Palestinians took to the streets, shooting guns in the air, as they celebrated their ‘victory’ over Israel. Of course, victory is defined as, Hamas not being destroyed, as opposed to causing significant damage to Israel.
On the other side of the border there was no celebratory gunfire or singing in the streets, despite the fact that Israel caused far more damage to Hamas than Hamas to Israel. You wouldn’t find any Israeli strapped to a fake suicide bombers belt or rejoicing over the deaths of Palestinian children. No, just a country relieved that the rocket fire has ceased, seeking to minister one to another.
My wife, Elana, went to the port of Tel Aviv yesterday. I spoke to her this morning and she relayed to me her experience. She told me that venders were invited from the south, where citizens endured over 1,500 rockets in one week. That is more than 200 a day, nearly 20 every hour. It isn’t that the rockets caused much damage, but that it terrorized a nation.
An Israeli has 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter once the sirens blare. To be clear, not everyone, in every area in the south had to run for cover for every rocket, but even three an hour is unbearable.
In addition to the emotional toll that the bombing has taken on Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheva, S’derot and other cities, their livelihoods suffered as well. Many families, like my in-laws, fled their cities for a week. That is why they were invited to the port; so they could set up shop and sell their products. Israelis came from all over to purchase stuff they didn’t need, just l’hosheet yad, to extend a hand, to their fellow Israeli. Elana was so moved by the event that she was in tears as she explained it to me.
Contrast this attitude with that of the Arabs of Gaza. When news spread that a bomb had exploded inside an Israeli bus in Tel Aviv—the first bus bombing in eight years—Palestinians handed out candy in the streets. Read the words of radio host and blogger Michael Brown:
Shortly after the bomb blast in Tel Aviv that wounded 22 Israelis, Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV aired a report showing footage of the bloody scene and commenting: “These are scenes of the casualties. God willing, we will soon see black body bags. I pray to God the exalted we will see body bags in a short while… . Right now in these moments, the mosques in the Gaza Strip, their minarets are loudly sounding cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’ and cries of joy, and the residents of the Gaza Strip are bowing down to Allah for this offering [or, gift]. The morale of the Gaza residents is in the sky right now, and is rising just as the rockets of the resistance.”
They must have been devastated when they realized that their Allah is not so Akbar, as there was no need for “black body bags.” Not only were no Israelis killed, there was only one who was seriously injured. A miracle, for sure.
Someone wrote me on twitter seeking to justify their perverse and savage-like behavior:
Of course, how does that explain the savage nature of the Taliban in Pakistan (who recently shot a Muslim girl in the face for wanting to study) and Afghanistan or Al Qaeda blowing up the World Trade Centers? Or Saudi Arabia and Iran, where the fanatics are in power and still terrorize. And while she says that Israel must end the illegal siege, she is ignorant to the fact that Egypt has sealed its border with Gaza. Why doesn’t she rail against the illegal Egyptian siege? When was the last time left wing activists tried to break the Egyptian siege? One reason they don’t is that, unlike Israel, the Egyptians would just shoot them.
It seems that there is nothing that Islamic fanatics can do that will bring condemnation. There is always someone to justify their perverse behavior.
And to be clear, Israel never had any desire to oppress the Gazans, but to bless them. In the early years after the Six Day War we sought to help them prosper. It wasn’t until they turned to terror that we had to take a different approach. Contrast that with Egypt who has never lifted one finger to help her northern cousins.
Yes, while they waste bullets and express their hysterical joy over their ‘victory’ Israel goes back to work. We are far more interested in blessing our southern citizens than throwing a party. I can’t wait to get home and help.