An absolute right to defend a nation
PETA KROST MAUNDER
Apparently, two missiles had been launched from Gaza, and the other one landed in the sea. In the house that was hit lived a woman and her three children (See page 2). Fortunately, a siren had gone off in Beersheva, warning people to take cover, and this woman grabbed her sleeping children and dragged them into their safe room. Because of this, they survived. Their home, however, was all but destroyed. People said they were lucky.
Hardly, luck would be no missiles and no threat. Luck might also have been if the Iron Dome – which mostly deters missiles aimed at Israel – had stopped this one too. Luck would be a peace agreement with Palestinians, and a happy two-state solution. Luck would be living in a region where all of Israel’s neighbours worked with it for peace.
Luck is not a near miss! This is about people living in Israel under the constant threat of war and destruction.
I get increasing frustrated at colleagues in the media who seemed to believe that the battle in the Middle East is a one-sided battle, with the Palestinians as innocents without weapons or evil thoughts.
They are constantly painted as people whose only weapons are small stones – not rocks – which they use only when forced to. The media also paints a picture of women with babies and young boys being killed and maimed because they somehow found themselves too close to the Gaza border. They simply found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Seriously!
The real picture is quite different, but unpopular.
Israel is surrounded by enemies, the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza just being a very small minority in this bigger equation. Over the years, Israel has learnt that if it doesn’t make sure it has a mighty army and spend a fortune on finding ways to protect its people, the country will be destroyed.
Hence, the Iron Dome that costs an untold fortune, and various other high tech ways that Israel has come up with to protect its people. So, when Hamas and other militant Palestinian organisations aim and fire at Israel, there have been very few casualties.
And when 20 000 people amass at the Gazan border every Friday to get into Israel, there is enough technology and military know-how to stop them getting into Israel and killing as many people as possible. Those people – painted as innocents by the media – are at the border simply to try and get into Israel. What does the world think they are going to do if they manage to get through that border? Many are armed with guns, Molotov cocktails, and other weapons. Women and children are not found there by accident, they are sent, knowing full well what will happen if they storm the barriers. It keeps happening with monotonous regularity.
With Israel’s military might, if it really wanted to harm the Palestinian people, do you honestly believe it would need to wait at the Gaza border every Friday to do so?
Should Israel be ashamed of defending its borders and keeping its civilian and military casualties to the barest minimum? Should it be lambasted for doing whatever it takes to protect its people? Apparently so. That is, according to certain media out there.
I find this quite flummoxing. I am not sure if there are less violent or fatal ways of preventing the protestors from getting through the Gaza-Israel border. I am no soldier. Perhaps there are soldiers who are too gung-ho with their weapons. Again, I do not know this.
However, I believe Israel has the right to protect its people so that they can live as peaceful a life as possible.
Why is it that when Israel is attacked by mortars and missiles – sometimes dozens flying through the air overnight – nothing is said or written about it until Israel retaliates? And even then, the fact that Israel has protected its people is read as an unfair battle.
I am no expert military strategist, I am a humanitarian who wishes no harm to anyone, but that is, at best, inaccurate.
Israel has had no choice but to make sure it has the means to protect its citizens. Almost every single citizen has to bear the brunt of this. They serve in the army.
Israeli parents – bar those ultra-Orthodox who don’t serve – send their 17 to 18-year-old teenagers into the army to help protect the country. Having just been in Israel, I am aware of just how hard this is for parents, but how they have no choice but to accept that they have no choice but to send their children into the army. They all want peace, as long as it is a real peace, not a trick to get Israel to succumb to its enemies.
The world media – and to be fair, only those that have taken a side against Israel – don’t see the Jewish state as a country wanting peace. They see it as a country of aggressive, nasty people who want to annihilate those poor Palestinians.
There are all types of Israelis with so many different political views. I am sure there are those who despise Palestinians, but there many more who simply want peace. They don’t want to be aggressors, nor do they want their children to have to fight. No parent wants to wave goodbye to their child not knowing if he or she will return. They want to live a good life, but that is not how they are portrayed by much of the media.
World media is entitled to approve of Netanyahu as a leader or not. It is entitled to approve or disapprove of the decisions the Israeli government makes. It is even entitled to believe that the Israeli army is or isn’t too aggressive. But any person with an inkling of human nature has to understand why Israel needs to defend itself against those who want to destroy it.