There are those who think to challenge me with "ah, as i thought. you won't post any reply that object your opinion. clasic." Beyond the spelling mistakes and problem with the Shift key, the person, once again an "Anonymous," has a point. Do I want to post messages that contradict my own...well, who does? No, that's not a sufficient answer, because I have posted some, so let's look into it.
No, I don't want to post your message that says, "no, thanx. not interested." to my request that people join in a campaign to free Gilad Shalit. How anyone can justify what has been done to this boy is beyond me, beyond humanity. But then again, what was I thinking? It is obscene to put the words "Hamas" and "humanity" in the same sentence. Just as it is obscene not to demand Gilad Shalit be granted basic human rights.
He was 19 years old, a relatively new soldier in uniform, standing in our land, when he was attacked, beaten, dragged across the border and shoved down in some underground hiding place from which he has likely rarely been removed. Two other soldiers were killed in this unprovoked attack. It's been more than three years since Gilad has spoken to his parents; more than three years since he has been home.
He committed no crime, unlike the Palestinian prisoners whose freedom you demand (yet another comment, "bring palestinian prisoners home!"). He didn't attack anyone, infiltrate anywhere, terrorize any place. He fired no rockets, no missiles; he threw no firebombs. By international law, he has the right to see, at least, a Red Cross representative who can verify his condition and make sure his basic needs such as food and medicine are being met. Not once in three years has he been given this right. At the same time, those Palestinian prisoners have visits with their lawyers, their families. They can talk to them. They even have access to sun, recreation - some are even getting college degrees - can you imagine?
But let's move on because "Anonymous" has been busy (so busy, perhaps he/she/it forgot his/her/its name). Another comment said, "sorry, but what your son and other idf soldiers are donig won't bring the peace with palestinians. Remember latest war crimes from gaza?" I'll take the liberty of assuming you mean what the IDF is DOING, not donig and answer.
No, my son and the IDF are not committing war crimes. You say, in yet another post, that "palestinians have right to defend themselves, too. But you probably won't be brave enough to post this reply anyway... " (You really have to learn how to use the Shift key.)
So you were wrong, again. I was "brave" enough to post this. Once your son goes to war, you'll find you fear little else. Posting comments doesn't take bravery - it simply requires a decision. Do I have the energy to answer yet another attempt to blur the truth, or do I delete it and just leave it alone.
You caught me on a good day - I've decided to answer.
Yes, absolutely. The Palestinians do have a right to defend themselves. But so does Israel. Those so-called war crimes you are referring to are a perfect example of the self-defense you would deny to Israel. Understand - if you shoot thousands of rockets at a country, you have to be dumb, stupid, and about a dozen other adjectives I won't waste time writing, to think that the country won't respond back. And when they do, don't cry "war crimes" and "massacre." Neither of these things happened in Gaza (or Jenin several years ago when people like you used the same words back then). There was no massacre and there were no war crimes. The opposite is true. Israel went out of its way to avoid civilian casualties. I have a leaflet that Elie brought me that had blown with the wind from Gaza to his position (and yes, I realize that he was that close).
The leaflet was dropped - along with tens of thousands of others - warning the civilians. There are people shooting rockets from your area. Move, leave, get into a secure place because we have no choice but to stop the rockets. Dan Gillerman, our ambassador to the UN during the Second Lebanon War, said it beautifully, "When you sleep with a missile, sometimes you do not wake up in the morning."
Israel showed restraint in Gaza. That was, in my opinion, stupid. Yesterday, two rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza. Israel so far has done nothing. I think that is a mistake, and clearly, so do you. We too have a right, as you so clearly indicate, to defend ourselves and yet we didn't send two rockets flying towards some city in Gaza, did we?
You remind me of the little kid who goes up to the big kid and stomps on his foot, again and again. Finally, the big kid pushes the little kid away to make him stop, and everyone yells at the big kid. What, in God's name, WHAT did you think was going to happen when Hamas sent endless rockets into Israel? What do you think we are going to do if the Palestinians don't return Gilad Shalit and stop the latest round of increased rockets? My bet is that even now, Israel is formulating a plan to go back into Gaza. If one of those rockets hits a school or major commercial area...Israel will not have the luxury of restraint.
What is happening now, in the last few days, is clear. Hamas is sending more rockets, daring Israel to respond. More than any other signal we have, this shows that they fear a deal to trade Gilad and want to make sure it doesn't go through. They'll do this by shooting rockets at Israel, forcing Israel to respond. To them, it is a game. But the game they play, is over the heads of our civilians, at the expense of Gilad's life and his human rights. We all estimated the "relative" calm would be temporary. We knew that on January 18th, when we pulled out.
Of course, one could easily argue that a period of 226 days in which 239 rockets were fired is hardly "relative calm" but this seems to be an acceptable pace to the world. The world isn't upset if Gaza "only" fires one rocket a day...though hopefully we in Israel will soon send the message that even this is not acceptable.
Though Israel has not yet responded to yesterday's attacks, the day before yesterday, a rocket was also fired at our civilians. After that attack, Israel responded by hitting the launching point of the rocket, but not Palestinian cities. Of course, you don't see it that way, do you? You wrote, in yet another comment, "last attack on gaza was not self-defence, it was pure agression".
I didn't post it because I wasn't sure which "last attack on gaza" you were referring to. Of course, it really doesn't matter because all attacks on Gaza have been the RESULT of attacks on Israel. If you want to stop Palestinian suffering, the formula has been in front of you for the last 60 years. Stop the violence. Stop the terror. Stop the rockets. Stop the suicide attacks. Stop attacking and you will, miraculously, bring peace to the Middle East - faster than a bullet, faster than superman, even faster than Barak Hussein Obama, because the formula for peace has always, always been the same. Stop the war, and you'll have peace.
It may be a warm peace, a true peace, even a friendship, as Israel has with the United States. It might be a warm-ish peace, as we have with much of Europe. It might be a kind of peace, as we have with Jordan. It might be a cold peace, as we have with Egypt. It might simply be, for the first few years, simply a cessation of violence. But the amazing thing is that even with a cessation of violence, we can all live.
I was brave enough to post all your anonymous comments (even offered to correct the English on many of them). Now let's see how brave you are. Are you brave enough to demand peace from the Palestinians? Are you brave enough to demand that THEY stop attacking Israel? Are you brave enough to see that keeping a young man away from his family for three years is wrong and that Gilad should be home?
No, I don't expect that you are...after all, you weren't even brave enough to post your name, were you?
So Mr/Ms Anonymous, let me make it clear. Israel has the right to self-defense.
If you send rockets against our cities, we have the right to respond (and we will).
We have the right to hit Gaza for many reasons. Chief among them is the fact that Gaza freely elected their government of Hamas. They chose these people to represent them and polls show they overwhelmingly approve of Hamas firing rockets at Israel. Since our answering those rockets is a natural and proper response, I wonder if we could say the people of Gaza approve even of our operations there to stop the rocket fire? No, I guess that would not be a logical conclusion, but then again, logic has no say here, does it?
If it did, you would logically care about Gilad Shalit. You would logically understand why Israel has a right to defend itself against rocket attacks; and, you would logically understand that when Palestinians stop firing rockets, throwing firebombs and rocks at our civilian cars and buses, etc...then, and only then, can all the Middle East begin taking those first important steps to peace. But you aren't brave at all, are you?
No - it takes no bravery to shoot a rocket into a city; no bravery to throw rocks at cars as they zoom by. There is no bravery in throwing firebombs, walking onto a bus and exploding yourself. No...none.