As if on cue in response to my cousin Orit’s comments below, see today’s editorial in Ha’aretz. http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.607142
Well, it seems you can only do so much in 140 characters @rabbiagler. Here is my attempt to distill “Operation Protective Edge” (it sounds much better in Hebrew) to its essence:
1) Israel is more than justified in fighting to remove the threats from Hamas’ rockets and tunnels. Protecting from an enemy whose demonstrable goal is to terrorize Israel’s citizens—and who considers every innocent Israeli civilian to be a target—is unquestionably legitimate.
2) That said, the effort has been horrifically costly to both Israel and the people of Gaza. Israel has been unable to strike at Hamas without terrible loss of life to innocent Palestinians. Yes, this is largely Hamas’ responsibility. By placing weaponry, ammunition, tunnels leading under the border and such in hospitals, schools, mosques and the like, they are practicing as cowardly and cruel a tactic as has ever been seen in the history of warfare. We should hold any nation or group that does not, at minimum, condemn this unequivocally, as too morally compromised to be taken seriously.
3) It will all be for naught if a better way of life does not come from it. I wish I knew how that is going to happen.
There are additional concerns on the home front, both in Israel and in the US. My cousin Orit in Israel is a committed Zionist. After affirming that “there was no choice but to fight this war,” she writes,
“My major fear is from the Israeli Jewish nationalists which are now the majority here. They are a most severe threat, on a personal and national level. Being a leftist in Israel these days makes one really shake – particularly if you drive a car with a Peace sticker (I do – it merely says we want peace)…Major government ministers keep planting the idea that you can only express your opinion if at matches the government’s. Not to mention Israelis burning a live innocent Palestinian teenager – a tragic outcome of the present Israeli atmosphere.”
We have all too frequently seen wartime nationalistic sentiment stifle thoughtful dissent. It is never a healthy phenomenon in a democracy.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
I haven’t been blogging on this but I am tweeting. Follow me @rabbiagler on Twitter. May lasting peace and quiet come soon.