For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Like a rock emerging in a sea of lies, we know important facts about the confrontation that took place on Monday between Israel and a flotilla of ships making its way to the Gaza strip.
The blockade was justified by international law. (Egypt, by the way, had also imposed a blockade on Gaza because of the threat from the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which illegally seized control of Gaza in 2007.) The Israeli navy first tried to warn the ships off verbally. The “peace activist” on board assaulted Israeli commandos (who were armed with paintball guns) with clubs, knives, metal pipes, stun grenades, and handguns; it turns out that many of them were recruited specifically to attack Israeli soldiers. The “humanitarian relief” the flotilla was supposedly bringing to Palestinians in Gaza was in fact no such thing (food, medicine, relief supplies, and electricity continue to pour into Gaza on a daily basis). And the “charity” that helped organize the flotilla was in fact the radical Turkish group IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi), which has longstanding ties to Hamas and the global jihadist movement. Yet somehow, some way, it is Israel that is condemned when it acts in its own self-defense.
This is not the first time the early narrative of an incident is heavily biased against Israel. Recall the “Jenin Massacre.” Jenin was a refugee camp in the West Bank that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) entered in 2002 in response to Yasir Arafat’s second intifada and because it served as a launch site for terrorist attacks against Israeli towns and villages. But the supposed “massacre” by the IDF, which dominated much of the outraged attention of the world -- and of course the United Nations, organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and the BBC -- turned out to be nothing of the kind. In fact, what we learned is how careful and conscientious Israel was, with the IDF going door to door rather than destroying Jenin by air in order to keep civilian casualties at a minimum. (The Israeli army lost 23 soldiers in the process; for more, see this.) Yet the truth about Jenin never caught up to the lies. That will undoubtedly be the case with the confrontation that occurred on the Mediterranean Sea earlier this week.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"