Then, there's Mahmood.
Now, I have to admit, I don't get many comments from people named Mahmood, so I had a feeling that I might not like what he was going to say. But, hey, I'm a blogger, not a soldier at a checkpoint, so I have no justification for ethnic profiling. It is possible, unlikely my brain answered, but possible, my hope-filled heart argued, that Mahmood might actually be writing to wish Elie well, to pray, as we all do, that Hamas will stop firing rockets (2 more in Ashkelon, 2 more in Beersheva, another in Askhelon - at least 9 people treated for shock since this morning's post).
Maybe Mahmood sees a direct correlation between Hamas' rocket fire and Israel's actions...maybe....
So here is Mahmood's comment:
I wish your cute son find a good girl,Amen, Mahmood. Thank you.
make a happy family,A mother couldn't wish for more. Thank you again.
and stop killing innocent people.Drat. You were on a roll, Mahmood. I guess you should have stopped while you were ahead...
Dear Mahmood, my beloved son, who is cute and should find a girl and make a happy family, isn't killing innocent people. I pray, really pray, he isn't actually killing anyone, but even if he is, there is no question they are not innocent.
Innocent people don't fire rockets at 700,000 people.
Innocent people don't leave their wives and children in a building where they store explosives and rockets with which they hope to kill as many of those 700,000 people (and more) as possible.
Innocent people don't send their children to commit suicide with the hope of murdering truly innocent women and children. Israel had asked, begged, the innocent people of Gaza to distance themselves from those who are shooting rockets, from places where weapons and explosives are being stored.
And finally, Mahmood, if innocents do die in Gaza there are several important distinctions that must be made.
One, is that if the Egyptians were to open the border and allow the civilians to escape the war zone, they would not be caught in the middle between their own government that targets our citizens, and the Israeli government, which seeks to protect its own.
Two, Israel, and you can read here my son Elie, his unit, and all of our soldiers, are not targeting the innocents. People die in war. That's why it is such a horrible thing for all sides. No one wins a war and people die on both sides. We have many injured, many in hospitals, and we have buried too many. But the huge truth here is that each of the people hurt in Israel was targeted by Hamas. They shot their rockets AT OUR CITIES, not at arsenals, at military bases, at training camps. Israel has hit over 1000 targets - each carefully researched and selected.
Elie does not fire a rocket and then run for cover. He calculates, he pinpoints, he targets known terrorist facilities and with the grace of God and his experience, innocent people will not die.
When Elie hits his target, the innocents of Gaza live. When Hamas hits their target, the innocents of Israel die. And there, Mahmood, is the difference between Israel and its neighbors and the reason why soldiers at our checkpoints, and apparently blogging mothers, must sometimes exercise ethnic profiling.
So I'll take your well wishes for the future of my son and have no fear, Mahmood, the army of Israel does not target innocents. Now if only Hamas could say the same.