We are about to enter our 9th day of Operation Protective Edge, and it is with a debilitating sadness that I report the first civilian casualty on the Israeli side has been confirmed. Dror Chanin was an angel on earth who left his wife and three little children to bring food to the soldiers currently protecting our people on the Gaza border. He was struck by mortar fire from Gaza and died shortly after. He was laid to rest this afternoon in the city of Yehud.
People might be thinking, sure that is sad but what about the almost 200 civilians in Gaza that have been killed by Israelis? Let me preface my next statement by saying that any innocent loss of life on either side is a tragedy like no other, but at the same time people need to be aware of why the majority of those casualties occur. Unlike the civilian citizens in Gaza, Dror had no warning that Hamas was going to strike in his area. He was not given a call, a text, and a pamphlet hours before the strike would take place. He was not given time to move a few miles down the road to save his life. He was not given a warning shot. Each of these considerations are given to the citizens in Gaza, many of whom willingly choose to ignore them at the expense of their own lives and the lives of their children. Dror was given none of these warnings, and was given no chance to save his life, and now his three children will grow up without their father.
The next argument circulating is the fact that though Israel gives Palestinian civilians warnings, they have no where to go. If I were to get a note saying “Dear Sir or Madame, terrorist have hidden bombs and rocket launching sites in or around your house. Please go to the center of Tel Aviv until you receive word that it is safe to return to your area of residence” I’d be hauling my rear end to the center of Tel Aviv where I would, without a doubt, be welcomed in any home. I can’t imagine it being any different in any civilized country. They have places to go. Israeli strikes are confined to specific areas and, by no means, cover the entirety of Gaza. They have chances to survive, and though we suffer less causalities, the ones that do die are given nothing but celebrations in the streets of Gaza and the West Bank.
The terror continues
Yesterday was a hard day. Not only did the Egyptian mediated ceasefire, a ceasefire that Israel agreed to, fail, quite miserably I might add, but Ashdod was hammered, Tel Aviv was hit hard, and all of my efforts to try and spread some awareness were failing miserably.
I often wonder what would happen if these people’s mothers and fathers saw they way their children talked to other people, and then I find myself so proud that my own parents brought me up to deal with bitter hatred and ignorance with grace, dignity, passionate conviction, and, most importantly, respect for others regardless of their opinions. I later discovered that one of these men took my absence from the rest of the conversation as admitted defeat, but once someone tells you they hope a bomb falls on your head there isn’t much left to talk or argue about. While he was wishing a bomb to fall on my head, rockets were exploding over me, and bombs did this to the southern city that houses my whole family. But you won’t see this picture on the news.
I woke up today at 9:00 (which is almost 40 minutes later than I usually, and very unwillingly, arise from my bed to start my day). Not wanting to be late I rushed to ready myself for work, kissed a very sleepy Stephane goodbye, collected my bike, and was almost out the door. As I was about to leave my roommate stopped me to ask me a few questions, and those questions turned into a short conversation that made the difference between being caught outside and unprotected during a rocket attack, and being able to run to the safety of my own bomb shelter as 4 rockets exploded above my head. God again was watching over me and the people of Israel, and though one of those rockets fell through a house in South Tel Aviv almost 4 minutes after the sirens ceased their wailing screeches, no one was injured.
The never ending cycle of Anti-semitism
On top of the horrific atrocities that are taking place at my front door, the world seems to have gone topsy turvy, and the people who once shouted “We Will Never Forget”, are suddenly forgetting, and allowing the cycle to happen again… In my once beautiful America Palestinian aggressors beat and attacked peaceful protestors at a rally in support of Israel that both my sister and her boyfriend attended. Thankfully neither of them were hurt, and thankfully, and rightly so, the deviants were arrested, but the values of our once God driven society, values of dignity, peaceful free speech, and respect for human life, seem to be forgotten, allowing people to think it is an appropriate form of opposition to hurt and to hate.
Celebrities like Rihanna, John Stewart, and Dwight Howard continue to perpetuate this ever growing idea that Israel are the great aggressors and Palestine needs to be free from their occupying grasp, and the horribly hurtful part is that I don’t think they realize that their jokes and uniformed support of a conflict they have little to no idea about helps to invalidate the suffering of everyone over here in the eyes of those who follow them. I took to Twitter to try and educate the best I could knowing that none of these people would probably every see my tweets.
The streets of Paris were flooded yesterday with Arab mobs containing protestors in the thousands shouting “Death to Jews”, “Death to Israel”, while at the same time vandalizing and destroying Jewish owned shops. It is a testament to how bad things are in France that during the middle of a war, over 500 French Jews are leaving their homes in “western” France to settle in Israel because of their fear of an ever worsening situation. They are coming to face Hamas and terrorist aggression, to face neighbors that want them annihilated, mainly to get away from the ever growing degradation France is suffering due to an influx of radical Muslim immigration. Stephane was born in Paris, France is his country, the French are his people, and he said that no amount of money in the world could ever tempt him to live their again. The beautiful, sophisticated, and cultural France that he grew up in doesn’t exist anymore.
God in a war zone
Many people have asked me “how do you believe in God when things like this happen?” When war, death, destruction, violence, hate, bigotry, and so much bad surrounds you and so many others every day. To them I say that It is especially during these times, times of unrest, trial, and tribulation that my unwavering faith in God is strengthened beyond anything humanly imaginable. God is everywhere; especially here. God is in schools, in homes, in restaurants, in the military, and, most importantly, in the hearts of every citizen here, and he is protecting us despite a world of people who are blindly against us. Because of him we will survive and continue to thrive. Good always wins over evil, and though this is another test thrown at us, it is one that we will emerge from with more strength and unity than ever before.
I miss you every second of every day, friend, and I know you are up there watching over me. You continue to give me the strength I need to fight for what is right and good in this world, and one day it will make a difference. I love you forever and always.
Until we meet again <3,