Israelis are under constant attack with more than 120 rockets hitting Israel in only four days last week. Imagine living in Chicago and hearing about mortars landing in Milwaukee, or living in New York and hearing about bomb attacks in Philadelphia or Washington, D.C. As you spend Thanksgiving with your friends and family, be thankful for your safety.
The lives of Israeli civilians are being threatened, and daily life in Southern Israel has been totally disrupted. Thursday morning in Israel, three people were killed and several more wounded when a rocket hit an apartment. The residents of communities near the Gaza border suffer constantly from rocket and mortar shell attacks, leaving Israel no choice but to protect its civilians. The Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Pillar of Defense, which is aimed at removing a strategic threat to Israeli citizens, acting in self-defense and out of Israel’s duty to protect its civilians from terrorist attack.
Israel, America’s ally in the Middle East, is facing a mounting storm: nearly 800 rockets struck Israel from Gaza this year alone, mortar fire from Syria landed in Israeli territory and there are continuing attacks from Sinai. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has amassed tens of thousands of long- and short-range rockets and missiles. Palestinian leadership refuses to negotiate with Israel, and instead seeks “statehood” at the U.N. General Assembly, while Iran crudely threatens to destroy the Jewish state and continues to advance its nuclear weapons program.
It must be noted that Israel disengaged completely from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Israel, in fact, attempted to trade land for peace. Instead, Israel’s disengagement resulted in Gaza becoming a giant ammunition dumping ground, providing a breeding ground for terrorist groups to organize and to operate. Weapons smuggled from Libya, Iran and Sudan accelerated the process of Gaza turning into a terror base and increases the danger posed to the Israeli population. Hamas and other terrorist organizations hide among the civilian population of Gaza, deliberately firing at the civilian population of Israel. These acts, themselves, constitute a double war crime. On the other hand, the targets of the Israeli operation are almost all military and Israel continues to make every effort to prevent harm to the civilian population in Gaza.
At this critical moment, it is vitally important for Americans to unequivocally support Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and its current operations to defend its citizens. No other country in the world faces daily rocket attacks against its civilians, nor would any other country tolerate such violence.
Ila Rabinowitz is involved with the group Buckeyes for Israel.