I am typing these words as Hamas rockets rain down on Israel. Millions of Jews are in danger. Schools in southern Israel have been cancelled and most businesses are closed as well. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. This is a rerun of a rerun of a rerun… You thought you were tired of watching Rocky 6? Try living Gaza 43.
A little background: I was born and raised in New York but my family was very Zionistic. Israel was always at the center of our lives. We followed the news very closely – especially during the 6 Day War and near tragic Yom Kippur War. We were eager to find out what was happening, which was not so easy in the 60’s and 70’s when news reports about Israel were limited. There was no cable television, no internet and no social media. We waited each week for the Jewish Press to be delivered so we could – finally – read some Jewish reports about what was happening. Every once in a while, an Israeli leader appeared on television or radio yet he/she notoriously said little. Israel was famous for bringing the words of Pirkei Avot to life: “Say a little, but do a lot”. As a child, I never understood that. I prayed that the leaders of my beloved Israel would talk tough, make threats and wave big sticks. It was only later in life that I learned the powerful line; “Be careful what you pray for”… because that is exactly what’s happening now.
400 rockets have fallen on the Jewish homeland in the last 24 hours. Homes, factories, cars and busses have taken direct hits. Millions of people are afraid, huddled in shelters and glued to the news. Think about a family sitting in a tiny bomb shelter, with no bathroom, for 8-10 hours. The fear, the panic, the stress, the sound of rockets crashing near your home… it’s not fun. The kids are crying, the adults are shaking and the response by the current leadership is weak and ineffective.
Yes, tough words have been spoken – the complete opposite of what Israel used to do – but everybody knows they are just empty threats. Here are direct quotes from today’s Israeli media;
Ha’aretz: “Israeli defense chief talks tough on Gaza”
JPost: “IDF says it will punish anyone who supports and assists terrorists”
Times of Israel: “IDF threatens to step up Gaza attacks”
Are they joking? Who “talks tough” after 400 rockets land in your country? Who “threatens” when the enemy declares war? And when the IDF finally launches an attack, Arutz-7 reports that the “IDF bombs 70 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets, killing 2 terrorists”. WHAT?? You bomb 70 terrorist targets and killed just 2 bad guys?? You should have done the reverse… bomb 2 and kill 70. What is going on and who is to blame?
The answer is clear. The Netanyahu-Bennett-Lieberman government has been a total failure in keeping Israel safe. Nothing has been done to stop Hezbollah from adding to their arsenal of 130,000 rockets in the north and nothing has been done from defeating Hamas in the south. Every Jew in Israel – literally, every single one – will tell you that even if the IDF does something serious in Gaza, rockets will resume flying into homes in Ashkelon and Beersheba within the next 12 months. This madness must stop and there’s only one way: Conquer Gaza now!
I guarantee you that not one existing member of the Knesset will say those three words but that is exactly what needs to be done. Conquering Gaza means victory, not just “quiet”. It means a full scale attack by doing whatever is necessary to permanently remove Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority from that area. It means restoring Israeli law enforced by Israeli police, the IDF and nobody else. It means assisting all Arabs who wish to leave Gaza, by paying for their homes and giving them a basket of goodies to emigrate. (Note: According to recent polls 80% of Arabs living in Gaza wish to leave to pursue their life in a different country… and that’s without compensation!! If we give them money, that number will grow even higher!!)
I promise that every interview you hear and every article you read – about solving this problem – will be nothing more than an expensive Band-Aid. By “expensive”, I don’t mean money… I mean the lives of holy IDF soldiers. Any ground invasion will cost the lives of soldiers (G-d forbid) and will accomplish nothing more than a few months of quiet. Hamas will quickly dust off the dirt, rebuild what was destroyed and restock their weapons and missiles. After a short time, it will, once again, raise its ugly head and here comes the movie sequel: Gaza 44 followed by Gaza 45 and so on. This will happen over and over again… until we realize that Gaza must be conquered, Hamas annihilated and Gaza declared a Jewish city – the way it used to be for thousands of years.