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121http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2012/11/Rabbi-Lyon%27s-Blog---11_16_2012
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 11_16_2012
11/15/2012 07:00 AM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon
November 16, 2012

 

Life goes on in America even after a partisan national election. Already our eyes are trained on Thanksgiving turkeys and all the trimmings. Stores are getting ready for black Friday. But on the other side of the world our brothers and sisters in Israel are not interested in our festivals that celebrate our abundance. They are once more defending their very lives.

                This past week, Israel launched a defensive operation called “Amud Anan” Operation Pillar of Defense, in respond to the ongoing Hamas assault on Israel’s civilian population. Specifically, the IDF targeted Ahmed Jabri, the head of Hamas’ military wing in the Gaza Strip. Jabri was a senior Hamas operative who served in the upper echelon of the Hamas command and was directly responsible for executing terror attacks against Israel in years past. The purpose of this operation was to severely impair the chain of command of Hamas leadership. This was, like other similar strikes, a surgical operation.

                For the third time in the past month, Israel’s civilian population has been targeted by rockets from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The latest round began last Saturday afternoon with a deliberate attack on an Israeli military vehicle which was patrolling the Israeli side of the fence with Gaza. It was followed by 120 rockets shot into Israel’s southern communities.

                It’s critical to note that Israel ended its military and civilian presence in Gaza in 2005, when a full withdrawal took place and control was returned to the Gazans who lived there. Instead of using Israel’s unilateral withdrawal as an opportunity to build Gaza into a peaceful Palestinian land, Hamas turned Gaza into a base for an ongoing terrorist assault on Israel. Would the U.S. tolerate for a minute if citizens of Texas, New Mexico, or Arizona were indiscriminately bombed by its southern neighbors across the border?

                Here are key points to note about Operation Pillar of Defense:

 

  • The purpose of Israel's action in Gaza is limited and aimed at removing the strategic threat posed against Israel's citizens.
  • Israel has responded with great restraint but it cannot permit rockets to be fired on its civilian population.
  • Israel is acting in self-defense
  • Hamas rules Gaza and bears full responsibility for the attacks launched at Israel

For more information please follow this link: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Hamas+war+against+Israel/Israel_under_fire-November_2012.htm

                As Jewish men, women and children, we have a duty to speak the truth about events that happen close to home and far away. Though Israel is far away, it is close to our hearts. Be a good ambassador and know the facts on the ground. Tell them to those who will listen and to those who will not. Ignorance has no place in a world that seeks peace. To be a great advocate for Israel, make a commitment to learn with us at Congregation Beth Israel. Mark your calendars for November 26th, Gordon Chapel, to hear Dr. Tal Becker, foremost authority on Middle East issues; and, December 9th, Rabbi Mark Miller and Elias Saratovsky of AIPAC will speak on “Engaging in the Media War”. Check the Beth Israel website at www.beth-israel.org, for details.

                As Shabbat nears, include in your prayers a plea for restraint and peace. May God bless our people; May God bless us and all God’s children everywhere with peace.

                From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom.

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