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122http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2012/11/Rabbi-Lyon%27s-Blog---11_23_2012
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 11_23_2012
11/22/2012 07:00 AM Posted by:

From the Desk
November 23, 2012

 

Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you enjoyed your turkey with all your family and friends. Now, let’s move on. Israel continues to struggle with its relatively lone fight against Hamas, a terrorist group that has as its primary mission to destroy Israel and Jews. Around your holiday table there was probably a conversation about Israel and its choices. On one side there were likely those who talked about deeper negotiations and compromises. On the other side there were likely those who talked about deeper penetration of Gaza to rout the terrorists. It’s like talking turkey, right?

Recently, I read in Ha’aretz, an article that pointed out a new and often unmentioned angle that clarified for me why the surgical airstrikes from Israel are a critical means to Israel’s long-term security and safety. Read this from Ha’aretz, November 18, 2012, by Aluf Benn:

“Speaking at the annual memorial for Moshe Dayan at Tel Aviv University, and in private conversations reported by my colleague Yossi Verter, [Ehud] Barak presented as the casus for the current belli the fact that Hamas ‘broke the rules’ by firing an antitank missile at a military jeep on the Israeli side of the border last weekend, and blowing up a ‘tunnel with half a ton of antitank explosives that was partly in our territory.’ He implied that Israel could not agree to the new game rules, which in effect created a Palestinian security zone on the Israeli side of the fence that could mean death for anyone entering it. That is what the IDF did on the Palestinian side of the fence, enforcing a ‘special security zone’ there. But what's good for the goose is prohibited to the gander.”(emphasis added)

Maintaining the boundaries between enemies is a critical strategy for Israel’s security. Allowing Hamas to penetrate the security zone widens their reach into Israeli territory and threatens the lives of those whose job it is to protect it. Pushing Hamas back to its place behind the border in Gaza is Israel’s only aim. Additionally, Israel has to demonstrate that its arms are strong and that no threat will weaken its resolve to keep Hamas on the other side of the border. Israel has no other choice.

The article also cited Barak who said that since the days of Moshe Dayan “things have not fundamentally changed. “We live in a tough neighborhood, one in which there is no mercy for the weak and no second chance for those who cannot defend themselves - 'a villa in the jungle,' as I once put it," he said. As a result, Aluf Blenn writes, “Israel has to flex its military muscles every few years in order to boost its deterrence so as to gain a time-out in its violent interactions with its neighbors.”

It’s easy to push back from the Thanksgiving table and sit motionless while we digest our meals and later prepare for a day of shopping on Black Friday. But, there is no time to waste in the ordeal facing Israel. I urge us all to stay vigilant about what we know and what we must know about events in the region. I urge us to look for important insights into the conflict so that media sensationalism doesn’t become our encyclopedia on the issues. Use the Internet to read Haaretz.com, AIPAC.org, AJC.org, and Jpost.com. Put truth in front of lies and fact in front of fiction. Don’t shrug your shoulders. Find your message and repeat it often.

Israel isn’t fighting Gazans or Palestinians. Israel is fighting terrorists. Americans fight terrorists. Join the fight against terrorism. Join the conversation against hate. Am Yisraeil Chai. The People of Israel lives!

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