...While I, and I assume many others, believed that we were holding negotiations with the end goal of reaching a deal, Hamas was busy preparing to do its best to take out the State of Israel. This operation has made it clear that Gaza truly is hell. And when you're looking into the gaping jaws of hell, maybe you should reassess reality.
22 July '14..
In English, people like this are called "clueless" -- cut off from reality with no idea of what's happening around them. The term came to mind when I was watching foreign correspondents (what network they were from doesn't matter) reporting from Gaza. With their bullet-proof vests, they stand there in the middle of the street against a background of the ruins left as a result of IDF strikes, as women, children, and wounded scurry around them. Difficult images, undoubtedly, and the reporters pepper their reports with even harsher words.
But none of these people notice that the scenes described above are missing a key component. If, God forbid, any rocket were to fall in a populated area in Israel, who would be the first ones to swamp the scene? Correct -- the rescue forces: police officers, soldiers, firefighters, paramedics -- people in uniform. No one in uniform is seen in any of the reports from Gaza. And it seems to me that there is no shortage of uniforms there: We see them in the thousands in constant parades and protests, in propaganda films, in training caps, and even in children's sizes.
Where are the Hamas soldiers and where are the police in Gaza when an Israeli bomb falls? Why don't they direct the stream of displaced people to shelter instead of letting them roam the streets aimlessly? This is probably part of a sophisticated propaganda campaign: Television loves heart-rending, truly heart-rending, scenes like these. On the other hand, we cannot avoid the conclusion that they are hiding underground in the immense tunnel system constructed beneath the city, in Underground Gaza.
That tunnel system and the thousands of rockets are hard to take in. Especially for someone like me who describes himself as a Zionist leftist. Someone who was raised on liberal, humane values, but without forfeiting his Jewish, Zionist, and Israeli identity. For many years, I have believed that the right solution to the conflict was two states for two peoples -- mainly for our sake. Sorry, but I'm not concerned with the Palestinians. Let them take care of themselves. I am worried about us: our sanity, the moral validity of our existence, the future generations. The practical expression of this belief system means compromise in many areas, including territorial.
This paradigm has been stood before an extremely tough test. So tough that I might be forced to admit I was wrong. In the clearest possible manner we have been faced with a dizzying reality. Hamas has done nothing but build a monster of death and destruction aimed at us. The billions of dollars in humanitarian aid and international support, tens of thousands of tons of concrete and construction materials, the electricity and water that Israel has supplied to Gaza for years -- have been used for one purpose: to build these tunnels, which are intended to kill as many Israelis as possible. Not new hospitals, not schools, not public institutions -- nothing. Just missiles, rockets, and tunnels. Gaza is an almost imaginary killing machine, an entire city of weapons that uses its poor civilians as a thin cover for the demonic mechanism rumbling away underneath it.
I'm not naive, and it's clear that in the situation that exists between us and the Palestinians, they will try to arm themselves. But there is armament, and then there is what is happening in Gaza. Not the peace process, not the talks, not the negotiations, and not even Israel's disengagement had any effect. While I, and I assume many others, believed that we were holding negotiations with the end goal of reaching a deal, Hamas was busy preparing to do its best to take out the State of Israel. This operation has made it clear that Gaza truly is hell. And when you're looking into the gaping jaws of hell, maybe you should reassess reality.