In defense of Israel

Pick up any newspaper and you might get the impression that Israel is being ruthless and aggressive when it comes to dealing militarily with the Palestinians. That is especially true for those living under the control of the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.

Regardless of manipulation of the news by Hamas, that could not be further from the truth.

Most recently, terrorists in Gaza were responsible for firing 200 rockets and explosive projectiles into southern Israel in the span of one day. Contrary to what Hamas might lead you to believe, these deadly weapons were not directed at military bases or government buildings. Instead, they were directed at civilians and population centers. In the terrorists’ eyes, the more innocent Israelis who are wounded or killed, the better. That is the goal and they are not afraid to admit it.

Thankfully, Israel is well-prepared for such attacks and is unafraid to appropriately defend itself. The country must be, for it has suffered through these attacks almost constantly for years on end. The Red Alert system, which warns Israelis of incoming attacks with a mere 15 seconds of lead time, blares relentlessly throughout the barrages. Mothers and their families scramble to take cover as the Palestinian terrorist rocket crews attempt to deliver death and destruction upon them.

In Sderot, one of the Israeli cities closest to the Gaza border, children hunkered down in playgrounds and at bus stops that also double as bomb shelters, designed for that very purpose. It is both incredible and tragic that Israeli bus stops must be built to withstand rocket fire. As Americans, it is hard for us to relate to this grim reality.

Thankfully, the Iron Dome missile defense system, Israel’s great protector against short-range rockets, intercepted dozens of projectiles before they could do any significant damage. Dozens more fell in uninhabited spaces. One projectile landed in a kibbutz and another on a synagogue. Luckily, neither of them caused injury or resulted in casualty.

Tragically, another rocket smashed directly into a home in Sderot, wounding at least three Israelis, including two teenagers.

Since its rebirth as a state in 1948, Israel seems to have not known a day of peace, but not for lack of trying.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said it best: “If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.”

To his point, Israel not only has the right to defend itself against those who would like to see it annihilated but also has a duty to protect its citizens. Rockets do not discriminate and threaten Jews, Christians, Muslims and Bedouins alike. Israel’s military response in Gaza to this latest provocation was not only warranted but also necessary.

In what was the largest attack against Hamas since 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, the Israel Defense Forces subsequently bombed a series of military targets in Gaza, including attack tunnels, weapons storage facilities and a Hamas urban combat training facility.