The heavy price of friendship

I have a very dear friend. It doesn’t matter where he lives. Suffice to say it is a quiet and scenic little corner of the world, blessed with natural beauty, and about as far from Israel as you can possibly get. It is the sort of place where you would lie awake at night and hear nothing more ominous than a clap of thunder and the rustle of pine tree needles.


A few days ago I received a group email from him.  It begged the indulgence of his readers for the somewhat surprising revelations it would soon reveal, and appealed to their open-mindedness.


I am not open-minded to being told that Christian believing world leaders, whose religion calls for love and compassion are wrong in supporting the actions of Israel, whose own religion supposedly teaches justice and mercy. I am appalled that he perceives this as the main cause of rising Islamic fundamentalism, which in turn gives them the right to treat this as hypocrisy and vent their anger on the West in any way they see fit.


I am not open-minded to being told that Israel had the ‘huzpah’ to go to war and cause widespread havoc on the innocent nation of Lebanon ‘only’ because two soldiers were abducted. I am amazed that he fails to mention that this took place on sovereign Israeli territory and caused the death of eight more soldiers.


I am not open-minded to being told that this abduction reflected neglect on Israel’s part, coming as it did a few days after the abduction of another soldier (Gilad Shavit) ‘near’ Gaza.  To my amazement this missive, failed to mention that ‘near’ Gaza was yet again on sovereign Israeli territory and two more soldiers were killed.


I am certainly not open-minded to being told that these unprovoked acts of aggression by two terrorist organizations; Hamas and Hezbollah, mean that the poor people of Lebanon and Gaza are now paying the price of Israel's aggression caused by this neglect. Only the narrowest of minds could cause this writer to dismiss, or not even mention the thousands of rockets fired indiscriminately and aimed directly at innocent Israeli civilians by both of these organizations.


I am not open-minded to being told in a condescending manner that going to war, as if we had the choice, inevitably means the loss of more soldiers. Does he honestly think that our 18 and 19 year old children wouldn’t, if given the choice like to live in the writer’s peaceful little world, where their only conflicts are whether to study law or art, how to get their parents to help them out with those must have sports shoes, or if Karen really is prettier than Susan.  


I am not open-minded to being told that since the death of Yasser Arafat, the Israelis and the US have been the ones demanding free and democratic elections from the Palestinians and then when this supposedly take place we have the audacity to refuse to recognize their choice. Since Hamas are recognized worldwide as a terrorist organization, and it is common knowledge that Arafat was ‘never’ willing to accept a state for the ‘only’ modern invention outside of Israel, this region has ever seen; the Palestinians, then maybe I should be accused of bloody-mindedness, since their policies don’t seem to extend much beyond encouraging their demonized little children to dream of quenching the parched soil with their own blood.


I am not open-minded to read some twisted comparison to the Israeli voting public, who have, it seems been very mean, by not voting for governments that were more desirable to the aspirations of the Palestinians. This is bordering on feeble-mindedness and fails to mention endless offers and concessions that Israel has offered over the years, many of them derogatory to the safety and well being of its own citizens.


The open-mindedness continues, and goes on to accuse Israel of applying political and  financial pressure on Hamas, implying that its aim is to bring this newly elected democratic government to its knees. G-d forbid  the writer should mention that for years the Palestinian leaders have used billions of dollars of aid money, not to improve the lives of the people, but to transfer milliona of dollars to private bank accounts and to use these funds to stock pile  weapons in civilian homes and build exhaustive tunnel networks under  these same homes to transport them. Since the beginning of the year Israel has faced thousands of rocket attacks from Gaza and now when the timing is right they use the media to scream that Israel, not their own government’s policies have caused a humanitarian crisis.   


This state of open-mindedness went on to condemn the assassination of Palestinian leaders. Let me enlighten you. Sheik Yassin the once spiritual leader of the now democratically voted Hamas government once said “Israel, as the Jewish state, must disappear from the map”.  He tried to do that by motivating a million people, in the same way as a blooded piece of meat causes frenzy in shark infested waters. Of course it is regrettable that innocent people are killed in the process, but what level of absurdity would make anyone have an iota of pity for a person that deliberately preaches mass murder to impressionable little children sitting on his quadriplegic lap. What level of depravity fails to move this writer, to the more than a thousand Israeli coffins that have been lowered into the ground, often holding the barely recognizable remains of a much loved child, a treasured parent or a best friend that were murdered because of his teachings.


This open-minded diatribe finally and thankfully concludes, bringing us full circle to the current crisis. By some curious use of phraseology it somehow excuses the terrorists by saying ‘if’ we are to condemn them, then Israel ‘must’ be condemned for acts of brutality carried out under the banner of democracy. This distressing piece finishes with some feeble-minded nonsense of Israel acting in an infantile manner and the only way it can proceed to adulthood is by being held accountable for its crimes against humanity.


This writer has obviously fallen prey to the sickening closed-mindedness of the foreign media. I, for one no longer have the stomach to watch them compete on who can come up with the most battered Lebanese city street. I can no longer bear watching them compete on who can come up with the most horrible close up of burnt and bloodied little Lebanese children.  I am sick of hearing them compete on who can come up with the most heart rendering story of courage, as their citizens escape on board luxury liners, or huge war ships.  Who can ever forget Carol on Sky News, who had to flee so fast she didn’t even have time to pack her underwear.


Hezbollah and Hamas ‘deliberately’ operate out of densely populated civilian areas. They hide behind the pinafores of women and among the toys of children. They bury themselves in fortified bunkers while the civilian population is left abandoned and at the mercy of a country that is forced to destroy their capabilities, or be destroyed themselves. It is despicable that thousands of rocket attacks on Israel’s Northern cities and the thousands of its children and residents who have been forced to flee or spend interminable days in bomb shelters rarely make the news, let alone the headlines.


It is tragic that the action of terrorists who are the real cause of thrusting Lebanon into this spiraling path of destruction, not a free nation fighting for what the entire Western world holds dear, has won over the hearts and minds of people around the world.  Maybe my learned friend should hearken to some more words from Sheik Yassin; “Sons of Islam everywhere, the jihad is a duty - to establish the rule of Allah on earth and to liberate your countries and yourselves from America's domination and its Zionist allies, it is your battle - either victory or martyrdom”.  One of these days it won’t be the plaintive cry of a lone coyote waking him at dawn, but the wail of the loudspeaker at his local mosque calling the faithful to pray, and his burka clad wife will only be allowed to go to the bank one Wednesday a month, providing of course he drives her there.


We cannot express our gratitude enough to the millions of our friends around the world that stand with us and we salute the governments of Great Britain, Canada and the United States for their unwavering support. More than anything we pay tribute to our brave young soldiers and pray for their safe return.

Our special thanks to the author for submitting this article. A. G. S.