The past weeks have shown how deep are the wounds here in Israel. The storm rages around us.
The kidnapping three weeks ago turned to murder, it seems right after the boys were taken.
Despite the facts we now know, that it was known from the first they were likely dead, that the authorities who initially dismissed the emergency call as a hoax had in fact heard gunshots and screams, that the government lied about this while declaring its belief they lived…despite all of these facts, Netanyahu, the Israeli PM, used it as an excuse to move troops into the Occupied Territories and arrest between 350 and over 500 Hamas-connected Palestinians under the title of Operation Brothers’ Keeper.
Many of these had been released as part of a ceasefire deal with Hamas 2 years ago. Hamas considered this a violation of the deal.
The bodies of these three innocent humans were found and buried just this past week (found June 30, 2014, buried July 1, 2014).
Angry rioters called for blood vengeance against fellow human beings—not justice for the murderers, but “death to Arabs.”
Then the horrible news of another teen kidnapped and murdered, this one a Palestinian, Mohammed abu Khdeir.
And even worse, the arrests of Jewish suspects and reports of a “nationalist,” let’s say it—terrorist—motive.
Rockets come out of Gaza because of the deal violation but using the teen’s murder as incitement. The Israel Air Force strikes Gaza using the rockets and the teens’ murder as incitement.
My heart grieves for all four children who were murdered in hate with ideology and vengeance as excuses. My heart grieves for Jerusalem and Israel. These haters, these murderers may have sparked the third intifada. I hope not. Certainly the responses of Hamas and Israel have sparked another conflagration—Operation Protective Edge.
I wrote most of this in the past few days. The back and forth between Hamas and Israel has ratcheted up since then. Reports say from 70 to 85+ rockets were fired at Israel on Monday, July 7. From 40–60 came over a one or two-hour period.
In response, Israel began a full military operation with a stupid name as translated into English that would almost be humorous—Operation Protective Edge (the Hebrew name for the operation, transliterated is “Tzuk Eitan,” strong cliff, perhaps better translations would have been: drop off, moat, sheer cliff, or strong wall). They have made, as of this posting, something over 400 strikes and continue the attack. The rockets also continue to fire. Ground troops stand ready to join (40,000 reservists have been authorized).
And the rioting inside Israel continues. And the hate continues. I saw a Facebook post a couple of days ago saying that people in the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem chanted “death to leftists” and “death to peace activists.”
And that’s where we are.
Written 6 July through 9 July 2014.