualties, they call that success."
There was a bus bombing today. In Gaza, there was cheering, singing, and sweets were passed out. The Western mind cannot fathom this. We love life, and our children, and we hate war.
So what's going on here now? For most of the country, it looks like business as usual. We're a bit preoccupied. We're checking the news sites and the live bloggers a lot ( is my favorite, but I guess he's been busy today with other things). Even in Tel Aviv, the occasional siren breaks up the day, but people are still going to work, going to school, going to pubs at night. Don't get me wrong. Hearing that siren is scary! You midwesterners would recognize the feeling. Tornado alert. Funnel on the group. TAKE COVER. It's that kind of feeling. But if  you live in the communities closer to Gaza, when you hear that siren multiple times a day, and you know that you have only 15 seconds to take cover, it kind of stresses you out. In those places, there is NO school. NO work. NO weddings. NO pubs. No normalcy.
And our army. In some ways, it is NOT a professional army. Don't get me wrong, they are excellent at what they do, but THEY are US, if you know what I mean. The guy down the hall at work who isn't around because he's somewhere on the perimeter of Gaza, waiting for the command to go in. The husband of the woman I get a ride with most mornings, who isn't going to work now because her husband was called up. The boyfriend of the daughter of my neighbors across the street. The rabbi of our small community. WE are our army. We so want our boys protected, but we want our nation protected even more.
It's OFFENSIVE when Hamas publishes a photo of an injured child, an injured Jewish child, and they claim it is THEIR child, whom WE injured. Hamas lies.It makes me sick. And then I hear from a friend in Kansas City that the news is reporting that Israel has fired hundreds of rockets into Gaza as if we are wantonly shelling the humanity there. We don't DO that. They do.
Before we attack a target, a missile launcher, an arms storehouse or the hideout of a terrorist leader, which all are usually hidden in heavily populated areas, hospitals, schools and parks, we phone the residents with recorded messages: "Get out!" We drop leaflets. We take over their radio waves. But do you hear that on the local news? Never. Not ever. It's frustrating.
I don't know how you all see Israel. I hope that my Facebook posts are giving you a different view of Israel, and opening your eyes to how little you can trust what you see on the evening news. I hope you are using your brains, asking the hard questions, and investigating. Not just about Israel, but about ANYTHING reported on the news. What is the agenda of the producer? The editor?
We don't live behind cinder blocks and barbed wire. We have a beautiful, fascinating, friendly, exciting country, even now. We are human beings and it pains us to kill other human beings. But at some point, it's family first. We have to protect our own.

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