Let me first apologize for the length of this post…there is a lot to say. I want to begin by saying that I value life over anything else. Innocent people (especially children) who lose their lives because of the actions of another should never happen. My heart cries out to all of those in the world (everywhere in the world) who have lost their loved ones – children, women, men, etc.
In war, people die. Period. Hard stop. It is not a good thing; it is just an inevitability and a reality. The reasons why wars are fought – that discussion is where things get complicated. Too many times in world history, wars have been fought over religious or political disagreements or misunderstandings. The first “laws of war” can be traced all the way back to the Code of Hammurabi, in 1750 BCE.
Today, when there is a conflict of war or aggression, we often hear the words “International Laws of War.” Today, Israel finds herself in a war she did not start nor wanted to fight. On October 7, 2023, armed terrorists from HAMAS – an organization that has as its mission to destroy Israel (to push the Jews into the sea) – infiltrated the sovereign land of Israel – and brutally massacred more than 1200 innocent Israelis. HAMAS also abducted hundreds of hostages – men, women, and children.
Now – Israel vows to destroy HAMAS and prevent this war from occurring once again in the future. It seems that no matter what Israel does – the world holds them to a much higher standard than any other country. News agencies report that innocent Palestinians in Gaza are being prevented from escaping…and are running out of basic humanitarian needs such as food, water, and medicine.
Let us examine this – why are they not being allowed to leave or escape to the safe zone that Israel has created? Because the HAMAS led government uses them as shields and/or bargaining chips to prevent Israel from protecting herself. HAMAS has blocked highways and roads that would let the Gazans escape. And why are they running out of basic human needs? Because HAMAS is not allowing the aid in…and is blocking the Gazan people from getting their basic needs met.
Any research into the region shows that Israel has gone above and beyond time and time again to provide the people of Gaza everything they need – food, water, electricity, medicine. The leaders of HAMAS – what about them? Well, they live in gorgeous palace type homes…and they do not starve or go without…
In February 2023, I joined hundreds of thousands of Israelis on the streets of Israel to protest this corrupt and awful Israeli government. Why? Because I completely disagreed (and still do) with many of their policies – especially regarding the Judicial Branch in Israel. I was safe, I was allowed, and I was proud to raise my voice. In Gaza, if the Palestinian people protest against their government, HAMAS, they will be killed and so will members of their families.
I live in the United States of America – and my heart is torn because of what my brothers and sisters in Israel are experiencing…and I will never stop raising my voice in support of them. Today, I see pictures of people who live in my own home country who are protesting Israel so much they are bringing back images and ideas of the bloodiest and most horrific time for Jews – the Holocaust, the Shoah in Europe in the 1930’s-1940’s.
This cannot happen here…this is what we have been taught. The USA is the “new” Promised Land…this is what we were taught.
Today – I hope that tomorrow will be different…I am afraid it will be worse.
I am a husband, father and rabbi - just trying to help to make the world a better place!