The Context War
Those of us defending Israel are facing a challenge. The problem is this: too many people in America are not getting the complete picture of what this war is all about.
I can tell you what it’s not about. Our war is not with the Palestinian people. Our war is against Hamas and anyone else who thinks Israel does not have the right to exist.
Later in this article, I will give you ways you can help. But first, let me tell you about my life and how it has been affected by this ongoing war for the survival of Israel.
I grew up in Ashkelon which is 8 miles from the Gaza border. Rocket attacks from terrorists in Gaza targeting cities and towns around the border began in 2001. Since I was born in 2000, I grew up with rockets and sirens going on and off as part of my childhood and adult life. It is important to remember that for my first ten years, we did not have the Iron Dome. That only came about in 2011. The Iron Dome helps a lot for the safety of the people in Israel, but as you can see in this war right now, the Iron Dome is not perfect.
My first memories of these attacks are running to shelter as a family, at home or at school. Right now, I can tell you that even when I hear an ambulance siren here in the US, for a split second I am thinking about the nearest place to find shelter. Yes, it doesn’t leave you that easily, and sometimes the PTSD can overcome the logical scenario, that this is an ambulance and there is no way I just heard an alarm going off.
In the big picture, let’s remember that since I was born in 2000, my country has experienced 140 suicide bombings, more than 40,000 rockets from Gaza, and over 4,000 rockets from Hezbollah in the second Lebanon War in 2006.
Now, let me focus on how we need your help. Israel is facing false accusations from supporters of Hamas that are often repeated in the media. For example, one false claim is that when Israel left Gaza in 2005, it turned it into an “open air prison.” Based on this false claim, one would think that Hamas is simply fighting for the freedom of the people of Gaza. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The goal of Hamas is the destruction of Israel. According to an article written by Bob Feferman, “When Israel left Gaza in 2005, there was an agreement signed between Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and the European Union on open borders between Gaza, Egypt and Israel.
Here was an opportunity for peace and prosperity for the people of Gaza. Everyone was happy with the agreement — except Hamas and their backers in Iran.
In 2007, Hamas took control of Gaza by violently expelling the Palestinian Authority. It then turned Gaza into an enemy territory by firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians and digging terror tunnels under the border.
Since 2007, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have fired more than 30,000 rockets at Israeli civilians. That’s why Israel put in place a naval blockade to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza in 2007. And to be clear, this was a naval blockade and not a military siege, because everyday tons of food, clothing, medicine and humanitarian goods came into Gaza through the Israeli border crossings.”
The other false accusation is that the Israeli army is intentionally targeting civilians. As an Israeli soldier, I am angered at this accusation.
I’ll give you just one example. On October 18, when the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza was bombed, everyone claimed Israel was responsible and condemned Israel’s action. But when it was discovered that it was actually a rocket from Islamic Jihad that failed and fell short, suddenly everyone was silent. Antisemitic? I will let you think for yourselves.
Furthermore, we need to address this question differently. Why is Israel bombing places full of people?
And if we decide to dig deep, literally, beneath those schools, hospitals, and homes, there are Hamas tunnels and Hamas members.
But wait, why would Hamas put its own people in risk and build their terror headquarters beneath those places?
If you ask this question, we are making progress. But if you think Hamas cares about the well-being of the Palestinians, you are completely wrong. Hamas has one main goal: the destruction of Israel. They are not hiding it and say it bright as day.
If they can use their own people as human shields to present to the world that Israel is bombing kids, that will be it.
We know for a fact that the IDF warns the civilians before they attack a terrorist nest, and we know from testimonies of civilians in Gaza that Hamas does not let them leave. Moreover, since 2005 more than 40,000 rockets were fired into Israeli territory. It’s estimated that the cost of each rocket is between 300 to 800 dollars. Which means that the minimum amount of Hamas’ luxury shopping trip costs between 12 million to 32 million dollars. I wonder what they could do with this amount of money to help their people, and we are not even calculating the amount of money Hamas spends on tunnels.
So, here is where we need your help. I am asking you to continue to ask and learn about the situation. This is an information war for the missing context not provided by the media. I urge you to look at the Israeli side of the story. You can look at the websites of Israeli English language newspapers, you can follow the posts of the Jewish Federation, follow Middle East experts, or you can simply ask me. And if I do not know the answer, I’ll find it for you. If you are active on social media, please share these articles that provide the missing context.