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Rockets and Missiles

November 18, 2012

It’s been awhile since I wrote in this blog. But, now after three months living in Israel, I feel the need to write about the current situation with Gaza.

I guess that now, living through this current situation is like a true welcome to life as an Israeli (I am not an Israeli, I am here because my boyfriend is). I am not scared when the air sirens go off or the loud explosions rattle my ear drums. Why? Because Israel has the Iron Dome defense system and the rockets from Gaza are not terribly accurate or destructive – even the 3 Israelis that were killed could have been safe if they had been in the hallway and not on the balcony watching the rockets. On the other hand, what protection do the Gazans have?

I wonder, do they have reliable air sirens? Do they have safe bunkers? Are they really given enough advance notice before a missile attack and are Israel’s missiles really that accurate?

And even if the missiles are accurate, Hamas and the other organizations firing rockets often plant them in civilian locations. The fact that Israel knows this makes me wonder, why then do they bomb them? Israeli is able to withstand a continuous rocket attack with minimal damage thanks to its defense system, so why go ahead with full-scale missile attacks? Why do they continue to take the bait and in doing so continue to draw the wrath of the international community? When will they learn?

Another part of my welcome to Israel is the hypocrisy of this whole situation. Last weekend we were in the West Bank talking to Palestinians and learning about their lives and talking about what it would take to have peace. And this weekend. Well, two days ago my boyfriend was called up for the reserves. Now he’s gone to “fight” the Palestinians.

In reality, the situation in the West Bank is very different from the situation in Gaza. In the West Bank, there is a chance for peace. If only Israel would stop the ridiculous land grabs, stop planting radical, racist settlers in illegal settlements and start prosecuting the settlers when they attack the Palestinians rather than arrest the Palestinians when they complain. If Jewish people want to live in Palestine, it should only be with the invitation of the Palestinian community.

On the other side of Israel, Gaza is a different story. A few years ago, the settlers there were finally removed as well as the soldiers. So Gaza is not technically “occupied territory”. But, Israel blocks access to Gaza, so the people there have very limited supplies, unreliable electricity, few jobs and no room to grow with their exploding population (nearly half of the people in Gaza are under 18). What do you get when you have a large youthful population with nothing to do? Anyone can tell you. A lot of disenchanted, bored, people with a lot of pent-up frustration and aggression and seemingly nothing to live for. In essence, trouble.

The problem with Gaza is also that no one really wants to help them. If the Egyptians really cared about the people in Gaza, why don’t they provide them with land in Sinai and more access to supplies through the border crossing at Sinai? And with all of the enemies of Israel using Gaza as a front, Israel is not likely to loosen their blockade given the number of trojan horses that attempt to enter Gaza every day with weapons hidden amongst medical supplies and humanitarian aid. If these other countries actually felt any remorse for the Palestinians, they would stop exacerbating the situation with Israel by providing more weapons and instead find ways to help the Palestinians living there to actually improve their lives. The sad reality is that the Palestinians of Gaza are pawns caught in a never-ending war between two opposing governments and their respective allies.

Not to be a bible quoter, but maybe what the people in this region need is a lesson or two from Jesus, like Matthew 5:38 – 42 and Luke 6:27-31. (I remember learning these in Sunday school)

 

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